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Date Posted
March 23, 2021

Four Grey County paramedics have been honoured with the Medical Director’s Commendation Award from physicians at the Southwest Ontario Regional Base Hospital. Paramedics Alysha Carlaw, Katie Gibbons, Sonia Smart and Paula Trombley were announced this year’s recipients at a virtual presentation earlier this year.

The awards recognize paramedics who display outstanding clinical judgement, leadership, or who participate in education or administrative roles over and above normal responsibilities. Recipients may also advance paramedicine through advocacy and help recommend and adopt improvements to the current system.

Carlaw, Gibbons, Smart and Trombley were recognized for their efforts as community paramedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Every year we receive numerous nominations regarding outstanding clinical work that is being done by paramedics within the Southwest Ontario Regional Base Hospital region. It’s spectacular to see all the high-level care going above and beyond the call to duty in Southwestern Ontario, including the work done by Alysha Carlaw, Katie Gibbons, Sonia Smart and Paula Trombley,” said Regional Medical Director, Dr. Matthew Davis. “Each demonstrate the delivery of excellent prehospital care for the citizens of Grey County. We are proud to recognize their achievement with the presentation of the Medical Director’s Commendation Award.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Carlaw, Gibbons, Smart and Trombley assisted vulnerable patients in the community. Working in a proactive paramedic role, the four engaged with patients who are part of the community paramedicine home visitation program or community clinics. Patients were contacted bi-weekly for check-ins and to assess their needs and educate them on COVID-19 safety. When required, referrals were provided for homecare for added supports, to 211 for social supports, addictions, and mental health counselling and more.

As the pandemic progressed the program was expanded to include other high-need patients. The program laid the foundation for the 911 Patient Navigator positions with Grey County. This role supports first response, but also follows up with patients who call 9-1-1 often.

The Medical Director’s Commendation Awards were presented by the team of physicians serving the area, which included Regional Medical Director, Dr. Matthew Davis, Local Medical Advisor Dr. Sunil Mehta from Grey Bruce health Services, and Local Medical Director Dr. Sean Doran.

“COVID-19 has made it clear that people who are already vulnerable are the most at risk during a pandemic,” said Grey County Warden Selwyn ‘Buck’ Hicks. “Even with the pressures of a pandemic, Grey County paramedics were committed to protecting their patients and helping them endure the added risk and challenges of lockdowns and restrictions. I commend the whole team and am proud to see Alysha, Katie, Sonia and Paula recognized for going above and beyond during this crisis.”

Grey County Director of Paramedic Services Kevin McNab is proud of his team’s accomplishments and support they receive from the base hospital and County Council. “I’m incredibly proud of the commitment to excellence our paramedics have shown throughout the pandemic. Congratulations to Alysha, Katie, Sonia and Paula on your accomplishments,” says McNab. “With the guidance, support, and leadership of the physicians at the Southwest Ontario Base Hospital, and endorsement from Grey County Council, I know Grey County Paramedic Services will continue to find innovative opportunities to expand care throughout our community.” 

About Grey County Paramedic Services

Grey County Paramedic Services provides emergency ambulance service and innovative community paramedicine services throughout Grey County.  Serving the province’s fourth largest geographical county, Grey County paramedics respond to more than 24,000 calls annually. 

About the Southwest Ontario Base Hospital

The Southwest Ontario Regional Base Hospital Program (SWORBHP) is one of eight Regional Base Hospitals in Ontario (7 land and 1 air), dedicated to medical direction, leadership and advice in the provision of prehospital emergency health care.

From left to right starting on top: Alysha Carlaw, Katie Gibbons, Sonia Smart, Paula Trombley
From left to right starting on top: Alysha Carlaw, Katie Gibbons, Sonia Smart, Paula Trombley


For media inquiries contact Rob Hatten, communications manager, at rob.hatten@grey.ca or 519-372-0219 ext.1235 or 519-373-1592.

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