Funding announcements benefit the Manitoulin Health Centre

MANITOULIN—The Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC) has received an early Christmas present in the form of several funding announcements.

“We received a one percent adjustment increase to our base funding, which has now been confirmed by the North East Local Health Integrated Network (NE LHIN),” said Derek Graham, chief executive officer of the MHC, on Thursday. “And the beauty of it is that this funding will not only carry on this year, but in future years.”

“We understand the current economic times and although the amount is not large it is better than zero percent, and we will certainly put the extra funds to good use,” said Mr. Graham. He pointed out the one percent funding boost amounts to $140,000 for the MHC.

Mr. Graham explained “as well we have had several projects approved by the NE LHIN, through the $20 million small hospital funding program that had been announced. We are awaiting contracts to be finalized on all projects, but they will include enhanced discharge planning, quality assurance resources, and additional funding of IT initiatives to grow our electronic medical record.”

“With the contracts to be signed and the amounts to be finalized, they will benefit the MHC to over $500,000 in funding,” said Mr. Graham.

Mr. Graham acknowledged, “it is gratifying to see the small hospital funding pool continue past the last year and being a member of the board of directors for the Ontario Hospital Association, working with the government, we were able to see this come to fruition in the hospital and through the MHC. It is gratifying to have a hand in it. The time and work we all did was time well spent.”

As well, Mr. Graham explained, “working with the Manitoulin Central Family Health Team, one of the programs that has been worked on is the tele-ophthalmology to screen patients with diabetes for macular degeneration. If this is uncontrolled it can mean pretty serious degeneration of a patient’s sight.”

“A couple of years ago, seed funding was provided to screen the local population using special equipment, but the funding came to an end. We’ve been concerned, as was the Family Health Team, because we have seen the benefits of early screening. The seed funding through the small hospital fund has been restored, and the Family Health Team will be able to continue the program,” said Mr. Graham. “We are so pleased the NE LHIN is so supportive of the program with funding under the small hospital funding pot.”

As far as the capital expansion project to house the MCFHT adjacent to the Mindemoya Hospital building, “an architect has been engaged, so the work is underway on detailed planning to be done before the project goes out to tender,” said Mr. Graham. “And we, as the MHC, have asked Lynne Foster to be our lead on this,” he added.

Tom Sasvari