Canadian Patient Safety Institute and Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement become Healthcare Excellence Canada, expanding pandemic response

March 2, 2021

Canadian Patient Safety Institute and Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement become Healthcare Excellence Canada, expanding pandemic response

Funding and support will benefit those most affected by COVID-19, including people living and working in long-term care and retirement homes

March 3, 2021 – Believing everyone in Canada deserves excellent healthcare, a new organization – Healthcare Excellence Canada – launched today. As part of its relentless pursuit of this goal, the organization is moving to expand its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“To everyone committed to the pursuit of healthcare excellence, we promise to work with you to deliver widespread and lasting improvements to the quality and safety of healthcare,” said Jennifer Zelmer, President and CEO, Healthcare Excellence Canada. “The scale of our solutions needs to match the scale of the challenges facing health systems, so Healthcare Excellence Canada and our partners are amplifying the reach of our pandemic response to help more people hard-hit by COVID-19.”

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute and Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, now amalgamated as Healthcare Excellence Canada, brought together hundreds of teams and thousands of people from every province and territory to improve quality and patient safety. Healthcare Excellence Canada will continue this journey, striving for excellent healthcare for everyone in Canada.

As an immediate priority, Healthcare Excellence Canada will enhance assistance for those hardest hit by COVID-19, including:

  • LTC+: Acting on Pandemic Learning Together which supports long-term care and retirement homes to work together and strengthen their pandemic preparedness plans, response and vaccine rollout
  • Essential Together which helps organizations safely welcome essential care partners – such as family members and other loved ones – back into health and care facilities.

“The safety of residents and staff in long-term care and retirement homes has been a major challenge and concern during the pandemic,” said Ronald Guse, Co-chair, Healthcare Excellence Canada. “More than 1,000 homes are currently using the LTC+ program to help identify and resolve their unique needs and common challenges, and Healthcare Excellence Canada is at the ready to collaborate with even more organizations. Today, we’re calling on homes across the country to use this valuable program.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in blanket visitor restrictions that prohibit many essential care partners, including family, from accessing loved ones in health and care facilities,” said Lynn Stevenson, Co-chair, Healthcare Excellence Canada. “Although the policies were put in place with best intentions, essential care partners are key to improving quality and safety, so we’re here to support organizations to safely welcome them during the pandemic.”

About LTC+: Acting on Pandemic Learning Together

LTC and retirement homes have access to a menu of virtual offerings to support their COVID-19 response and collectively tackle pandemic-related challenges. This can potentially include up to $10,000 in funding, expert coaching, peer-to-peer learning and educational webinars. New resources developed in direct response to needs identified through the program include:

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Preparedness Resources which consolidate existing resources from across the country to help long-term care and retirement homes plan and rollout vaccines to residents, staff and essential care partners.
  • Safely Re-entering Long-Term Care Homes During COVID-19 which was developed with and for essential care partners with loved ones in long-term care homes.

LTC+ is being delivered in partnership with the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council, New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes, Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety, CADTH and with funding from Health Canada and the CMA Foundation.

Call to Action: LTC and retirement homes in Canada can join the LTC+ program, and receive funding support, by visiting the HEC website. The program has also recently been expanded to residential substance use facilities and shelters caring for people experiencing homelessness.

About Essential Together

Essential Together is supporting organizations to safely welcome back essential care partners into health and care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is grounded in evidence that the presence of essential care partners benefits patient care, experience, safety and outcomes, as well as organizations and essential care partners experience during the pandemic.

Call to Action: Health and care organizations interested in revisiting family presence policies can register to join the Essential Together community and access additional resources, including coaching and peer support by visiting the HEC website.

About Healthcare Excellence Canada

Healthcare Excellence Canada is an organization with a relentless focus on improving healthcare, with – and for – everyone in Canada. Launched in March 2021 from the amalgamation of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, Healthcare Excellence Canada has greater capacity to support partners to turn proven innovations into widespread and lasting improvement in patient safety and all the dimensions of healthcare excellence. We believe in the power of people and evidence and know that by connecting them, we can achieve the best healthcare in the world. HEC is an independent, not-for-profit charity funded primarily by Health Canada.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of Health Canada.


For more information, or to arrange media interviews, please contact:
Ashlee Biggs, Senior Lead, Communications
Healthcare Excellence Canada
613-728-2238 /