“There’s an opportunity for us to leave the past behind and present something different for the future.” – Jay Weatherill, Premier, Australian Labor Party

As the leaves start to change colour and fall to the ground, some people may see the fall season as an ending. At Osler, we see it as an opportunity for renewal on a grand scale as our redevelopment efforts at all three sites continue to move ahead at a brisk pace.

Etobicoke General
This fall promises to be a busy season at Etobicoke General as planning for a number of projects gets underway:

  • In early October, a Request for Proposals (RFP) will be issued to identify a successful vendor to supply the new nurse call system at the hospital. This nearly $10 million project is expected to begin in 2015.
  • Starting in November, the rear staff parking lot will be reconfigured to increase capacity while new lighting and panic stations will be installed to improve security.
  • The long awaited work on the western hydro lands parking areas is slated to begin in early spring 2015.
  • We’ve also started construction on a second patient washroom in the emergency department, which will be completed in six to eight weeks.

Osler is set to go to the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) stage for the new four-storey tower later this fall. In this stage, we will identify the companies with the experience and capacity necessary to design, build, finance and maintain the new wing at Etobicoke General.

We’re also on track to issue a RFP for a new Ancillary Services Building (ASB) in the coming months. Companies will be able to bid on a contract to design and build the new facility that will be home to physicians offices, hospital clinics and classrooms for our education partners. The ASB project is part of the first phase of expansion.

Peel Memorial
Peel Memorial continues to take shape as multiple cranes now tower above the site. As our construction partners at PCL prepare the foundation for the new building, Osler staff is meeting to finalize space requirements for the facility. Check out our progress by viewing our live webcam.

As work moves forward at the Peel Memorial site we’ll start connecting with the public for their input into various building elements, including colour choices for the interior. Our next community event will take place on Wednesday, October 29 at the Bramalea City Centre while a public meeting will happen later this fall to share more detailed information on building design and progress to date, as well as offer the opportunity to speak with the development team and provide input into the interior spaces.

Brampton Civic
In addition to the exciting changes to the retail food services program at Brampton Civic, the Cardiac Procedures Unit (CPU) is being reconfigured to offer more recovery space for patients following treatment. This work is scheduled to begin next week and is expected to be completed in the spring of 2015.

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” – Henry Ford

A lot can be achieved when working as a team. Osler – along with health care partners at the Central West Community Care Access Centre, Central West Local Health Integration Network, Headwaters Health Care Centre, and Region of Peel Health Services – will be hosting its fourth Telephone Town Hall to connect with people across the region about their health care services.

During the call, we will talk about how we work together to provide specialized health services to the community. This time, we will also focus on the topic of seniors’ health and the programs and resources available to them.

READ MORE: Questions and answers from the previous Telephone Town Hall

The call will happen on Monday, October 6 from 7:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. By joining the call, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Hear directly from health care leaders in your community about issues that matter to you
  • Learn how the health care system works in the Central West region
  • Ask questions and provide valuable opinions that can help us shape the programs and services we offer

All members of the community are invited to have their voices heard so please share this information with your friends and family, too. Get your name on the call list by leaving a message at (416) or (905) 494-2120 ext. 50200 or email your telephone number to teletownhall@williamoslerhs.ca by Friday, October 3.

Honour, recognition and $10,000

“The thrill isn’t in the winning, it’s in the doing” – Chuck Noll, legendary NFL football player and coach

Before taking the top job at Osler, I was an IT guy at a hospital in downtown Toronto. I’ve seen first-hand how technology benefits patient care and how a new generation of innovators is taking health care technology to greater heights.

Last year, we had huge success with our first-ever national student app contest and the launch of HosNav, our mobile app that uses approaches to wayfinding and diagnostic imaging prep to help transform the Osler hospital experience and provide better, more personalized service for patients and families. With hundreds of downloads to date, we’re already changing the way patients and families are accessing Osler.

But what’s better than one app? Two apps!

