This past month, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care provided the Northwest Local Health Integration Network with additional, one-time funding to increase surge capacity relief. This funding will allow us to operate a total of 64 beds for Alternate Level of Care (ALC) to long term care patients. Our Hospital is staffing and operating these beds at the Transitional Care Unit (TCU), located at St. Joseph’s Care Group’s Hogarth Riverview Manor.
The TCU provides a more appropriate environment for patients who no longer require the specialized services of an acute care or rehabilitation hospital.
In addition, as a result of collaboration with our health system partners, the time patients unnecessarily wait in hospital is lower than ever, transitions between health provider organizations is smoother, and services are accessed and utilized more effectively.
The Boards for the Hospital and the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute met on November 17th to discuss a more streamlined governance structure. This constructive session was led by Dr. Richard Leblanc, an award-winning university researcher, and Associate Professor of Law, Governance and Ethics in the School of Administrative Studies, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies at York University in Toronto. Dr. Leblanc’s research and teaching interests include corporate governance, boards of directors, business law and ethics, activism, risk, compensation, diversity, sustainability and social media. An ad hoc committee comprised of members of both Boards has been struck to review and align the governance structure of the Institute to clarify its accountability to the Hospital.
The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation kicked off another Christmas Wish List campaign, which began with the popular Giving Tuesday event on November 27th. On Giving Tuesday, donations were matched dollar for dollar, thanks to several generous benefactors in our community. This holiday fundraising will allow us to purchase vital medical equipment, such as a defibrillator for the operating room (a value of $25,561). It’s important that our health care providers have the equipment they need to deliver safe, quality, patient care every day. Thanks to the Health Sciences Foundation for their tremendous fundraising efforts.
As part of our commitment to transparency and accountability to patients and families in Northwestern Ontario, our Hospital holds open meetings of its Board of Directors accessible for viewing via live webcast. This initiative allows anyone interested in learning about what leads to the decisions made about our Hospital. These online monthly meetings are webcast live via the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN).
On the day of a Board meeting, viewers can go online to www.tbrhsc.net/webcast. There, they will find a link to the webcast, a meeting agenda, and a schedule of upcoming open Board meetings. Webcasting begins at the time prescribed on the agenda, and ends immediately after the adjournment of the meeting. There’s no need for viewers to register. Simply click, watch and learn. Webcasting our open Board meetings provides patients, families and stakeholders from across the region with a front row seat on the decisions being made about the Hospital; it’s another technology we use to reach out to the public we serve acrross the vast distance of Northwestern Ontario.
As we are entering the “Flu Season”, the time of year when virus circulates at the highest rate, I’d like to remind our community to get the flu vaccine. The flu shot contributes 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 in your vicinity.
As a final note, I extend my gratitude to the many generous people who volunteer and donate in support of patient care at our Hospital. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.