Keeping Our Communities Safe – COVID-19 PPE Initiatives

Berwick, along with other senior living operators, understand that PPE is crucial for protecting employees and residents and minimizing the overall transmission of the virus.  The global disruption of supply chains and the increased global demand for PPE has made access to this much needed equipment challenging and unpredictable, particularly for smaller senior living operators.

Berwick, among other senior living organizations from across the country (Amica, Revera, Sienna, Chartwell, Extendicare among others) joined together to launch and fund the CAPES project (Canadian Alliance to Protect and Equip Seniors Living) in early April as a collective effort to work together and support private pay operators in securing much-needed PPE (personal protective equipment).  CAPES secured 15 million pieces of PPE in April – all members over procured our orders by 35% to source reserve PPE supplies, amounting to millions of dollars of PPE that can now be made available to smaller operators. The equipment, including level 1 and 2 masks, isolation gowns and gloves, will be distributed across multiple channels with the reserve supplying those small operators most in need.

CAPES is anticipated to help source PPE for approximately 60% of the seniors housing sector to augment existing supply channels, which include support made available to homes through government and community sources. CAPES aims to offer smaller senior living operators the benefit of volume pricing for the reserve supply which is being offered at cost to these operators through an easily accessible private online hub.

The concept of a joint sector-based purchasing group to access a network of credible global suppliers and logistic channels was launched on April 5 by a small group of volunteers led by Dr. Wong, Melody Lo of RFA Capital, and Michelle Roth of Goodmans LLP’s Aging and Healthcare Platform, SenbridGe.  Within 12 hours of launching the initiative, lead members – Berwick Retirement Communities, Amica Senior Lifestyles, Chartwell Retirement Residences, Extendicare, Le Groupe Maurice, The Responsive Group, Revera Living and Sienna Senior Living committed their support and many more operators quickly followed.

Raymond Stone, the founder and former CEO of FutureMed volunteered to provide sourcing and logistics services at no cost or profit. Support from volunteers and partners such as RFA Capital, Goodmans LLP and SenbridGe, ShipFusion, PointClickCare, T&T Supemarket, MCAP, BMO, CIBC, TD, Cushman & Wakefield and Gardiner Roberts LLP have helped ensure the coordination and ongoing operations of the project.

CAPES’ reserve supply is being offered to senior living operators through sector associations across Canada, including BC Senior Living Association, BC Care Providers Association, Safe Care BC, Ontario Long Term Care Association, Ontario Retirement Communities Association, Advantage Ontario and Regroupement Quebecois Des Residences Pour Aines.

Berwick will continue to ensure availability of personal protective equipment in our communities to protect residents and staff. 

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