THE SIMCOE MUSKOKA DISTRICT HEALTH UNIT
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) was recently presented with a handcrafted quilt to recognize the efforts of the staff and volunteers who worked tirelessly to make the community vaccination clinics a success. The quilt was created by COVID-19 vaccination clinic volunteer Jody Mayhew, who was inspired by those she worked with and the important work being done at the clinics.
“I was really moved by my experience as a clinic volunteer, and I felt compelled to design a quilt to commemorate the memory,” Mayhew said. “It was wonderful to be a part of a positive, unified team, working towards a common goal of helping the community.”
The art of quilt making is a part of many cultures worldwide. Often the layered fabric pieces document a story. Sometimes the story is simple and personal to a family, while others are meant for communities to see, learn from and remember.
The quilt’s pallet of vibrant colours was chosen to evoke the positive and optimistic feelings Mayhew and fellow volunteers experienced while working at the clinics. The quilt also incorporates the signatures of many dedicated volunteers who were an integral part of the team required to support the COVID-19 mass immunization efforts.
Mayhew is hopeful that the quilt will become a lasting symbol of strength shown by the Simcoe Muskoka community during the pandemic and a reminder of the rewarding experience of serving others through volunteering while helping to protect the health of Simcoe Muskoka residents.
“This beautiful, handcrafted quilt symbolizes the cooperative spirit of the health unit staff, volunteers and our community partners who worked tirelessly to provide well over 1.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to our residents. It will proudly be displayed at our health unit offices, and we thank Jody for creating and gifting it to us,” said MaryAnn Holmes, acting assistant vice president of immunization. “I would also like to express our gratitude to all of the 671 clinic volunteers for their dedication, commitment, and positive contributions to our vaccination efforts.”
At every clinic, volunteers helped make it possible to deliver hundreds of vaccinations while ensuring the health and safety of each client. Volunteers contributed a wealth of knowledge gained through previous or professional experiences as current or retired nurses, teachers, police officers, allied health professionals, business executives, event planners, students, public servants, first responders, government employees and community citizens.
The health unit would also like to acknowledge the community partners who assisted with volunteer coordination, including Georgian Bay General Hospital, Matthews House Hospice and Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital.