Health Centre’s strategic plan seeks Island input

LITTLE CURRENT—The future direction of Island hospitals was the focus of public consultation sessions held in Little Current and Mindemoya recently, as a consultant retained by the Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC) board sought input into the hospital’s proposed new strategic plan.

“I have 13 questions for health service organizations and 11 for the general public,” said Ms. van Valkenburg. Things have been going well in the process despite the dearth of turnout at the Little Current public meeting at the recreation centre, as the consultant has been canvasing employees and community partners of the MHC, such as the family health teams in the Northeast Town and Central Manitoulin.

“Typically health centres have strategic plans looking ahead three or five years,” said Ms. van Valkenburg, adding that the MHC already had a five-year plan. “This is really a ‘refresh’ of the strategic plan.”

Part of the process is conducting ‘environmental’ scan, including the external environment in which the health centre operates such as Ministry of Health policies and procedures, the financial milieu of the government, population and health statistics and a host of other external parameters. The environmental scans also assess ‘internal’ factors, strengths and weaknesses in areas such as employees and the organization’s financial position.

Taking into account all of these factors, the strategic plan looks at the current state of the organization and what it sees as its vision, noted Ms. van Valkenburg.

The MHC wants the process of constructing its strategic plan going forward to be a highly collaborative effort, she explained.

The 11 questions being put to the general public are pretty fundamental to how the hospitials interact with the community and they include: What MHC services do you value the most?; The board of directors of MHC believes that Manitoulin Island residents are served best by MHC having two sites, please rate your level of agreement with this statement; What do you identify as MHC’s greatest strengths?; What do you identify as MHC’s greatest weaknesses?; What existing programs and/or services should be expanded, if any, and why?; What existing programs and/or services should be discontinued, if any, and why?; What new programs and/or services should be established, if any, and why?; What are the factors affecting your health?; If MHC were to do only one thing differently in order to make the most positive difference to the people we serve, what would you suggest it be?; An organization’s vision statement is meant to describe to the public, its employees and other organizations what it is striving to become. MHC has crafted one that says ‘Putting patients first, as we lead within our health care network.’ We would like your feedback concerning this potential vision statement-do you understand what this vision statement means. Do you think that this is a good vision statement for MHC? If not, why?; And finally, an organization’s vision strategic directions identify broad categories of actions that an organization will take to move toward achieving its vision. MHC has identified three potential strategic directions: enhance our patient’s experience; live our leadership role; and foster an environment that supports knowledgeable and engaged staff. Do you think that these are good strategic directions for MHC to adopt? If not, why?

The questions for community partner organizations and employees are very similar, but also include requests for assessments of MHC as a community partner or employer and requesting examples of potential collaborations with the organization.

Although public input at the session might have been light, interested members of the Island community can still have their input into the process. An online survey will remain up at www.surveymonkey.

com/s/mhcpublicinput until this Friday (April 19), an extension of a week from originally planned so that community members can provide their input.

Michael Erskine