What does it mean to “live the vision” at Osler?

As the CEO of one of Ontario’s largest community hospital systems, it’s important for me to have a 30,000 foot view of everything that goes on at Osler. However, as we continuously work to enhance the patient experience at Osler, I’ve been focussing on establishing a deeper, more direct connection with the patients and families that we serve.

Our Vision to provide patient-inspired health care without boundaries is at the heart of everything we do at Osler. It’s the inspiration behind Living the Vision, a new initiative that gives me the very rewarding opportunity to meet and to get to know some of the patients that come to Osler for care.

Living the Vision is an opportunity to learn more about our patients as people rather than focusing on the reasons for their stay at Osler. Each month I’m invited to visit a clinical unit to meet with patients and families. It is a way to really connect with those we serve so we can better understand the needs of our community.

It is also an opportunity to learn. I gain valuable insight into how we are meeting the needs of patients and families, and hear first-hand about all of the great work that is going on in the organization. At the end of each visit I always debrief with the staff to share what was heard and discuss any learnings that can help to improve the patient experience.

When patients come to a hospital for care, they aren’t often at their best. I’ve seen how a quick conversation and a simple “how are you doing today?” can immediately brighten their outlook. These small moments of kindness are what people remember most and have the power to change their health care experience.

I hear a lot of stories during my visits, but there is a common thread that runs through each and every one: the wonderful care they are receiving at Osler. It is truly inspiring to see the first-hand impact that our staff, physicians and volunteers have on the experience of patients and families.

Now that you know how I do it, how are you Living the Vision at Osler?

Foundation shoots and scores at Hockey Night for Osler

It was a night that many of us won’t soon forget. While there was plenty of excitement during game play between teams led by hockey greats Wendel Clark and Gary Roberts, it was what happened before the puck dropped that got everyone’s attention.

Before the game began one lucky lady was surprised with her own piece of ice. One of Osler’s top notch team members surprised his girlfriend by getting down on one knee to propose at centre ice. Of course, she said yes and the crowd went wild. Congratulations to the happy couple!

This was just one of the memorable moments that happened on Monday night during our Hockey Night for Osler event. Excitement continued to build as the NHL alumni took to the ice with Osler staff, physicians and supporters.

It started off looking like a one-sided game as Team Clark took an early 4-0 lead, but Team Roberts fought back hard during an exciting second period. Both teams battled it out with incredible saves and fast breakaways right up until the final buzzer, with Team Clark taking the 10-7 win. Many thanks to the NHL legends and our own hockey heroes who lace up each year in support of Osler Foundation!

During the second intermission, our own Dr. Asim Masood caught up with his teammate Gary Roberts to get his take on recovering from a major injury and the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

This year we sold over 1,000 tickets and raised more than $81,000 for Osler Foundation – a new record for this event! What makes this victory even sweeter is the amount raised on Monday night will be generously matched dollar-for-dollar by Orlando Corporation as part of its $15 Million Matching Challenge to support the redevelopment projects at Osler’s three hospitals.

Events like this would not be possible without the support of a winning team. From sponsors and donors to Osler and Foundation staff, physicians and volunteers – thank you for organizing yet another fantastic evening!

Relive the excitement or see it for the first time – check out photo highlights from Monday night!

Osler and Headwaters bring dialysis closer to home

Imagine needing to undergo a medical procedure three times a week in order to live. For more than 400 people undergoing dialysis in the Central West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), this is a reality.

Health care providers always want to achieve the best outcomes for patients and providing dialysis treatment closer to home is one way Osler is improving the patient experience. According to the Ontario Renal Network, patients who receive treatment closer to home reported a significantly better score on the dialysis stress portions of medical assessment surveys. More than 94 per cent of dialysis patients in our region travel less than 30 minutes for treatment.

This concept of providing “care closer to home” resulted in the Ontario Renal Network orchestrating a collaboration between Osler and Headwaters Health Care Centre (Headwaters) bringing the Orangeville hospital under the umbrella of the Chronic Kidney Disease Program for the Central West LHIN. This new arrangement gives patients who come to Headwaters for dialysis treatment access to the same high quality kidney specialists at both Headwaters and Osler, closer to where they live. This partnership creates an environment that enables:

  • Better coordination of services and continuity of care across the region
  • Support for the best practice model for patients with kidney disease
  • Expanded access to wide range of clinical, education and support resources
  • A higher health-related quality of life for patients who travel shorter distances for treatment

In three short months we will be moving into the third year of our Strategic Plan. And as we do, Osler will continue to explore innovative opportunities with our partners that are mutually beneficial to patients in our region and help to bring patient-inspired care closer to home. Our recent partnership with the renal program at Headwaters is just one example of how this approach is having a profound impact on patients.

In the dead of winter, redevelopment at Osler is red hot

From the desk of Ann Ford, Joint VP, Facilities and Redevelopment

Winter is often a time when we hibernate but as the temperature drops, redevelopment activities are heating up across Osler and we are excited to share our progress with the community.

We are inviting you to a public meeting to learn more about our exciting renovation and expansion plans at Etobicoke General, including the construction of our new four-storey wing. This meeting will give us an opportunity to walk you through our progress to date and outline what’s ahead, talk about the expanded programs and services that will be available, as well as answer any questions about the future of Etobicoke General. I invite you to join us at this meeting:

Albion Heights Junior Middle School – Auditorium
45 Lynmont Road
Toronto, ON

Monday, January 26, 2015
7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

This is an exciting time for change at Etobicoke General. We reached a significant milestone last fall when together with Infrastructure Ontario (IO), we issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to identify companies with the experience and ability to design, build, finance and maintain the new four-storey wing. The qualified teams will be invited to respond to a Request for Proposals (RFP) early this spring.

