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There’s a sub-acute care bed shortage in Sudbury

Here’s how you can help St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre of Sudbury fill a need for sub-acute care in your community

Although the Sudbury community is facing a bed shortage in their acute care hospital, SJCCC has used its sub-acute hospital beds to significantly impact the City of Greater Sudbury and the surrounding region since opening in 2009, and they need your help.

St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre of Sudbury (SJCCC) is a faith-based public hospital with an essential role in the local health system – providing low-intensity rehabilitation, primarily to older adults, so they can continue living independently in the community.

In addition to the 64 beds at SJCCC’s South Bay Road location, they have been operating an additional 60 beds in an alternate health facility at the Clarion hotel since April 2020, said Vicki Lejambe, Site Administrator and Chief Nursing Officer for the SJCCC. 

Although this has been a needed fill-gap solution, they need more beds and a permanent, more appropriate location. 

“We have been running at an average occupancy of 95% since opening, and there is a lengthy waitlist to get into rehab programming at both the Clarion and the South Bay Road site,” Lejambe said. 

“It is evident that our local and regional health system need these beds now and into the future if we are going to turn the current situation around.”

Last year, Lejambe’s team was able to transition 804 patients to a more appropriate level of care after providing them with rehabilitative and supportive care.

“We want our patients and their families to experience a caring, compassionate, and patient-centred approach to care while working with our interdisciplinary team to optimize their function and wellness.”

Sudbury is an aging community, and someone you know may have already used their services or will in the future. Despite this, Lejambe said SJCCC is Sudbury’s best-kept secret. 

“People don’t typically know we exist until they need us for themselves or their loved ones,” she said. “I keep on telling my friends, ‘You need to know who we are because your aunt, your uncle, your mom, or your dad will need our service in the future.’”

Services at the SJCCC

Most of the patients served by SJCCC are older adults living with frailty who require specialized rehab to meet their needs. This means that the rehab programming is centred more around the patient’s unique goals for rehabilitation, said Lejambe.

All interdisciplinary team members participate in rehab delivery, including the nurses, which means that it might look different than what many people envision. 

For example, depending on the patient’s goals, their rehab program might include a combination of work with the therapy team on restoring specific skills or adapting to new levels of ability and performing self-care activities with the nurse at the bedside, such as dressing, transferring or making their own bed.

Over four to six weeks, patients will receive 24/7 support where they learn how to be safe in their homes. The SJCCC team gives patients the tools, resources, knowledge and equipment to make that happen.

“They still have the stairs when they go home. But they now understand how to maneuver them safely. Or they now have pieces of equipment that we can help maximize their functioning at home so that they can stay longer in their home.”

Learn more about St. Joseph's Health Centre of Sudbury online here.