From the Desk of the CEO

Andrée Robichaud bust shot

Andrée Robichaud, President and CEO of Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre discusses what’s new at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC): the challenges and successes that impact the organization’s operations and patient care.

Q. What is TBRHSC celebrating this month?
Happy New Year! The holidays are a time of year when we are thankful for family and friends and we all do our best to make time to spend with those we care about.

At Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, we are making time this month to formally recognize some of the outstanding individuals who work and volunteer here. Walk the Talk awards have been given out each year since 1999 to recognize employees of the Health Sciences Centre who demonstrate excellence in contributing to the mission, vision, and values of TBRHSC.

We also recognize employees and volunteers who have dedicated 5 to 45 years of service to patient and family centred care at TBRHSC.

Q. What are your challenges?
Overcapacity is an ongoing challenge. TBRHSC is funded for 395 beds with the capacity for an additional 36 unfunded beds for a total of 431 maximum admitted patient beds. In October, 2014, the organization has had to use unprecedented beds in order to accommodate the patient population. On October 28, 2014, TBRHSC experienced an all time high of 469 admitted patients.

Last year, funding was provided by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to help alleviate pressures at TBRHSC, including allowing St. Joseph’s Care Group to create 26 new beds to help more people with long-term illnesses or disabilities receive specialized care. These beds have had a positive impact, helping to reduce the number of Alternate Level of Care (ALC) patients at TBRHSC. We continue to work with our partners – the provincial government, the LHIN, St. Joseph’s and CCAC – to address this ongoing issue.

Regardless of Gridlock, patients will be provided the care they need at TBRHSC.

Q. Can the community help?
I invite you to help shape the future of healthcare for patients and families in Northwestern Ontario.

Your input is vital to the development of our Strategic Plan 2020 – a blueprint that will guide activities and decision-making at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre for the next 5 years. Along with representatives from health professionals, health managers, policy makers, academic institutions, we need to hear from you – community members – about how we can deliver the best care for our patients.

Through concerted collaboration, the TBRHSC Board of Directors have identified five key strategic directions: Aboriginal Health; Comprehensive Clinical Care; Quality Patient Experience; Acute Mental Healthcare; and Aging Population. To share your ideas about how TBRHSC will achieve excellence in each of these 5 Strategic Directions, take the survey now at:

Through consensus, and with input from community members, health professionals, health managers, policy makers, and academic institutions, specific goals, actions, and milestones will be identified.

Q. How does this impact patients?
Our last Strategic Plan 2015 was created by hundreds of people representing health professionals, health managers, policy makers, academic institutions, and communities. They met to agree on what is most important for everyone regarding healthcare. Together, we will determine how we can deliver the best care for our patients.

Q. How will you proceed?
Community and partner engagement is a key element in the strategic planning process. Input from all 5 partners in health, including community members will provide insight into distinct issues, challenges, concerns, and opportunities.

In addition to the online survey, we will have comment cards available throughout the facility. We will also be holding a number of focus group sessions beginning this month.

Any individuals interested in participating in our engagement sessions as community representatives can contact Linda Lindsey at or call 684-6010.

On behalf of the employees, medical staff, volunteers, and learners at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, I wish you and your loved ones a healthy 2015.