Manitoulin Health Centre elects new board chair

Manitoulin Health Centre

Dennis McGregor

MANITOULIN – The Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC) board of directors has voted in a new chairperson, among changes to its executive. Dennis McGregor was elected as chair. 

He was nominated and voted in as chair of the MHC board at the group’s annual general meeting held in June.

“I am looking forward to it,” Mr. McGregor told The Expositor. “I’ve had the pleasure cof working with and sitting as a member of the board for the past six years, the last two as vice-chair. I know everyone on the board and the dedication and commitment they bring to their position.” 

“I would like to acknowledge the work and efforts of our outgoing chair, Terry Olmstead, who has served as chair of the board for the past five years. Fortunately, he is staying on as a board member,” said Mr. McGregor. “I would also like to acknowledge outgoing board member Angela Becks. In the MHC bylaws, the maximum number of years a person can serve on the board is 12 years, which Angela has done this very well, with her efforts and work, namely her efforts in fundraising.” 

“I do look forward to working with the board,” said Mr. McGregor. “We have a couple of vacancies currently but these are being filled in during the summer.”

“I would echo the sentiments of others that this has been a tough year. A lot of tough decisions had to be made,” said Mr. McGregor. “The changes have been positive, and we continue to see COVID-19 being kept at bay for the most part on Manitoulin Island. Hats off to our medical and nursing staff and all those who have helped in dealing with this issue. Manitoulin is leading the way in our vaccination rates and Tim Vine and Paula Fields (co-CEOs of the MHC) have done an excellent job.”

“So far we have weathered the storm, and have moved forward with our fundraising campaign for the Mindemoya hospital, with about $300,000 to still be raised,” said Mr. McGregor. 

As a board member for the past six years, “I’ve had the opportunity to chair numerous committees. We are so far this year on target for our goals, and will hold the course for now.” 

At the MHC annual general meeting in June, Jane Hohenadel was nominated and voted in as vice-chair of the MHC board.  

A motion was also accepted by the board to nominate Tim Vine and Paula Fields to add to their roles of co-CEOs by continuing their efforts in the role of treasurer (Mr. Vine) and secretary (Ms. Fields). They both accepted the nomination.  

The current executive committee will remain in place until the first board meeting to be held this September.

Earlier in the meeting, outgoing chair Terry Olmstead had addressed the board. “It is my honour and pleasure to be able to report to you again this year as chair of the board of directors.”

“On this date in 2020 we were five months into the worst virus in 100 years and to say it was a unique year is understating the obvious. Here we are a year later just starting to see a light ahead of us,” said Mr. Olmstead.

“Let us begin by recognizing the exceptional care our staff, physicians and volunteers have continued to provide to our patients and their families this year despite the incredible pressure of living with COVID-19. We cannot thank you enough for your courage and over the top effort again this year,” said Mr. Olmstead.

“As your board, we are not only directors, but we are community members, volunteers and, often, patients ourselves,” said Mr. Olmstead. “Our skills-based membership has representatives from across the entire district and regions we serve, dedicated to represent our communities as we act in the best interest of the Manitoulin Health Centre and lead by example in highlighting our values of respect, passion and truth.”

“In these times of health care transformation, our vision of ‘putting patients first, as we lead and collaborate with our partners,’ takes on a different kind of significance as we look to our partners to see how we can better collaborate to improve the system for our patients. Our board is ready to support these changes as we work with our communities to continue to keep our patients at the centre of all we do,” continued Mr. Olmstead.

“Special thanks to Tim Vine and Paula Fields, both of whom answered the call and stepped in to assume increased leadership roles along with their current duties. Their respective teams have worked diligently to strengthen the MHC and the Manitoulin Collaborative, which continues to be a living, breathing reality. Our Collaborative is still leading the pack. Congratulations,” stated Mr. Olmstead.

“I would like to take this opportunity to offer my personal thanks and appreciation to my fellow board members for their volunteer commitment of time to MHC,” continued Mr. Olmstead.  “Thank you for all you do to support the high-quality care we provide here at the Manitoulin Health Centre and for remaining supportive during some of the difficult work we faced this year. Thanks, Dennis for keeping me on track.” 

“Dr. Simone Meikleham, chief of staff, and Dr. Maurianne Reade, president of medical staff have contributed both their time and expertise to help push Manitoulin’s immunization program to the forefront. Thank you both,” said Mr. Olmstead.

“Unfortunately, we lost Sharon Terry and Don Brisboise as members of the board this year. We appreciate their contributions as members over the past year and wish them well. We have added knowledge and skills to the board with the addition of Marcia-Trudeau Bomberry from Wiikwemkoong. Welcome.”

Mr. Olmstead explained, “the auxiliary groups in Mindemoya and Little Current have continued to drive forward but COVID-19 restrictions prevented many of their fundraising events again this year. However, we commend them for pushing through this frustration and keeping their heart in the game. Thank you for all your efforts in this difficult time. It will pay off.”

“I would also like to extend a huge thank you on behalf of the board to Lori Mastelko and Lee Ann Fawcett. Once again, they kept us organized and on time,” said Mr. Olmstead. “Thank you Lori and Lee Ann, your assistance is truly appreciated.”

Mr. Olmstead said that “the focus this year was squarely on fundraising for the Mindemoya emergency department expansion. Angela Becks and her fundraising team have made tremendous progress and we are now only 16 percent away from our ultimate target. We will miss Angela as she is not renewing her membership. A special thanks as well to Sal Brunetti for his contributions to the fundraising effort.” 

Mr. Olmstead stated, “it has been a privilege and an honour to serve as your chair for the last five years but I have reached the maximum term as chair. I will be remaining as a director. I have learned a great deal during this time and enjoyed working with my fellow board members.”

“At this time, I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to again express our gratitude to all of our dedicated staff, doctors and volunteers. It is through your dedication, hard work and caring hearts that MHC will achieve, ‘patients first.’ You truly are heroes,” added Mr.  Olmstead.