We’re one step closer to opening Peel Memorial

One of my first duties since stepping into the role of Interim President and CEO was to welcome the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to the new Peel Memorial to recognize substantial completion of the building, a formal ceremony where the builders presented us the keys to the building!

The bright, airy atrium with rainbow-tinted windows was the perfect backdrop for us to recognize the end of major construction of the new outpatient hospital as we prepare to open in February 2017. Not too bad for week one!

Over 150 people gathered in the atrium to celebrate this milestone including the Honourable Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, MPP Vic Dhillon (Brampton West), MPP Harinder Malhi (Brampton-Springdale), MPP Amrit Mangat (MPP Mississauga Brampton-South), other dignitaries, donors and staff. We also had quite a few local media in attendance who joined dignitaries for a tour of our new facility.

While the hospital won’t open to the public for a few more months, a handful of outpatient counselling clinics and our administrative teams have already moved into their new spaces. When Peel Memorial is fully opened, patients and families in the community will have access to a number of services including:

  • Urgent Care Centre that will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, and staffed by emergency-trained physicians and staff
  • Outpatient Procedures/Day Surgery including cataract and arthroscopic surgery, and minor gynaecology procedures
  • Chronic Disease Management focused on education and support to help people with chronic health issues (e.g., diabetes, cardiovascular or kidney disease) to manage their condition
  • Community Mental Health and Addictions Services including an eating disorders clinic, addictions counselling, and seniors’ behavioural support
  • Specialized Clinics for prenatal education, maternal and newborn care, gynaecological and obstetrical services, and services for children and adolescents
  • Seniors’ Wellness including geriatric assessment clinics, preventative care, and rehabilitation services all focused on maintaining independence
  • Diagnostic Services including x-ray, mammography, ultrasound, CT scans, bone mineral density tests, and laboratory services
  • Dialysis Unit that will gradually ramp up to 12 stations

As we continue to put the finishing touches on our clinical spaces, we’ve invited Osler staff, health care partners and the community to get a sneak peek of the building. Over the past week close to 1,000 staff, physicians, partners and members of our community have toured the new Peel Memorial, with nearly 700 community members visiting over the weekend.

We are hosting more community tours at Peel Memorial on December 3 and 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. More information can be found on our website.

The future is certainly bright at Osler as we take the next steps in our journey. We can’t wait until February when we can officially open our doors!

A brand new pair of shoes…

If there is one thing anyone can say about Osler it’s that nothing stays the same for long. Change is a part of daily life for all of us and this month marks a big one as we say goodbye to Matt Anderson and I step into the role of Interim President and CEO.

My name is Joanne Flewwelling and I would like to start by saying an enthusiastic hello. Some of you may already know me from my occasional guest blogs or from my time visiting units or attending huddles – I’m excited to be taking on this new role and I look forward to meeting more of you over the next few months as I continue rounding throughout the organization.

As I take the baton, I would like to thank Matt for all of his contributions to Osler. Personally, Matt has been a great mentor to me. He’s been a great leadership role model not only to me but to others at Osler and we will miss him.

I am incredibly proud to take on this interim role as the Board searches for our next President and CEO. One of many things I get to do is take over the CEO blog, which will be a lot of fun. We’ll continue to explore topics that are important to the health of the community while showcasing the phenomenal patient-inspired work done by Osler’s talented teams.

As we get to know each other better – I wanted to share some things about me that many people may not know.

  • There have been so many memorable moments at Osler but the one that stands out most for me was having Kay Blair, Osler’s former Board Chair, and an incredible innovator and collaborator, speak to us about her own personal experience as a patient at our organization. It was one of the most meaningful and grounding experiences I have had as she inspired everyone who was present to ‘do better’ for our patients.
  • I chose to pursue a career in health care because my dad encouraged me to explore business and health care. I believe I have a clinical heart and a business brain because of his influence. For me, it is the best of both worlds
  • I look forward to continuing to serve our community through the opening of Peel Memorial and ensuring our exciting redevelopment projects at Etobicoke General continue at the current pace so we can have modern facilities to provide safe, quality, and patient-inspired care.
  • While being in a leadership role requires spending a lot of time at the office, I enjoy my down time as much as you. My favourite ways to unwind is by spending quality time with my family and friends, and when time permits enjoying outdoor sports. I am really looking forward to snowshoeing and skiing this winter.
  • There have been many people who have inspired me throughout my life and career but I would say that Chris Power, CEO of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, has inspired me the most. This is because as she progressively took on new roles of responsibility on her journey to become CEO, she exhibited a balance between personal connections, business innovation and advocating for patient safety.

Now that you know a little more about me, I want to hear from you – staff, physicians and members of the Osler community. Submitting a comment or a question is often the first step to starting important conversations. So, fire away! I’m looking forward to getting to know you and sharing some of the important work happening at Osler.

This is Matthew Anderson, signing off

When I announced my departure in August, I didn’t think that my last day would come so quickly.

In the days since my announcement, so many people have come up to wish me well as I take the next step in my career. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to speak with me in the halls, pull me aside in meetings and send notes to wish me well. It’s truly humbling and now the big day is here.

