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OMERS Companies Working to Make a Difference

OMERS portfolio companies respond to the crisis

At OMERS, we thoughtfully invest in an incredible portfolio of companies around the world – and, as we slowly start to emerge from COVID-19, these companies are finding solutions to the new challenges we face. They are hard at work supporting the communities in which we live and work and we are proud to share a few of the stories of how they are making a difference!

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Thames Water giving back to the community

After realizing the elderly and vulnerable in his community were struggling to access groceries and toiletries during the pandemic, Dean Vine, a technician at Thames Water, began to purchase these items and donate them back to those in need. Thames Water is now matching the amount spent with supermarket vouchers, so that Dean can continue to support his community.

Steve Spencer, Thames Water's operations director, said: “I see examples of our people going the extra mile for our customers every day, but what Dean and his family are doing to support those struggling to get by during the lockdown is truly exceptional."

“I am extremely proud to be part of our operational business, in which our dedicated front-line teams are out in the community, performing the essential role of keeping taps running and toilets flushing," he added.

To further support the community during the pandemic, Thames Water has doubled its Trust Fund donation to £1 million. The fund provides debt advice and grants for essential household goods, like appliances and furniture, to customers who are in financial need during the pandemic.

OMERS has been invested in Thames Water since 2017.

Deliverect helps restaurants in time of crisis

Deliverect is a subscription-based service that integrates third-party online ordering platforms like Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Skip the Dishes, and Doordash into restaurants’ point-of-sale systems, automating the inbound online order flow through a single point. Soon after the closure of restaurant dine-in services across Europe, as a result of lockdown, Deliverect began to help hospitality businesses rapidly pivot to online ordering. The company waived set-up fees and launched new monthly – instead of annual – subscription plans which could be cancelled at any time. It also waived its set-up fees for its Click & Collect online ordering module and did not charge anything for the first six weeks of use.

PeerWell delivers digital healthcare, guiding patients through musculoskeletal recovery

The current pandemic is forcing many companies to pivot and adopt digital and tele services. PeerWell, a recovery platform that helps people optimize for surgery and get to the root cause of pain and immobility, was built as a digitally-enabled business.

PeerWell eliminates the burden of musculoskeletal pain and immobility. During COVID-19, the company is helping patients manage their symptoms and recover safely from home.

As healthcare systems shift to COVID-19 efforts, some patients are without access to physical therapy and are waiting on delayed or cancelled surgeries. PeerWell enables people to manage pain, prepare for surgery, and recover faster with devices they already own, safely from their home. To help those affected by COVID-19, PeerWell is offering free access for patients with postponed musculoskeletal surgeries, as well as those in recovery who’ve had their physical therapy cancelled.

Learn more about how PeerWell is helping patients here.

London City Airport: providing facilities for government use

During its temporary closure, London’s most central airport offered the use of the facility to the government in case it can be used to support emergency services, military or other government agencies.

London City Airport is located 1 mile from the newly opened emergency Nightingale hospital catering for up to 4,000 intensive care unit beds. The airport is fully cooperating with the Royal Air Force, the Military, the National Health Service and other government Agencies to facilitate trial flights and contribute to the logistical effort and was very pleased to be able to contribute to the National effort.

More information about the airport’s efforts can be found here.

CBI Health accelerates virtual care / telehealth for its clients

CBI Health is the leading provider of community healthcare services in Canada and, during the pandemic, continues to support its clients in ways that are safe for its clients, employees and our communities. Its rehabilitation services team has quickly expanded its virtual care services, via video chat and phone, ensuring continued access to care for clients nationwide. On the frontline, its home health team continues to provide essential care, support and hope to people in private homes and congregate settings across the country. CBI Health’s treatment and support centres for individuals with autism and developmental disabilities, Monarch House, is also providing remote consultation and counselling to the families that are counting on ongoing support.

In this rapidly-changing time, CBI Health remains committed to providing full continuity of care to its clients and is helping them adapt to using virtual care / telehealth services to stay safe and connected through their recovery.

