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The Chair’s Report

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Investments for Tomorrow

The Report of the Board Chair, Geoff Watson
The 24th Annual General Meeting of the Board of Directors
The Credit Valley Hospital
120608

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In their work entitled Hospital Governance and Accountability in Ontario, authors Maureen Quigley and Graham Scott, remind us that “a director’s primary responsibility to the Corporation, ….is that the hospital is well-managed, efficiently run, patient-oriented, achieves acceptable outcomes, etc.”

As directors, we direct our employee, the president and CEO, to oversee the management of the corporation to ensure our responsibilities are carried out. It is imperative that the president and CEO is trustworthy and lives up to our expectations – in short, to maintain our hospital’s 23 year standard of excellence in patient care and fiscal responsibility.

This year, our Board fulfilled our most important role -- to recruit a new president and chief executive officer to take over the reigns when our president of eleven years Wayne Fyffe retires at the end of the summer.

Michelle DiEmanuele will assume the position being vacated by Wayne Fyffe, August 12, 2008. She is a highly energetic and engaged leader who we believe is adept at bringing out the best in people. Ms. DiEmanuele has extensive experience in managing human capital, at a time when we are challenged by an aging workforce and ongoing competition to recruit the best and the brightest. Every day we strive to manage increasing patient volumes while we do our best to achieve wait time agendas. We, as directors of The Credit Valley Hospital believe Michelle will help us to align our priorities and reach new heights in service.

Quigley and Scott, in their report, continue that “The Directors’ duty to the community is not only to pursue more money from government, but also to assure government and the community that the hospital is providing the best care possible within the resources provided.”

Constructing the long-awaited A and H wings will help us to meet our obligations to our community to provide the best care possible to our patients. It is no secret that the challenge to meet wait time targets for surgery; to find beds for the patients admitted through emergency; to safely deliver the numbers of babies being born in our community; and to provide the laboratory and diagnostic tests associated with all patients’ care has been compromised far too long. I am proud to see the Bondfield trailers, the crane and associated machinery on the site which will become our new four storey addition to the hospital. Once completed in 2011, Credit Valley will be able to more adequately serve the needs of our patients in the Mississauga Halton LHIN and beyond.

The Board is also doing its part to ensure that our growing community will have the professional care it needs well into the future. Last year the Board of Directors was celebrating the first year of operation of its Family Medicine Teaching Unit in association with the University of Toronto. We believe if we train family medicine specialists here in Mississauga, using the highly touted medical expertise available at Credit Valley, we will likely encourage a good number of those specialists to open practices in this community.

This year, the Board moved even further into future planning, by endorsing Credit Valley’s involvement in the Academy of Medicine to become a fully affiliated teaching facility in associated with the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus provided it is adequately resourced for capital and operating expenses and satisfactory financial recognition of medical staff and others who choose to teach is put in place.

The Academy will not be fully functional until 20010/11, but Credit Valley, in true fashion, is an early adaptor, having already taken on six first year medical students, affectionately dubbed “the Mississauga Six”. Credit Valley is rich in medical and affiliated professional knowledge. The Board recognizes the significance of this initiative and the commitment a good number of our medical staff have made to ensure its success. The Academy of Medicine is a three-way collaboration between the University of Toronto and Trillium Health Centre.

There are three pillars that require resolution with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care:
There are many other collaborative initiatives underway between Trillium, Credit Valley and Halton Healthcare – the three hospitals that make up the Mississauga-Halton Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). The only way we, and all healthcare providers can ensure the sustainability of our healthcare system, is to manage our system wisely. As a board we are judicious about how our hospital is managed. As a member of the Mississauga-Halton LHIN we must ensure we work with our partner hospitals to provide the best, evidence-based health care. To that end, Credit Valley professionals are involved in more than 50 LHIN and province wide-initiatives.

The MH LHIN officially became the funder of all healthcare agencies in Mississauga and Halton on April 1, 2008. The Board signed our first-ever Hospital Accountability Agreement (HAA) between Credit Valley and the Mississauga-Halton LHIN, promising to maintain a balanced budget for the current fiscal year. We did however; place a caveat on our promise, recognizing that the province made a commitment to high growth hospitals such as Credit Valley to “level the playing field”. The Board of Directors took into consideration the funding that should flow within this fiscal year to ensure our financial figures remain in the black. However, we did not make the same commitment for next fiscal year. It is too soon to project into fiscal 2009/10.

It is the Board’s fiduciary responsibility to ensure the hospital manages our limited resources responsibility and that we conduct our business in a manner beyond reproach. The Board felt it was imperative to our accountability to adopt a whistleblower policy. This enables anyone who suspects accounting irregularities or unprofessional conduct, to report their concerns anonymously. The whistleblower policy allows for an independent review of any concerns. It would only be employed when the normal process has been exhausted without satisfactory resolution, or when the complainant believes that following the identified process would be discriminatory. The Board believes this is one more step to transparency and accountability to our community.

It is imperative that our patients, families and the communities we serve are confident in our abilities to provide patient care and to manage appropriately. I, as board chair, believe in Credit Valley and all that we stand for. “Healing and Hope” has been our mantra since our hospital opened our doors to the sick and injured on November 5, 1985. We have worked hard to ensure that our philosophy of healing and hope is embodied in the way we deliver patient care, the way we treat one another and in the environment we create for our patients. Credit Valley’s Carlo Fidani Peel Regional Cancer Centre and the Vijay Jeet and Neena Kanwaar Ambulatory Care Centre has achieved “celebrity status” because of our commitment to healing and hope. The architectural design created by Farrow Partnership has won the hospital notoriety internationally from the International Academy for Design and Health; nationally from the Building Better Healthcare Awards; provincially from the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario and the Ontario Association of Architects and locally from the Mississauga Urban Design Awards.

Our board, through our planning and building committee, will ensure that our next phase of expansion and renovation remains true to our commitment to our patients, families and community, to provide caring in a healing environment.

More than bricks and mortar…and wood….we can’t forget the wood…Credit Valley has built a solid reputation because of the people who work here. More than 3,000 staff, physicians and volunteers help to heal broken bones, broken spirits and manage the fear and anxiety associated with disease. They cannot cure everyone, but their commitment to our patients and families is second to none. I am proud to call them friends and colleagues and I am proud to represent them as chair of their hospital board.

Wayne Fyffe once told me that it’s “not the leader, its’ the people at the front lines” who make a difference in the lives of the patients. That’s true. But Wayne, do not sell yourself short. You lead by example. You have accomplished a great deal over your last eleven years. We would not be celebrating connectivity with our sister hospitals through the REACH portal, nor the dig for A and H or continuing to celebrate the breathtaking design of this building, had it not been for your determination to make a difference in the lives of the patient. We will celebrate your achievements in the days and weeks to come, but I would be remiss if I did not formally acknowledge your contribution to our board, this hospital, the staff, patients and volunteers, and most importantly, our patients, and thank you on their behalf.

Before I close, I must acknowledge my fellow members of the hospital board. I am pleased to sit at the board table with such learned and highly committed individuals. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for the many hours of discussion, deliberation and dedication to “the finest hospital in Canada in the hearts and minds of the people we serve.”

 

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