Report from Matt Simeoni

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

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

I consider serving on the Board of Directors of our Hospital a great privilege. Although it requires an intensive commitment of time and energy, it is rewarding to be part of the quality care that is provided at our Hospital to the patients and families of Northwestern Ontario.

In addition to attending Board meetings, Directors participate on Committees of the Board: Resource Planning; Audit; Executive; Patient Safety and Quality of Care; Governance and Nominating; and Fiscal Advisory. Some of the committees also include community volunteer members who are not members of the Board.

I encourage residents of our community and region to consider joining our team for the 2020-21 Board cycle by volunteering to participate on committees of the Board. This level of involvement supports interested and committed people to gain experience and knowledge and prepare them for positions on the Board of Directors in the future. In addition to committee members, we are currently recruiting for individuals to serve as members of our Board of Directors. For more information, or to forward a resume and letter of interest, please email boardchair@tbh.net.

In addition to my colleagues on the Board and its committees, there are hundreds of dedicated volunteers who contribute time, energy and expertise to enhance patient care at our Hospital. I take this opportunity to recognize the many volunteers, including the committed members of the organizing committee of the Bearskin Airlines Hope Classic. As a result of their efforts, over $117,000 was raised this year, and more than $3.25 million since its inception. The funds raised by this bonspiel have been used for the Breast Cancer Support Group, breast cancer services, and since 2006, to help support the Hospital’s Linda Buchan Centre for Breast Screening and Assessment.

February was Heart Month, an ideal time to bring attention to the importance of cardiovascular health, and what we can do to reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease. Heart disease affects approximately 2.4 million Canadian adults, and is the second leading cause of death in Canada. We can all reduce our risk of heart disease by making healthy lifestyle choices, including quitting smoking, eating a healthy and balanced diet, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Heart Month is also an opportunity for the residents of Northwestern Ontario to be aware of the benefits of calling 9-1-1 and the expertise that paramedics bring to cardiac care, especially during the critical first hours after a heart attack. Paramedics are trained to recognize the signs of a heart attack and mobilize the patient quickly.

I would like to assure the community that our Hospital is well prepared to handle the 2019 Novel Coronavirus should any cases become present in Thunder Bay. I understand that the spread of the coronavirus may cause emotional strain in our community. Please know that our Hospital is working closely with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and our partners to implement a robust plan to monitor for, detect and, if needed, isolate any cases of the virus. People can rest assured that our Hospital is prepared to effectively manage the 2019 Novel Coronavirus and to help anyone who may have come in contact with it. We have infection control policies and procedures in place and have activated additional screening procedures as an added precaution.

I’d like to close with a reminder about the importance of hand hygiene. When performed correctly, hand hygiene is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of communicable diseases and infections. The well being and safety of patients and families in Northwestern Ontario remains our top priority. On behalf of the Board of Directors I send best wishes for health to all of you and to your loved ones.