Read CBI Health’s Connected Care stories here.

Responding to unprecedented need, Aledade ships support packages to primary care clinics

Aledade – the latest addition to the OMERS Growth Equity portfolio – partners with independent, primary care physicians to provide the tools they need to build and run an Accountable Care Organization (ACO). As a partner to over 500 independent practices across the United States, the company is more than aware of the current stresses in the health care system and the critical need for personal protective equipment (PPE). Last month, the company procured $1.3M of PPE for more than 500 of their partner practices, including: 282,000 surgical masks; 119,000 KN95 respirators; 348,000 medical gloves; 101,000 disposable gowns; 29,000 face shields; and 4,000 bottles of hand sanitizer.

Recognizing primary care practices are often the first line of defense in the fight against the pandemic, Aledade’s CEO and co-founder, Farzad Mostashari, MD had this to say about the donation. “These practices are in desperate need of supplies like KN95 respirators and surgical masks to protect their staff and patients, and our mission at Aledade is to be their advocate. We’re proud to help empower our partner practices as they face down this crisis while continuing to deliver the trusted, high-quality care their patients depend on.”

Visit Aledade's website

Kenan Advantage Group: Thank you, drivers

Kenan is North America’s largest tank truck transporter and logistics provider, delivering fuels, chemicals, specialty products, food products and industrial gases to all 48 contiguous states, Canada and Mexico. The team is working together through the current situation with COVID 19, and have been supplying oxygen to the hospitals in New York City and New Jersey.

Tim Barnes was delivering in New York City and the fire department was clearing a call. When they noticed the Kenan truck coming down the street, they stood together and clapped and gave the driver a thumbs up because they knew he was delivering Oxygen to the hospitals.

Tim said, "As I drive by the firehouse, I look at them as heroes and when they cheered as I drove by, I felt like I was the hero. I was honored to have them do that. It made me feel like everything we are doing is worth it."

Corey Koerner shared a story of a doctor coming out in full PPE as he was leaving finishing his delivery at the hospital. The doctor asked if he was there to deliver Oxygen. When he replied that the delivery had already been made and he is on his way out, she began to jump with joy. Corey stated, "It made me feel good to know that what I am doing is appreciated by the ones needing it."

Read more about Kenan in the community here.

Bruce Power: producing Isotopes to sterilize medical devices

Four of Bruce Power’s reactors produce an isotope called Cobalt-60, which helps to sterilize medical devices, and treat complex forms of cancer. Access to Cobalt-60 has taken on a great urgency with the COVID-19 outbreak because of its effectiveness and reliability in sterilizing drapes, gowns, surgical gloves, scalpels and other single-use medical devices cleaned by radiation sterilization. The Bruce Power team recently delivered a supply of Cobalt-60 to Ottawa-based Nordion, who will process and distribute the isotope to medical facilities across Canada and throughout the rest of the world.

Visit Bruce Power's website

Premise Health: virtual care and much more

Premise Health is a leading direct healthcare company in the United States, offering primary care, pharmacy, occupational health, physical therapy and other health services. During this global health crisis, Premise Health’s team members are going above and beyond to help in the fight against COVID-19. From providers who are hard at work delivering virtual care to their clients, to health centre staff, who have taken over cleaning duties to help keep centres up-and-running, to a nurse in Manhattan who recruited her family and friends to sew face masks for those working on the front line. The Premise Health community is hard at work in this time of need.

Read the #PremiseCares stories here

VGroup: keeping the global supply chain moving during the pandemic

Workers and organizations are bravely keeping the supply chain moving so that goods are on the shelves, providing much needed confidence that we can manage through this crisis. VGroup, a global leader in ship management and marine service is one such company doing its part with its CEO Graham Westgarth noting that “92% of the world’s goods are transported by sea.” With that in mind, VGroup has implemented programs to provide guidance, increased communications and support to safeguard ships and seafarers to continue what he referred to as “business as usual, just in a different way.” In a video address, he highlights how they are approaching the crisis.

Visit V Group's website