December 15, 2015
RVH and SFMH share successful retreat day
Special guest speakers were the highlight of a retreat for Board members, senior administration staff, managers and department heads from Renfrew Victoria Hospital (RVH) and St. Francis Memorial Hospital (SFMH).
The meeting, held on December 8 at Days Inn in Renfrew, provided participants with some insights about developing strategies to meet health care needs now and into the future.
Andy Boldt, RVH Chair, welcomed participants, noting this first-time meeting of both Boards had been a few years in planning.
“We cherish the opportunity to share this event and hope it will encourage us to get together more,” he stated.
Boldt called on Randy Penney, President and CEO of RVH and SFMH, to introduce the first guest speaker of the day, Dr. Jack Kitts, CEO of The Ottawa Hospital (TOH).
Dr. Kitts congratulated the two Boards on having such a retreat. “You have a good line-up to inform your strategic planning, so congratulations.”
He went on to share the evolution and important aspects of The Ottawa Hospital’s strategic plan, stating that a strategy must be crystal clear and that partnerships are a key pillar to support strategies.
“The Ottawa Hospital has torn down the walls and made an effort to reach out. We need every partner,” he said, noting that the patient experience is improved when care is integrated across the system and that integration is built on trusting relationships between organizations.
Dr. Kitts remarked that TOH works in partnership with Renfrew Victoria Hospital more than any other. “How our staff works together in the interest of our patients is excellent.”
In closing, Dr. Kitts outlined challenges ahead for health care and opportunities to meet the needs of our population in the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).
Chantale LeClerc, CEO of the Champlain LHIN, told the audience that the LHIN had just completed its own exercise to plan for the next three years. She reiterated that the first step is to “look closely at the characteristics of the population we are called on to look after” and to “change to keep up to the changing population.” LeClerc said the LHIN gathered input from 5,000 people in developing its strategic plan.
She also talked about the importance of integration and collaboration, and told participants to reflect on where their hospital fits in the health system. She noted the “beautiful things you’ve done across both hospitals” and issued a challenge to take it further.
LeClerc said in an email that she and Board Chair Jean-Pierre Boisclair were pleased to be invited to participate in the strategic retreat.
“We commend you on bringing the Boards of the two organizations together in this way to explore opportunities for ongoing integration and collaboration.”
Participants heard from the third and final speaker, Chris Power, CEO of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI), after lunch. She spoke about the need for health care organizations to have a vision to change, but admitted that was the easy part. “What’s not easy is having the courage to succeed,” she said.
Power also shared her organization’s strategic plan, and stressed that it was important to “work in partnership and bring people together to develop tools for use in the system.”
Listening to our patients and their families makes a difference Power said. “It’s about partnering with them and having true conversations,” she stated.
The speakers’ presentations led to good discussion among the two Boards, who convened separately to review their organization’s strategic plan, mission, vision and values.
Andrew Wagner, a relatively new employee recently named RVH pharmacy manager, said the day motivated him to find ways to be part of change at RVH.
“It was inspiring to see colleagues from other organizations and members of the community all committed to guiding our hospitals to deliver optimal patient care.”
“The day was a great success. I’d like to express my gratitude to the guest speakers who took the time to share their experiences,” said Penney, “It was very fitting to have RVH and SFMH join together for the retreat as we continue to collaborate and integrate our services and programs.”
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