COVID Service Delivery Planning



6 April 2020


Dear Colleagues,

Memo: COVID Service Delivery Planning

Two messages:

A.  Service Delivery.  We recognize that COVID related challenges to health care delivery will continue to evolve in the coming weeks and months.  The IWK pediatric hematology oncology service will continue to support the diagnosis, management and follow up of all pediatric hematology oncology patients with our Maritime regional partners.

Please let us know as soon as possible if the ability of your centre or clinical practice is changing for any reason, in particular during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For minor patient protocol related issues: These can continue to be discussed with the patient’s Family Care Coordinator.

For major or anticipated ongoing changes: Please contact myself, Elizabeth Schurman and/or Carol Digout at APPHON to discuss what changes are needed.  It may result in a temporary change in your Levels of Care Designation.  We will inform the Family Care Coordinators and IWK physicians of these changes so planning can be put into place in a timely manner. 

We will strive to have the patient cared for in the appropriate Levels of Care environment but to also avoid unnecessary travel for the patient. Depending upon travel restrictions and community spread, this may include care at another designated regional center or travel to the IWK.

The IWK is very much planning and willing to accept children for care as long as we have capacity but early planning will be enormously helpful.  

B.  Support persons.   The IWK has implemented a strict one support person policy for pediatric patients coming to the out-patient clinics AND for in-patients, as well. The designated support person is not allowed to rotate with others. This includes one person only for patients with a new diagnosis or relapse.  There will be exceptions only under rare circumstances approved by leadership. 


Please contact us if you have any questions.  Contact information below:



Conrad Fernandez MD, FRCPC

Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist

Professor and Head, Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Dalhousie University and the IWK Health Centre

phone: 902-470-6839/fax: 902-470-7208 (clinical)


Elizabeth Schurman BScN, RN, MN

Manager, Hematology/ Oncology, Nephrology & PACT

Children's Health Program
IWK Health Centre
Tel 902-470-6378 | Cell 902-229-8739


Carol Digout, Executive Director APPHON/ROHPPA

IWK Health Centre – Room 610/6 Link

5850/5980 University Ave, Halifax, NS  B3K 6R8

Phone: 902-470-7429  Fax: 902-470-6510