April 7, 2003

Great response to York Region health care job fair - close to 175 hired on spot

NEWMARKET Despite poor weather conditions, more than 380 individuals came out to York Region's job fair in Newmarket last Friday and Saturday to fill health care positions that were immediately available due to the current SARS situation. Close to 175 individuals were hired on the spot to assist with the Health Connection phone line, contact tracing and surveillance and the SARS Assessment Clinic in Markham.

"The community and media response to our call for employee assistance has been admirable," said Dr. Hanif Kassam, Acting Medical Officer of Health and Commissioner of York Region Health Services. "I want to thank everyone who came out and applied, and also to thank the media for promoting the job fair."

Sixty-five nurses, seven public health inspectors, three epidemiologists and close to 100 clerical/administrative positions were filled. Some began working immediately this past weekend and others are expected to begin this week.

"Although the risk to the general public of contracting SARS is generally low, efforts to respond to SARS and contain the disease continues around the clock," said Dr. Kassam.

For more information about SARS, the risks, signs and symptoms, visit the York Region Web Site at www.region.york.on.ca and look for the link off the home page. You can also call York Region Health Services' Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or Ontario's Health Infoline at 1-888-668-4636.


Contact: Patrick Casey, Corporate Communications Services, York Region

-(905) 830-4444 or (416) 297-9696, ext. 1235

-(905) 715-8211 (Cell)

-E-mail: patrick.casey@region.york.on.ca

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