Report from Matt Simeoni Chair, Board of Directors

Matt Simeoni, Chair, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre Board of Directors

April 2019

In Northwestern Ontario, chronic disease rates including obesity, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease, are higher than the rest of the province. Research shows unhealthy eating induces chronic disease and mortality. We also know that societal level actions to modify unhealthy behaviours leading to chronic disease often have a greater impact than individual efforts.

As a health care facility, our Hospital should sell foods that contribute to good health. We need to champion a healthy lifestyle in addition to providing care for patients and their families. This is the reason why our Board fully supports the new Eating Healthy Together (EHT) initiative.

Eating Healthy Together (EHT) is our Hospital’s commitment to provide a supportive, informative, and healthy food environment. It means all food and beverages offerings are nutritious. EHT is being launched this year.

Already, staff and visitors to our Hospital will notice more healthy food options available for purchase. In the mean time, more details will be made available to the public through information sessions and on our Hospital’s website.

Staff have the right to work in a safe and healthy environment. Our Hospital has made staff safety a strategic priority and is implementing several initiatives to ensure the safety of all Hospital staff, volunteers, patients, and families. By providing our staff with the right tools, training and resources to do their jobs as safely as possible, satisfaction and confidence in their jobs improves. This translates into better care for our patients and their families.

The development and implementation of safety policies and programs at the Hospital are guided by the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Ministry of Labour. Key focus areas regarding workplace violence are prevention, measurement, and response strategies.

Finally, I want to acknowledge the overwhelming response we received during last month’s call to interested Northwestern Ontario residents to consider serving as members of the Hospital’s Board of Directors or its Committees. This is a true reflection of the strong volunteering spirit in our community. It also shows how passionate our community is about having the opportunity to influence the safety and quality of care that our Hospital provides. I speak for my fellow Board members when I say how thankful we are to every applicant who applied. The interview process will begin in April 2019.