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peopleCare Home first in Waterloo region to vaccinate residents

January 12, 2021

CAMBRIDGE, Ontario, Jan 12, 2021 – Earlier today, residents at Golden Years Long-Term Care (LTC) Home became the first LTC residents in the Region of Waterloo to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. In partnership with a mobile vaccine team from Waterloo Region Public Health, peopleCare’s clinical staff gave the first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to 67 residents, in the comfort of their own home.

Nurse gives a long-term care resident in a wheelchair his COVID-19 vaccine

“Since day one, our teams have led with us in our commitment to keep everyone in our Homes safe, and we are excited to take this next step forward in protecting our residents with the COVID-19 vaccine,” says Brent Gingerich, Chairman and CEO of peopleCare. “We are thrilled to be part of such a monumental day across peopleCare and the region and thank the government and our health system partners for their support.”

Following the welcome announcement by government of the approval of two safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, peopleCare was extremely pleased to learn that Ontario’s phased roll-out plan prioritized healthcare workers and long-term care residents.

“Administering vaccines to our loved ones, and those who care for them, is the beginning of the light at the end of the tunnel we’ve all been waiting for,” said Minister of Long-Term Care Dr. Merrilee Fullerton. “As we continue to quickly rollout the first phase of Ontario’s vaccine implementation plan, we look forward to receiving more doses from the federal government. We remain grateful for the support of Waterloo Public Health and all the frontline heroes at Golden Years Long-Term Care Home.”

The ongoing support of government, and partnerships across the health system, have been a hallmark of the pandemic, and key to implementing the safeguards, precautions and enhanced measures that have saved lives in long-term care and other senior living settings across the province and in our region.

Long-term care resident smiles and gives a thumbs up as he receives his COVID-19 vaccine

“Our local residents at Golden Years in Cambridge received the COVID-19 vaccine today marking an important date in our fight against the virus in our region,” said Kitchener South – Hespeler MPP Amy Fee. “A special thank you goes out to the front line workers, and support staff who ensure that we are able to administer vaccines as safely and as efficiently as possible.”

Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Mike Harris also shared his thoughts. “Today we reached an important milestone in Waterloo Region’s fight against COVID-19 as residents at Golden Years in Cambridge received the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Mike Harris. “I want to thank the members of the Region’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Taskforce and peopleCare communities for their efforts to protect our most vulnerable as we continue efforts to stop the spread of this disease.”

In the past few weeks, in the lead-up to vaccine access for residents, peopleCare’s teams have worked diligently to prepare, including regular communication with residents and families to provide information and to secure the necessary consents. The positive response, heartfelt emotions and tears of joy over this good news finally made reality has been overwhelming.

“Knowing that our residents at Golden Years, and soon to be all of our Homes, are better protected today because of the vaccine is truly an incredible feeling,” says peopleCare President Megan Allen-Lamb. “We will always be in awe and grateful for the strength and resilience of our frontline teams, residents, families and communities throughout this pandemic and we celebrate this historic moment together with them.”

Jenn Killing is peopleCare’s VP Quality, Research and Strategic Partnerships and the organization’s COVID incident management lead. She says that, over the past few weeks, as peopleCare has advocated for quick access to vaccines for our staff and residents – reinforcing the strength of peopleCare’s in-house clinical expertise and years of experience immunizing residents to support a quick and smooth mass immunization program, the timely response from our health system partners has been phenomenal.

“Getting as many residents, staff and family caregivers vaccinated as soon as possible is peopleCare’s most urgent priority,” says Killing. “We thank our partners at the Region of Waterloo and Waterloo Region Public Health for working hand-in-hand with our team to immunize our residents, in the comfort of their own home, surrounded by people who care about and for them.”

George Ballentine’s wife has lived at Golden Years for over three years, and he is her essential designated caregiver. Dropping in to visit as he normally does, and to be with her while she received her vaccine, he reflects on how grateful he is. “I hope everyone is as happy as I am about my beautiful bride getting this vaccine. The team here has done a wonderful job and now, we’ve made a start on protecting everyone.”

Four COVID-19 vaccine doses placed in a white basket

About peopleCare Communities
peopleCare Communities
 is a Canadian, family owned leading operator of senior living communities, with strong values and a 50-year history of service. We are committed to creating vibrant communities of care that deliver clinical best practices, engaging programs and integrated services that meet seniors’ changing needs. peopleCare’s innovation and leadership has earned Accreditation Canada Exemplary Status, Canada’s Best Managed Companies Platinum designation, and the single largest research grant from the Ontario Centres of Excellence, which funded our award-winning Clinical Pharmacy Model, a first-of-its-kind for long-term care in Canada. peopleCare has a long history of innovation to improve senior living, most recently helping to pilot a rapid point-of-care antigen test (POCT) that gives COVID results in just 15 minutes. Timely testing and results is key to help stop asymptomatic spread, and in future could make it easier for families and volunteers to pass active screening and safely visit with the reassurance of a negative test.

Our vision is to Change the World of Senior Living. 

For more information: Sheena Campbell, Vice President, Communications and Engagement,