June 28, 2016

RVH Board of Directors honours two long-serving members

A special send-off was held for two of Renfrew Victoria Hospital’s board members on June 23 at the beginning of the Annual General Meeting.

Guests MPP John Yakabuski and Renfrew Mayor Don Eady were on hand for the event to praise the contributions of outgoing Chair, Andy Boldt, and Director Barbara Westgarth.

“It is a privilege and an honour to be at a board meeting of the Renfrew Victoria Hospital. I want to thank all of you, first of all, for the work that you do as members of the board. This is a wonderful hospital with a great reputation and the board is a huge part of that,” said Yakabuski in his opening comments.

“I know boards are comprised of volunteers and without the people who give their time, their efforts—they put their heart and souls into it—none of our hospitals would be what they are (without volunteers stepping forward).”

Yakabuski admits he has a “soft spot” for Renfrew Victoria Hospital because of the incredible progress he has seen in his time as the MPP. “I know what a great job the board has done and I certainly know how hard Randy (Penney, RVH President and CEO) and his team work here as well.”

“Today we have a couple of special people to honour for their contributions to this hospital, through their work on the board; and I know that is only a small part of what they do in their communities,” he said.

Director Barb Westgarth has devoted nine years to the Board sitting on various committees and chairing the finance committee, Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) committee, and the recruitment committee.

“Barb, for your contributions to this board, to this hospital, to this community, I want to thank you and congratulate you,” he said, presenting her with a certificate of recognition.

Stepping down as Chair, Andy Boldt has also spent nine years with the board in various capacities.

“Andy was the Chair of the Board when the approval was given for the new dialysis nephrology unit that we are so proud of. And then he continued as the board chair until the opening; That’s just one very illustrative part of your accomplishments,” noted Yakabuski.

“On behalf of the board, on behalf of the hospital, I know how hard you worked on that, I know how many meetings I was at, that you were at as well. This is a huge undertaking, but that’s only one part of the operation of RVH. This hospital has a tremendous reputation throughout this province and that doesn’t happen by accident, it happens by great people who are led by a great board. So Andy, for your nine years on the board and five of them as chair, as your Member of Provincial Parliament, I would like to thank you, and wish you the very, very best for your future endeavours.”

Eady also congratulated the ongoing efforts of the board: “It is certainly a privilege to be in a situation like this right now amongst the people who have really put Renfrew on the map in a lot of different ways.”

“It’s the people within the town, it’s the organizations within the town that provide the leadership,” he continued. “You don’t have to look around this room very far to see the type of leadership that has been provided to the Town of Renfrew.”

Comparing the economic development of the town to a big wheel, Eady stated there are a lot of different spokes: “The Renfrew Victoria Hospital and board are one of the biggest spokes in that wheel. We see it every day. We hear nothing but good things all of the time (about RVH).”

“Congratulations to everybody who is in this room today—whether you are coming onto the board or have been on the board before and, of course, the administration staff here.”

Newly elected RVH Board Chair, Keanan Stone, provided a larger picture of the contributions from Westgarth and Boldt over the years.

As the Chair of the Finance committee, Westgarth served as treasurer of the board for a total of five years. “That’s a really significant contribution,” Stone explained. “Anybody who has sat on the finance committee knows how gruelling that can be sometimes going through the numbers all of the time and making sure that we do achieve that balanced budget that we’re so proud of.”

She was also incredibly instrumental in guiding the board through two strategic planning exercises. She helped “defining our mission, our vision and our values and setting the stage for where we want to go in the next 5-10 years.”

“Andy has led us through a balanced budget for all five of those years (as chair) as well as the four years previous to that; he did spearhead and was very instrumental in the proposal, development and approval for the nephrology centre, as well as approval for the Health Links and led us through accreditation for which we achieved exemplary status in 2013.” Stone said Boldt was key in navigating through integration process with The Ottawa Hospital radiology department and obtaining necessary approvals for the new clinic building, the appropriate land acquisitions and achieving the road allowance agreement with the Town of Renfrew.

“With Andy’s leadership throughout all of these tremendous achievements of the hospital, we have come through it very, very strongly,” she said.

Boldt says he has “extreme confidence” in Stone as she steps into this role. “I think she is going to set a whole new standard and move the bar up a lot higher.”

“It has been fun to be strapped to a rocket ship; we have all worked together,” Boldt concluded, adding that he is excited for all of the projects underway and on the horizon.

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