Report from Matt Simeoni

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

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

This month’s Board of Directors meeting is the first with Dr. Rhonda Crocker Ellacott, the new President & CEO of the Hospital and CEO of the Health Research Institute. Rhonda officially began her new role on November 23rd.

The Board is thrilled to have Rhonda at the helm to lead our Hospital and Health Research Institute through the development of a new strategic plan and health system transformation. She is a highly respected and proven leader, as well as a champion of patients and families, as demonstrated by her three decades of growth and success.

Rhonda joins our team during a challenging time. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada, Ontario, and locally, have risen sharply during this second wave, and the pandemic shows no signs of slowing in the near future.

Our Hospital’s staff, professional staff, and volunteers have made tremendous sacrifices to help keep our community safe during this pandemic. The Board is inspired by your relentless commitment to safe, quality, patient and family centred care. Thank you for your flexibility, resilience, and courage.

The hospital response to the ongoing pandemic adjusts to the situation as it evolves. Our priority, as always, is to protect the patients, Essential Care Partners, staff and professional staff of our Hospital and to ensure critical services are available to those who need them, while working in supportive partnership with our community and region.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, it is important that people do not neglect their health or delay seeking care. I want to remind the community that urgent care at our Hospital will always be available to those who need it, and it is safe to attend our Emergency Department to access that care. Our Hospital may also offer virtual care appointments, where feasible and appropriate, so that patients can access care from the safety of their home. A set of guidelines and principles have been developed to ensure that virtual care services are delivered using a patient centred approach that emphasizes patient engagement, the patient/clinician relationship, and the quality of care.

In order to minimize the risk of spread of COVID-19, those who do not require immediate, urgent care at our Hospital are encouraged to consider other care options, which can be found at or by calling 211. Telehealth Ontario also provides free medical advice and can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 1-866-797-0000.

If you are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19, please book a test by contacting the COVID-19 Assessment Centre online at or by calling (807) 935-8100.

Thank you for your ongoing adherence to public health guidelines. The use of masks, maintaining physical distance when possible, and practicing hand hygiene are the best defense against the spread of COVID-19. Your diligence, both inside and outside our Hospital, is appreciated. We are in this together.

Finally, I take this opportunity to express sincere gratitude to the Hospital team and our community for making organ and tissue donations a priority. The Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN), Ontario’s organ and tissue donation and transplantation agency, once again presented our Hospital with an achievement award for its outstanding efforts to integrate organ and tissue donation into quality end-of-life care in 2019/20. Organ and tissue donation is a true gift of life. One donor can save up to eight lives through organ donation and enhance the lives of up to 75 more through the gift of tissue. By registering consent to donate, you make your family aware of your decision to save lives. For more information on organ and tissue donation in Ontario, please contact Kiley Perrier, Organ and Tissue Donation Coordinator, TGLN at