Muscular Dystrophy Canada makes the difficult decision to reduce staff

For Immediate Release – April 8, 2020

Toronto, Ontario – Muscular Dystrophy Canada (MDC) announced that they have temporarily reduced their staff by 17 people in positions across the organization, at all levels.

“We considered all our options before coming to this extremely difficult decision. Of paramount importance was our ability to maintain core services to our clients,” commented Board Chair, Donna Nixon. “MDC’s staff are our most valuable asset in this respect. But the very necessary measures to stem the spread of Covid-19 have resulted in the cancellation of key fundraising events, until further notice. Balancing service to our clients with the financial sustainability of MDC has been uppermost in our minds.”

MDC will continue to deliver critical programs and services, and our Service Specialists remain available to our clients and families.

“We are committed to supporting our clients and families, volunteers, fire fighters, donors and partners. They are the lifeblood of MDC, and they need our support now more than ever. For staff impacted, we will continue their medical and dental benefits, ensure they have access to our Employee Assistance Program, and help them transfer to the appropriate government programs,” said CEO, Barbara Stead-Coyle. “MDC is a family and we must do all we can to work together during this unprecedented time.”

The Board of Directors is working hand-in-hand with MDC’s Executive Leadership to closely manage MDC’s response to the pandemic. MDC has stepped up online communications to our community, including virtual events such as weekly client support sessions. All information will be posted on our website www.muscle.ca, and through our social media channels.

MDC has also signed onto many sector-wide initiatives aimed at advocating for further financial assistance for health charities and Canadian not-for-profits more broadly. Imagine Canada is currently lobbying the federal government for an emergency stabilization fund for the country’s charities that would include cash grants and interest-free loans.

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ABOUT MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY CANADA

Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s mission is to enhance the lives of those impacted with neuromuscular disorders by continually working to provide ongoing support and resources while relentlessly searching for a cure through well-funded research. To learn more about Muscular Dystrophy Canada, please visit  www.muscle.ca  or call our toll-free number at 1-800-567-2873.

MEDIA CONTACT

Heather Rice
Muscular Dystrophy Canada
Heather.Rice@muscle.ca
902-440-3714

COVID – 19: What you should know about this novel coronavirus

Given the recent updates on COVID-19, Muscular Dystrophy Canada has implemented a work from home policy, therefore, effective immediately all MDC offices are closed.

Our staff remain available via email and telephone and will continue to serve our clients, volunteers, donors and other key stakeholders.

During this difficult time, we remind everyone that social distancing is a critical component of reducing the potential harm.

In the coming days, MDC will continue to provide updates as we strive to implement new online platforms and solutions to support our community.

We recommend that everyone continue to be informed by credible sources like the World Health Organization, the Public Health Agency of Canada and provincial health agencies.

Thank you for your continued support and cooperation.

Barbara Stead-Coyle
CEO

COVID-19, is a coronavirus, that is known to cause respiratory infections in individuals who contract the virus. Symptoms include dry cough, fever, tiredness and difficulty breathing, and may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure. Since people with neuromuscular disorders already experience respiratory challenges, it is understandable that you would have concerns and questions about COVID-19.

How to prevent infections

The steps outlined below are good practice, at all times, to inhibit the spread of viruses:
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly with soap and water.
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve; when using tissues, immediately put them in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Regularly clean commonly used surfaces and devices you touch.
  • Avoid crowded spaces and close contact with anyone that has a fever or cough.

How you can prepare

You should always have a plan in place should you, or a loved one, become ill. You should have:
  • A list containing the names of your doctors, clinic, pharmacy and insurance company along with contact information.
  • A list of all your medications and the doses.
  • Enough medication for one to two weeks in case you cannot get to the pharmacy to refill your prescriptions.
  • Extra supplies like, hand sanitizers and soap to wash your hands.
For more information please visit the Government of Canada’s website.

How to avoid disruptions to care services for individuals with neuromuscular disorders

  • Screen: Have a sign posted at the entrance of your home for your caregivers and attendants to self-screen and review the precautionary measures they can take while in your home.
  • Greetings: Have your caregivers and attendants say hello without touching (e.g., a wave hello)
  • Wash Hands: Have your caregivers and attendants wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap carefully and repeatedly (throughout the day).
  • Sanitize: Have your caregivers and attendants use hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol-based) when they arrive at your home and each time prior to touching or feeding you.
  • Disinfect: Have your caregivers and attendants clean, sanitize and disinfect the surfaces that are touched in your and use disinfecting wipes on items that are frequently touched (e.g., cell phones, doorknobs, your wheelchair controls, lifting device controls, and remote controls). Make this convenient by having wipes near the items that should be regularly cleaned.
  • Back Up: If your attendant becomes sick, ask them to seek medical care. Ensure you have sufficient back up attendants in case your caregivers and regular attendants cannot work; your attendants may not be able to work because either they get sick or they need to take care of a family member who is. You will still need assistance, so make sure you have someone who can provide it.

What to do if you think you might have the infection