This year, Osler’s second app contest has gotten bigger and it will take just about 48 hours to find our next app. The auditorium at Brampton Civic Hospital will become app central from November 14 to 16 as teams gather to build their apps in a compressed period of time. Competition is going to be tougher as high school, post-secondary and graduate students from across Canada are now eligible to participate.

One sleepless weekend is a small sacrifice as the winning team will share the $10,000 grand prize, get bragging rights and have the satisfaction of improving the health care experience of patients and families in the community.

If you know a tech-savvy student who has the chops to compete, send them to the contest website to get full details information about how to register.

I can’t wait to see what fresh, new ideas this year’s students will bring to health care in the community we serve. Let the contest begin!

Summer slowdown at Osler? Not a chance!

Summer is a time when life slows down. The days are longer, the weather is warmer, and we take a little more time to relax and recharge. I even managed to spend some time away with my family. While many of us took advantage of the slower months, things certainly didn’t slow down across the hospital.

Over the last three months more than 109,200 patients came to Osler for emergency treatment, day surgery, diagnostic imaging tests and inpatient care. That amounts to an additional 3,600 patient visits over the same period last year. And as Osler staff continued to provide excellent patient care during a busier than normal summer, we reached a number of amazing milestones.

In case you missed it, here are the Top 5 things that happened at Osler this summer.

  1. Renewal and expansion projects start to take shape. Construction on the new Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness is now underway! We celebrated this exciting milestone and announced the contract signing by Plenary Health. At Brampton Civic, we took great care to rejuvenate hospital grounds by replacing trees and plants that were damaged during last winter’s ice storm.

    We also continue to make improvements at Etobicoke General with a number of infrastructure projects underway and to work with staff and physicians on preparing for the large scale renovation and expansion at the site. This fall, we will take the next step in the process and short-list construction companies to build the four-storey wing.

  2. Support ramps up for Osler Foundation. Local golfers hit the fairways in support of Osler Foundation’s two annual Osler Open golf tournaments, selling out both events and breaking fundraising records. At the Brampton Invitational, more than $162,000 was raised for Brampton Civic and Peel Memorial while the Etobicoke Invitational raised more than $105,000 for renewal and expansion projects at the hospital. Community support grew with a number of donations including $50,000 from LiUNA Local 506, which showed their support for Peel Memorial during their annual bocce ball tournament.
  3. New partnership focuses on better patient care. Osler, the Central West CCAC, and Headwaters have integrated ‘back-office’ non-clinical support functions to better serve patients and families in our region. This partnership is a first for the province of Ontario and is a step toward our shared vision of a more integrated, patient-centric health care system.
  4. Osler’s smallest patients become super heroes at Brampton Civic. As of July 7, new moms are able to donate their babies’ umbilical cord blood at Brampton Civic for stem cell treatments. Donations will help to build a national public cord blood bank.
  5. Taking health care beyond our community with our new Global Health Program. We announced an exciting new Global Health Program that will open doors for us to learn from, and contribute to, the homelands of the patients that we serve. As we determine the countries or disciplines Osler may focus our efforts, we are enthusiastic about the possibility of making a difference at in our local community and beyond our borders

While not on the list, I can’t forget to mention my participation in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. As health care providers, it’s important for us to support the efforts of organizations that contribute to important clinical research so that one day their discoveries may be used to help patients in the communities we serve.

It’s been a great summer and we have a lot to look forward to in the coming months.

Getting iced for a good cause

Bill Gates did it. Steven Spielberg did it. And now I’ve done it.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has taken the world by storm and yesterday I was nominated on Twitter by Calvin Millar, Brampton Civic’s Director of Security and Parking. Our annual staff baseball tournament was the perfect setting for me to accept this challenge.

As health care providers, it’s important for us to support the efforts of organizations that contribute to important clinical research. One day their discoveries may be used to help patients in the communities we serve.

So far, an incredible $53.3 million has been raised for ALS research and countless people have been educated on this degenerative disease. Learn more at www.als.ca and put yourself to the test with the Ice Bucket Challenge.

