OCA Champions

Join us in celebrating our OCA Champions, members across Ontario who are helping their community, supporting their neighbours, providing urgent and emergency care to patients and collaborating with colleagues in the health system during COVID-19.

OCA_Champions banner

Our OCA Champions are those members who, through small gestures and large contributions, are demonstrating leadership and bringing their community together.

Celebrating OCA Champion, Dr. Emily Howell

Donated 500+ masks to Michael Garron Hospital and Fred Victor Homeless Shelter

Dr. Emily Howell became a chiropractor out of a deep dedication to care for patients. During the COVID-19 pandemic, her commitment grew: “As doctors, we are here to take care of people,” she says. Dr. Howell was born and raised in East Toronto and is the clinic director and owner of Ashbridges Health Centre.

When Dr. Howell heard that the Michael Garron Hospital Foundation launched a 1000 Mask Challenge (#MGH1000MASKS), she didn’t think twice to pull out her old Singer sewing machine. Using remnants of Wonder Woman fabric, she began sewing masks for patients leaving the hospital and visitors, so that the hospital could preserve N95 masks for frontline staff and patients at risk.

In 2007, Dr. Howell was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and underwent surgery at Michael Garron Hospital (part of the Toronto East Health Network). For her, helping others by participating in this challenge was “something tangible” that she could do.

To date, Dr. Howell has sewed over 500 masks that she has donated to the hospital. She’s also donated masks to the Fred Victor Homeless Shelter after learning about the risks to vulnerable people in her community. Dr. Howell accepts no payment for her masks. Instead, she simply asks people to “pay it forward” by supporting local small businesses or donating back to Michael Garron Hospital or The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).

With two children at home, it has been organized chaos for Dr. Howell. At one point, her sewing machine gave out, but luckily a friend brought her a new one so that she could keep working. In between sewing, Dr. Howell has also produced a YouTube video called Sewing Ergonomics and Stretches with helpful tips and stretches for those who are sewing masks. As of April 4, 2020 the video has received over 800 views!

Thank you to Dr. Alexander Zivontsis for recommending Dr. Howell as one of our new OCA Champions.

Dr. Emily Howell
Dr. Howell dropping off masks
Dr. Bob Warnock
Dr. Bob Warnock
Aylmer Police Service tweeted its appreciation to Dr. Warnock

Celebrating OCA Champion, Dr. Bob Warnock

Face Shields Donated to Aylmer Police Service and Front-line Health Workers

Dr. Warnock, owner of Aylmer Chiropractic Clinic, located in Aylmer, Ontario, learned that frontline workers in long-term care homes were not adequately equipped and that suppliers were not providing face shields. He also learned that police officers lacked face shields.

So, Dr. Warnock assembled a team of volunteers. He searched online for a face shield design and enlisted the support of Aylmer Glass and Mirror that donated the Lexan® polycarbonate material.
Together, they constructed face shields for frontline officers and health care workers. Face shields were distributed to grateful Aylmer police officers as added protection while they serve their community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first shield took 6.5 hours to construct. “Now we produce 120 shields in less than two hours! We’re faster than a 3D printer,” jokes Dr. Warnock. Learning that more shields were needed, Dr. Warnock and team produced 85 face shields for the local Chartwell nursing home. News of his ingenuity spread. Beyond Alymer, the team produced 62 masks for the Terrace Lodge nursing home in St. Thomas.

Aylmer Police Service officers extend their thanks to Dr. Bob Warnock, his group of volunteers and staff at Aylmer Glass and Mirror.

Celebrating OCA Champions, Dr. Candice Gibbs and Dr. Janine Taylor

Donating handmade scrub caps and masks, plus fundraising for the food bank

As essential workers, Dr. Candice Gibbs and Dr. Janine Taylor know that the value of supplies is critical for frontline hospital staff and first responders. These two amazing chiropractors have been busy sewing masks and scrub caps in beautiful, bright and patriotic patterns.  We would also like to thank Dr. Kelly McAllister for recommending Candice and Janine as our new OCA Champions.

Candice, who works at Lakeshore Clinic in Burlington, is donating her caps and masks to Joseph Brant Hospital, Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH) and Hamilton Health Sciences Centre. Grateful hospital staff are asked to donate $5.00 per cap to local food banks in Candice’s name. Her donations have two important impacts: Critical supplies for hospital staff and food for families in need.

Dr. Candice Gibbs wearing her cap
Dr. Candice Gibbs
Dr. Janine Taylor photo in cap
Dr. Janine Taylor

Janine Taylor, who works at Clarington Chiropractic Clinic, and her beloved mother, Riekie Kramer, a retired x-ray technician, love to sew. Together, they have sewed and donated over 50 scrub caps and masks to Durham Paramedics, as well as to nurses and respiratory therapists at Lakeridge Health in Ajax.

They’ve also sewn and donated masks to local foodbank front-line workers, helping families in need. Janine also gives masks to friends and neighbors.

She modestly declares, “It’s our little way of using our sewing hobby to help our frontline workers.”

Lakeridge Health caps from Janine
Lakeridge Health Staff in Janine’s handmade caps
Dr. Candice Gibbs caps
Dr. Candice Gibbs and grateful nurses
A big thank you to Candice from grateful nurses
(left) Scrub caps sewn by Candice
Janine masks for Simcoe Hall Settlement House in Oshawa
Janine’s masks for Simcoe Hall Settlement House in Oshawa

Celebrating OCA Champion, Dr. Carole Smith

Piping to thank front-line workers

Dr. Carole Smith

People around the world are standing at doors, stepping out on balconies and leaning against windows to clap for tireless and brave front-line workers.

Oakville is no exception. Dr. Carole Smith a chiropractor and clinic director at Your Health and Wellness Centre joins her neighbours to clap, bang pots and pans in appreciation for hospital staff, emergency workers and front-line staff as they come off and on to their shifts. Carole does more than support those front-line workers, she brings much-needed respite and joy to her neighbours by going out playing the bagpipes, with her young daughter who plays her chanter (learning pipes).

Dr. Carole Smith playing bagpipes