Patients are able to get in and out of bed in Unit 2A much safer due to new bedside safety mats designed to prevent falls. The mats, which were made possible through a Volunteer Association/Health Sciences Foundation Family CARE grant, have beveled edges for easy patient transfers from wheelchairs and lifts, and non-slip surfaces and padding underneath.
Oversight for Quality is a critical role for the Hospital Board and I am pleased that the Hospital’s Board of Directors will participate in an education session on governance oversight of safety and quality. The session will feature presenters including Dr. Ross Baker, an expert on quality and safety in health care, Dr. Steward Kennedy, who will unveil the Hospital’s Quality Framework, and Dr. Gordon Porter, who will discuss quality from a physician’s perspective. Board Directors will be engaged in determining the best methods to fulfill their role in governance quality oversight.
I am extremely proud that Patricia Lang, a new member of our Board of Directors, received one of Canada’s highest civilian honour: Pat was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada. Pat’s commitment to the growth and development of Ontario’s colleges as a long-time academic administrator is a true reflection of the dedication and passion she brings to everything she does. I am proud to have Pat serve as a member on the Hospital Board, and particularly value the expertise she offers as our organization continues to grow as an Academic Health Sciences Centre. Pat’s involvement is helping us achieve our Vision of ‘Healthy Together’.
I am also pleased to welcome three new members to our Board of Directors: Mr. Michael Hardy, Ms. Joy Wakefield and Mr. Gordon Wickham. Michael is the Executive Director of Anishnawbe Mushkiki and has extensive experience in Indigenous health care administration. Joy works as a Bilingual Hybrid Staff Lawyer for Legal Aid Ontario in Thunder Bay. She offers advanced knowledge of law, business management, human resources management, and accounting. Finally, Gord is the Vice President, Northern Ontario, of Colliers Project Leaders (formerly Wickham Consulting), and offers unique expertise in Project Management, Construction Management, Structural Engineering and Cost Consulting services.
The past months have seen higher than usual numbers of admitted patients in our Hospital. This is not unique to our region; hospitals across Ontario are admitting more patients. The Ministry of Health and Long-term Care has provided funding to support an additional 2,000 beds throughout the province. New beds, whether in our Hospital or in the community, are welcome because they will help alleviate pressure.
The high patient volumes are demanding for health care providers as pressures are increased when the numbers of patients rise. I am proud of and humbled by the relentless efforts and steadfast commitment our health care team puts forth. Despite challenging circumstances, patients are always first, and I thank the dedicated staff for their professionalism and compassion.
I look forward to expressing my gratitude in person when I see many of the health care team members later this month. Members of the Senior Leadership Council and Board Directors will deliver holiday baskets to the units throughout the Hospital as a way to demonstrate our appreciation.
As we are entering the “Flu Season”, the time of year when viruses circulate at the highest levels, I’d like to remind everyone to get the flu shot. By getting the flu shot, we can all help to contribute to reducing admissions to the Hospital. Every year in Canada, thousands of people are hospitalized because of the flu. When more people are vaccinated against the flu in a community, there is a decrease in the spread of the flu. Not only does getting vaccinated support people to be healthier, it also leads to less hospital admissions. If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to get the flu shot. Please visit www.thunderbayflu.ca for a list of Flu Clinics.
Finally, I would like to wish everyone a safe holiday season!