Report from Gord Wickham

Gord Wickham, Chair, Board of Directors, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.

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

As we begin 2024, I hope you were able to take time over the holiday season to relax, recharge and reflect on the triumphs and challenges of 2023. On behalf of the Board, let me state how grateful we are for our dedicated staff, professional staff and volunteers for all their hard work over the holidays and providing outstanding care to patients and their families.

The holiday season saw a lot of traffic around emergency departments across the province that experienced an influx of respiratory illnesses. Here at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC), we faced many challenges, especially around a surge of paediatric patients. The number of respiratory illnesses rose at the end of December and peaked at the beginning of January. I want to commend the outstanding professionalism and collaboration shown by our teams. Their incredible work in managing through this surge resulted in continued care for all patients coming through our doors.

The kindness demonstrated by our departments extended well into our community. Support Services and Capital Facility Services departments coordinated a food drive challenge for the St. Andrew’s Dew Drop Inn. In total, 11 departments participated in collecting 678 pounds of food. The Emergency Department and Intensive Care unit brought in over 500 non-perishable food items for a local food bank. Staff from Regional Cancer Care Northwest filled 40 bags of warm clothes and personal care items for Elevate NWO. The Radiation Therapy department sponsored four youths through the Children’s Aid Society’s Holiday Hamper program. These are just a few examples of the incredible generosity our staff give to those in need – and providing exceptional care for our community beyond their work at our Hospital.

I want to take the opportunity to thank all those who purchased tickets for the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation’s historic 50/50 December draw of $3,983,185. Donations support new medical equipment, technology and infrastructure upgrades in all areas of health care. This will lead to improved access to the best possible health care for patients and families in Northwestern Ontario. The Foundation’s work in making these draws a success does not go unnoticed and benefits our Hospital, and community in many ways.

I am also pleased to inform that we continue to see an upswing in attracting new Professional Staff to our Hospital. As an academic acute care hospital, these new appointments in various specialities allows us to grow our expertise and further attract new practitioners, auxiliary staff and learners. We have an incredible facility and we are increasingly becoming the facility of choice to all who want a place to work, grow and thrive – a pillar of our Strategic Plan 2026.

Finally, I am excited to share that we are recruiting new members for the Board of Directors from across Northwestern Ontario. The successful candidates will participate actively in governance activities for a three-year term. Interested candidates are asked to submit a resume and letter of interest by Friday, February 16, 2024. Further details can be found here.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to wish the people of Northwestern Ontario a great start to 2024 and I hope this year brings you good health, safety and prosperity.