Manitoulin Health Centre board celebrates another successful year at AGM

MANITOULIN— The Manitoulin Health Centre ( MHC ) board held its annual general meeting last week in Little Current, reviewing year end reports and positive financial statements, in addition to welcoming new board members.

The meeting began with Chair Suzanne Norris’ annual report. She started by noting what a successful year it had been for the organization.

“As a board we worked hard at creating a vision for our Strategic Plan and we have been very successful in ‘living our plan’,” said Ms. Norris. “The board has also set priority goals with respect to the Manitoulin Central Family Health Team project and the initial plans of development for Little Current (hospital) emergency department renovations.”

Ms. Norris noted the creation of two vice president positions as part of the new management structure this year at MHC and the support it has added in both clinical and support services.

“With this change, we have had the pleasure of hiring Patricia Morka as our new chief nursing officer and vice president of clinical services,” explained Ms. Norris. “Lynn Foster, our chief financial officer, has the added role of vice president of support services.”

“Once again our fundraising efforts have surpassed our expectations,” Ms. Norris continued. “We have been successful in the early completion of our ‘Sweet Slumbers’ campaign, which has been achieved through the hard work of all volunteers, including our auxiliaries and our community family.”

Ms. Norris also recognized the individuals who were leaving the board and thanked them for their hard work and dedication including Charles Adam, Greg Bond and Mary Alice Lewis, Paula Corbiere and Brenda Roy.

MHC CEO Derek Graham was next to speak, remarking on what a successful and exciting year it had been for MHC.

“This year was filled with many important strategic goals being realized, despite the challenging environment that we constantly find ourselves within,” said Mr. Graham.

“During the past year, through the relationships established with the OHA (Ontario Hospital Association), conversations were held with the Minister of Health (Dr. Eric Hoskins), the deputy minister (Dr. Bob Bell) and senior staff of the minister’s and premier’s office resulting in the adoption by the government of a plan to formally launch Rural Health Hub pilot projects across the province by 2016,” noted Mr. Graham.

Mr. Graham also listed the significant progress realized on many of the elements identified within MHC’s strategic plan including implementing the new organizational structure, the Manitoulin Central Family Health Team addition, planning of the Little Current MHC site’s emergency department redesign, physician recruitment, exceeding the Sweet Slumber’s campaign fundraising goal, assisting the board in launching a new Governance Committee and investigating culturally appropriate enhancements to better serve First Nations.

“In closing, let me say how truly proud I am to be the president and CEO of this fine organization,” said Mr. Graham. “Everyone associated with MHC truly cares about our patient-centered mission—it lies at the core of everything we do.”

Chief of Staff Doctor Stephen Cooper stated in his report how pleased he was with the recruitment efforts and how fortunate MHC had been in signing two new active medical staff members.

“Dr. Maryna Harelnikava and Dr. Kate Mackeracher are both relatively recent graduates and have done locums on Manitoulin, working closely with medical and nursing staff,” said Dr. Cooper. “We are confident we have two physicians who will be strong assets to the MHC medical staff.”

Dr. Cooper also noted Dr. Jocko, who replaced Dr. Huneault this year, in providing gynecological consultations on Manitoulin.

“Two years ago Manitoulin starting hosting long-term third year NOSM (Northern Ontario School of Medicine) students,” Dr. Cooper continued. “This year, Little Current will be mentoring a resident through their entire two year residency. Mindemoya WildER Med course has generated a lot of interest at NOSM and is now part of the curriculum.”

“Personally I have had the opportunity to be one of a very few rural physicians to participate in regional quality based procedure discussions, the NE LHIN (North East Local Health Integration Network) ER committee and be program chair for the NE LHIN Physician Leadership Conference,” reported Dr. Cooper. “Provincially, Dr. Stadnyk was honoured with the college of Physicians and Surgeon’s Outstanding Physician Council Award.”

Both hospital auxiliaries also presented reports at the AGM. Mindemoya Auxiliary President Mary-Alice Lewis noted that the auxiliary made several donations this year including $40,000 for four beds as part of the Sweet Slumbers campaign, a special freezer for storing chemotherapy drugs, $7,430 for a vital signs monitor and stand, $1,000 for an anti-wandering device, $8,160 for a bi-level positive airway pressure, $9,740 for a stretcher and $2,070 for three wheelchairs.

Ms. Lewis also noted that the auxiliary donated six $500 awards to the Manitoulin Secondary School (MSS) Awards Night for students going into the medical field at college or university.

Little Current Auxiliary President Dave Sylvester reported that it was a great year for the auxiliary as well as it being its 70th anniversary.

“We were able to donate towards the MSS bursary program, present Christmas gifts to the hospital patients and a gift to our New Year’s baby,” said Mr. Sylvester. “We were also able to donate $10,000 towards the purchase of a number of capital equipment items.”

Mr. Sylvester explained that the celebration of the auxiliary’s 70th anniversary was a great success and that three members were honoured with Provincial Life Memberships.

MHC auditor Kirby Houle of Freelandt Caldwell Reilly Chartered Professional Accountants reviewed the year-end financial statements. He commended the organization on another successful year financially and once again being in the black.

“You are in a good stable position once again this year and should be commended on your longstanding number of years staying in the black,” said Mr. Houle.

Following the AGM, the 2015-2016 MHC board met, welcoming new members Barb Baker, Nancy Bryce, Terry Olmstead, Ann McGregor, Michael Dennis McGregor and Judy McKenzie (as the Mindemoya Auxiliary representative).

The board reappointed Suzanne Norris as chair, Chris Bousquet as vice chair and Derek Graham as secretary/treasurer.

The board will resume this fall for its first meeting after the summer break on Thursday, September 24 at 7 pm at the Little Current site.