We are also undertaking a series of early works projects to prepare for the construction of the new wing. This includes upgrading the existing heating and cooling systems, integrating building systems connections for the new addition, and upgrading the parking area on the western hydro lands to create more spaces, improve traffic flow and enhance safety.

The Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness is beginning to take shape as the construction team has finished the excavation for the new building, poured the foundation and is working to complete the underground parking levels. With three cranes on site, the project is moving forward quickly and is expected to be completed in two years. Watch Peel Memorial grow by checking out our webcam.

Last month, we asked you to help us choose the colours and design elements for the interior. Your input has helped us choose the distinct colours and unique designs that will represent each area of the hospital in order to help patients and visitors easily find their way. We recently announced the winning elements – take a peek at what the interior of the new Peel Memorial will look like!

We can’t talk about Peel Memorial without also discussing Brampton Civic Hospital. When Peel Memorial opens, certain programs currently located at Brampton Civic will shift to the new facility. Our redevelopment team is working on master space planning to determine the best use for those spaces once the programs have moved.

Brampton Civic is also undergoing changes that will have a more immediate impact. We are in the process of expanding the hospital’s Cardiac Procedures Unit (CPU) to incorporate more recovery space that will create a more relaxing and healing atmosphere for patients who have undergone a cardiac procedure or treatment. The project is expected to be completed in June of 2015.

Osler staff shines during holiday surge

While many of us are returning to our regular schedule after the holiday season, the fast pace continues for Osler staff, physicians and volunteers. Osler is home to some of the best health care providers in the industry and the last two weeks reminded me just how incredible our team really is.

Between December 22 and January 4, more than 8,800 patients visited our emergency departments (ED) and more than 1,000 patients were admitted for inpatient care. This is a six per cent increase in patient visits over last year. We also saw an early spike in flu activity as 350 patients with confirmed cases of the flu came to our EDs for care during these same two weeks, which added to the holiday surge.

The surge continues with an increase in patient volumes caused by high demand and activity.

Brampton Civic Hospital has the busiest ED in the province – if not the country – and typically sees about 380 patients in the ED on any given day. Throughout December it averaged about 400 patients per day, with a peak of 450 patients on December 26. The ED at Etobicoke General Hospital saw unprecedented level of activity as more than 260 patients came to us for care on December 28.

Osler staff, physicians and volunteers continue to do a tremendous job of providing patient-inspired health care to all patients and their families during this busy time. Spending the holidays supporting the health care needs of the community is a true testament to the exceptional people that make Osler such an incredible place.

We expected to see higher than average patient volumes over the holidays and planned accordingly by temporarily moving outpatient clinics to increase the inpatient capacity on the units, placing medical patients on surgical units and increasing our staffing. Much of our original surge plan remains in place as we continue to experience higher-than-normal patient volumes.

As we continue to respond to the increased patient activity, we are asking the community to do its part. We’ve posted some helpful tips and information to Osler’s website and Facebook page to help you assess your health care options to receive the right care, in the right place, by the right health care provider.

Please continue to visit our website, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to get the latest information about our initiatives and ongoing service improvements efforts across Osler.

Happy Holidays from Osler!

A rolling stone gathers no moss. – Proverb

I can’t believe we’re at the end of another extraordinary year at Osler! Over the last 12 months we have made incredible progress across the organization that positions us to deliver patient-inspired health care now, and well into the future.

Our achievements could not be realized without the inspiration and support from our patients and families; our dedicated staff, physicians and volunteers; our health care partners and generous donors. Thank you for making this one of Osler’s most remarkable years yet.

Many of us turn our minds to giving this time of year. Osler Foundation has received tremendous support from donors this year, which was capped off with the generous time-limited $15 million matching challenge gift made by Orlando Corporation. Giving once this holiday season can make twice the difference.

This is my final blog of the year. Until the New Year, I wish you a very happy and healthy holiday season!

Sitting on top for a fifth year

It seems like it was just yesterday I took on the role as President and CEO at Osler. However, that was more than four years ago and time has surely flown by.

I was drawn to Osler because of its distinct culture and identity. Over the years, together we have enhanced and embraced our culture even more by celebrating diversity, inspiring teamwork, and placing our READI values at the centre of all we do. It’s certainly been quite the journey! And now – we have reached another milestone along our way.

I am thrilled to announce our recent recognition as one of Greater Toronto’s Top 100 Employers for the fifth year in a row! This designation reinforces our values and the ongoing commitment of every staff member, physician and volunteer to making Osler a great place to work. This award would not be possible without your tremendous team effort.

We have ambitious goals to change how health care is delivered in our region, and to create health services with an unwavering commitment to patient-inspired care. Without a healthy workplace created by those who work and volunteer their time at Osler, these goals wouldn’t be possible.

I couldn’t be more proud of our team at Osler. With more than 6,900 staff members, physicians and volunteers, we have a community of support and a strong team that is delivering on our vision each and every day.

Thank you for your commitment to providing patient-inspired health care every day and for making Osler a workplace worthy of distinction.