Chief Nurse Executive
Chief Operating Officer
Co-chair, COVID-19 Hospital Operations Table, Toronto Region
Co-chair, Planning stream, GTA COVID-19 Hospital IMS
In addition to her considerable responsibilities as Executive Vice-President, Chief Nurse Executive and Chief Operating Officer at Sinai Health, Jane Merkley has been co-chairing the planning stream of the GTA COVID-19 Hospital Command Table and the Toronto Region’s COVID-19 Hospital Operations Table. As part of her role, Jane facilitates the transfer of patients to maintain stability in the health care system across the region. In one six-month period during the pandemic, her team transferred more than 2,000 patients.
“The pandemic has required a system-level response. Being part of those system tables has allowed us to lead in setting new standards and guidelines across Ontario. Sinai Health was very integrated into overall planning, which provided us with great situational awareness and enabled us to align our hospital’s response accordingly.
“At Sinai Health, we made a number of decisions to really focus the organization almost exclusively on the pandemic, with the exception of some key priority corporate projects. We identified priorities in waves one, two and three so that people could focus on our pandemic response and weren’t trying to do their day jobs while managing a pandemic on the side.
“We have consistently punched above our weight — both in terms of the hospital’s COVID-19 response and our leadership in the system response. Sinai Health was in the top three recipients of transfer patients in the GTA. We were called upon as a trusted partner to develop overall strategies and plans. There are not many hospitals that will be able to stand back and say they were front and centre leading hospital tables, command centre tables, Infection Protection and Control tables. Our leadership is trusted.
“We have really stayed true to our mission and values. In the work we’ve done within our own hospital and the work we’ve done at the system level, we engaged ethics and patient partners to make sure our work is values-driven. We've also supported hospitals with significant equity challenges to ensure their patients received safe and equitable access to care. We have never lost sight of our vulnerable populations."