I took the plunge. Will you?

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy

Over the past year, Osler has focused on fostering bold and innovative partnerships to create a unified health system as part of our five-year Strategic Plan. We’ve made great strides in strengthening relationships with our clinical partners in the community and are now starting to build one of the most unique partnerships in the province.

This week Osler, Headwaters Health Care Centre (HHCC) and the Central West Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) formally committed to integrating “back office” non-clinical support functions to better serve patients and families in the Central West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). The Boards of Directors at all three organizations supported this move, which is a strong indicator that this dynamic new approach to patient care makes sense.

The integration of the three health partners is a first for the province of Ontario and is a step toward our shared vision of a more integrated, patient-centric health care system. Others will be looking to us as leaders, setting the example of how to collectively strengthen the delivery of health care across our region.

A new non-clinical Joint Executive Management Team (JEMT), comprised of five Joint VPs, has been created to lead the cross-sector and cross-functional team of non-clinical support staff. Each will be responsible for a portfolio that will span all three organizations with accountabilities to all three CEOs:

  • Facilities and Redevelopment: Ann Ford (formerly Osler’s VP, Development and Information Technology)
  • Finance: Dave McCaig (formerly Osler’s VP, Finance and Joint Chief Financial Officer, HHCC and Osler)
  • Human Resources and Organizational Development: Christine Nuernberger (formerly VP, Strategy and Communications, Central West CCAC)
  • Patient Experience, Communications and Strategy: Susan deRyk (formerly Osler’s VP, Public Affairs and Corporate Strategy)
  • Information Management and Information Technology; Bob Varga (formerly VP, Performance Management and Accountability, Central West CCAC)

The integration also includes the creation of two new roles that are cross-appointed across the three organizations – a new Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO), as well as a new Chief Patient Experience Officer (CPEO). Dr. Asim Masood, Headwaters Chief of Staff and Osler’s Deputy Chief of Staff, has accepted the CMIO position with a mandate to ensure that the information systems used across the organizations truly enhance the medical care of patients and clients.

A new Chief Patient Experience Officer (CPEO) will lead innovative strategies that transform the patient experiences across the hospital and community settings. Recruitment for the CPEO position will begin in the fall.

With our partners, we are excited by the possibilities to explore new forms of collaboration, and focus on joint investment opportunities, system-level planning, and ways to improve our combined ability to meet the health care needs of the patients and families we serve across the health care continuum – now and into the future.

“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion.” – Albert Schweitzer, Winner, Nobe

From the desk of Joanne Flewwelling, EVP Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Executive

While Osler has been making headlines with our commitment to organ donation, we’ve also been busy preparing for donations of a different kind. On July 7, Osler took the spirit of giving to new heights as we officially began collecting umbilical cord blood to be banked publically as part of Canada’s national public cord blood bank.

After months of planning, followed by a testing and validation stage, healthy pregnant women over the age of 18 can now choose to donate cord blood at Brampton Civic Hospital.

Osler struck a partnership with Canadian Blood Services last fall to designate Brampton Civic as one of only four hospitals – and the only community hospital in Canada – to serve as a collection site. It is a tremendous privilege to offer this opportunity to expectant parents in the communities we serve.

At any given time there are more than 1,000 Canadian patients in need of unrelated stem cell donors to treat lymphoma, leukemia, or other blood cancers. Only 50 percent are able to find a match and patients from diverse populations have an even greater challenge. Brampton Civic serves a growing, diverse community so collection efforts will be important and will help patients by providing additional opportunities for finding a match, and helping to save more lives.

With one of the largest Labour and Delivery departments in the province that delivers more than 5,000 babies each year, this partnership presents a unique opportunity for Osler to make an impact in the community, across Canada, and around the world.

Our partnership with Canadian Blood Services is just one of the many ways we are reaching beyond our walls to deliver patient-inspired health care without boundaries.

For more information about the partnership and the opportunity to donate cord blood, visit the Canadian Blood Services website.