More effective problem solving happens through collaboration. There are other benefits as well; collaboration builds trust, and more trust means increased innovation, efficiencies, motivation, and improved satisfaction among staff, physicians and volunteers. And that ultimately leads to enhanced experiences for patients and their families.
In that spirit, on October 21 and 22, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre’s Board of Directors participated in a Tri-Board retreat with the Boards of Directors of our Health Research Institute and our Health Sciences Foundation. Our three organizations are engaged in a common purpose: to provide quality care and experiences for patients and their families. I felt the collective commitment and energy as we discussed opportunities to progress collaboratively. I am excited about our next steps, which include a working group review of the recommendations tabled at the retreat, and planning for ongoing dialogue.
I am proud of the commitment and engagement demonstrated by my colleagues on the three Boards, and thank them for giving so much of their personal time to develop more cohesive governance practices of our respective Boards.
Grant Walsh, Vice-Chair, is a member of the Operational Review Steering Committee, which is supporting the review of all areas of our Hospital, including clinical services, operations, financial management and governance practices. The operational review builds on last year’s Benchmarking exercise which indicated that we are an efficient organization in many areas, but also identified several opportunities for operational cost savings.
Doug Shanks, Chair of the Quality Committee, recently attended a Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) education session hosted by the Ontario Hospital Association. The lessons learned will support the development of the 2017/18 QIP for our Hospital. Mr. Shanks also guided a review of the Hospital’s By-Laws. Finally, I want to recognize his leadership in facilitating a review of our institutions compliance with the most recent Accreditation Canada’s Governance Standards as part of the 2018 Accreditation survey process.
Our newest Board member, Matt Simeoni, familiarized himself with our complex organization. His orientation included meeting with the Senior Leaders to learn about their portfolios and challenges.
The scope of the Board’s involvement and responsibility is evidenced by our meeting agendas. We have expanded the open Board meeting sessions to 2.5 hours (previously one hour) to promote transparency. I encourage and welcome community members to stay informed of our activities and many projects by viewing the webcasts of our Board meetings. Links are posted to our website at www.tbhrsc.net.
As an academic health sciences centre, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has many accountabilities. The Board of Directors’ role goes beyond monitoring of the Strategic Plan, and includes overall governance of the affairs of the Hospital.
One initiative is our participation in an upcoming public consultation regarding hospital executive compensation. We are planning this consultation process with provincial organizations including the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario and the Ontario Hospital Association and look forward to receiving public input.
We are engaging the same provincial organizations in the matter of the government of Ontario’s Patients First Act, formerly known as Bill 210, now referred to as Bill 41. The Bill is intended to make it easier for patients to find a new care provider; simplify the process of transferring patients between hospitals, home care and other service providers, and improve communications between family doctors, hospitals and community care centres so as to make it easier for patients to access needed care. However, the OHA is concerned that the Bill, as currently drafted, could allow LHINs to direct hospitals to make cuts to key programs and services that are needed and relied upon by the community. The Ontario Hospital Association has asked the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care to amend the Bill to address this specific concern.
Another area of focus regarding new legislation is federal Bill C-14, also known as Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID). Our Hospital recognizes the provision of MAID to a patient who meets eligibility criteria as a legal option. The support implementation, our hospital will use an ethical framework to support medical and administrative decision-making.
Finally, I take this opportunity to congratulate Jody Nesti on her recent appointment as the new Chair of the Board of Directors for our Health Sciences Foundation. Ms. Nesti’s passion to support our Foundation’s Mission to advance care, will continue to benefit the patients in our community. I look forward to our work together.