Today the province of Manitoba announced that they have recruited Dr. Lynn Stevenson to lead a review regarding a Winnipeg care home.

A week after a series of series incidents occurred at Maples Long Term Care Home, the province is announcing what their investigative team will be looking at.

"Now is the time for additional answers if there is more to do, we are going to do it," Health Minister Cameron Friesen says.

He says the conditions at care homes are incredibly challenging. 

Friesen says Dr. Lynn Stevenson is the former Associate Deputy Minister in the British Columbia Ministry of Health and has worked on similar investigations across the province and is confident in her ability to help.

Stevenson's role will include:

  • determining the level of care provided by the long-term care home operator for all residents and for those that had tested positive for COVID-19;
  • determining the policies and procedures the operator had and has in place for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, including alignment with federal and provincial guidelines, how the policies are followed by staff;
  • determining if there were any measures in place that negatively impacted patient care or safety;
  • determining if appropriate staffing levels were in place, and are now in place; and
  • identifying takeaways from this event to strengthen long-term care in Manitoba during the pandemic and afterwards, including improving communication with care homes and regional health authorities, strengthening provincial standards, developing new policies and improving long-term care home reporting.

The minister says the pulling together of the investigation has been done at lightning speed. 

"It is Dr. Stevenson's view that she can hit the ground running by next week. Obviously, tremendous care will be taken in all things."

When an issue is found, Friesen says they will go to work immediately on it.

"We are building a task force structure that will give long term care even greater attention at our incident command centre."

Friesen says Stevenson was involved in a review of a COVID-19 outbreak at a facility in Halifax, Nova Scotia, which included 360 cases and the death of 53 residents. He says her expertise and experience will help Manitoba identify specific issues.

Red Cross will be at Maples starting on Saturday to provide care and companionship. Friesen says a Rapid Response Team could also be used to aid in care homes if necessary.