While my last day at Osler is November 3, I have been working closely with my colleagues on the senior leadership team to execute a transition plan to hand over my responsibilities and set our hospital system up for a successful future. Seeing it all fall into place is bittersweet, but I have no doubt that Joanne Flewwelling, Osler’s Interim CEO, is more than up to the task.

I’m proud of all that we’ve done together to put Osler on course for an incredible journey; one that sees Osler transforming health care at the local level and forging ahead as an innovative leader in the province.

Together, we’ve:

  • Implemented our first-ever five year strategic plan that is establishing Osler as a leader in the delivery of innovative health care;
  • Introduced and expanded essential clinical programs that are helping us manage unprecedented patient volumes;
  • Launched redevelopment projects at Brampton Civic, Etobicoke General and Peel Memorial;
  • Made a conscious decision to involve patients and families, not only in their care, but in the creation of services; and,
  • Developed strong relationships with partners across the health care system to support the delivery of truly integrated care to patients in the Central West region.

And all of this was done in just six short years. It’s awe-inspiring when you think about it.

Change is never easy but often times, it is the right time to move on. I feel this way about leaving Osler. I have the rare opportunity to help improve the health care system in the community my family calls home, and it’s an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.

Before I sign off, I want to thank each and every person who I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past six years. As I mentioned, we’ve achieved so many amazing things together.

From Osler’s team of talented staff, physicians and volunteers; to our regional partners at Central West CCAC, Headwaters and the Central West LHIN who have helped to advance our ambitious integrated approach to care; to the patients and families I’ve met through my Living the Vision rounds; to our friends at the cities of Brampton and Toronto, as well as Queen’s Park, who championed the redevelopment of Peel Memorial and Etobicoke General; to our Board of Directors who firmly believe in the work that we do – THANK YOU for one heck of a ride.

Everyone needs to get “armed” against the flu

This guest blog is from Joanne Flewwelling, Executive Vice President, Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Executive

After a summer of record breaking temperatures we’re finally moving into some cooler months. One of the ways I always prepare for the change in seasons is by getting vaccinated against the flu.

Last week, Osler kicked off its annual flu immunization campaign for staff, physicians and volunteers. This year’s theme is Arm Yourself Against the Flu!

Vaccination is a personal choice. There are many reasons why I choose to get vaccinated and just as many reasons why you may not, but the benefits far outweigh the risks. Here are a few flu facts that can help you make the decision to vaccinate:

  • The flu vaccine is safe for most people, even though you may experience some mild soreness or swelling where the vaccine was given. Serious reactions are rare.
  • Whether you work in a health care setting or not, getting the flu can affect you and the people you care about. Young children and seniors are more prone to serious complications from the flu.
  • The flu vaccine is safe for pregnant women who are at a higher risk of developing complications, such as pneumonia, from the flu.
  • People living with chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or cancer, have a higher risk of flu-related complications.
  • The flu vaccine helps protect you from getting the flu as well as preventing many illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths due to the flu.

I encourage you to do your part in supporting a healthy community at work, at home and beyond. There are plenty of opportunities to get vaccinated against the flu in the community:

  • See if your work place offers flu vaccination clinics;
  • Attend a flu clinic in your community (Brampton / Etobicoke); or,
  • Make an appointment with your family doctor or visit a local pharmacy to get vaccinated.

As health care providers, we have a responsibility to protect not just our patients and families, but our colleagues and ourselves. Show your commitment to patient-inspired health care by getting vaccinated.

Marking Osler’s support for patients during Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This week’s guest blogger is Joanne Flewwelling, Executive VP Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Executive

Did you know that one in nine women are affected by breast cancer during their lifetime? Or that breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women? October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and these sobering statistics remind us how important it is to provide innovative care to support patients with breast cancer.

Rapid Diagnostic and Breast Support Clinic
In March, Osler launched a Rapid Diagnostic and Breast Support Clinic in partnership with Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) to provide faster access to care for patients with breast cancer. After a successful ambulatory care review, the department of surgery introduced a collaborative model of care that taps into the talents of a multi-disciplinary team of clinicians from surgery, oncology, diagnostic imaging and pathology. The model puts the patient firmly at the centre of the process, bringing the team to the patient in the Breast Support Clinic within days of the diagnosis, then linking surgical time to that visit. The introduction of a dedicated nurse navigator also helps guide patients through the clinic and facilitate their treatment plan.

This innovative clinic is improving the delivery of cancer care at Osler by reducing wait times for all diagnostics and treatments, enabling more streamlined care, continuing to provide care to patients screened at Osler so they don’t need to seek treatment elsewhere, and improving the overall patient experience. We will also provide predictable wait times for oncology referrals to other treatment options across the health care system so patients who choose to receive care elsewhere can be informed of their options.

Perhaps the biggest goal for the clinic is to reduce the wait time from mammogram to surgery; currently more than 75% of Osler patients with breast cancer are having surgery within 24 days, compared to the provincial average of 64 days. Moreover, patient satisfaction has been evaluated at 100 per cent. While it’s still early days, the team is off to an excellent start!

Many new Canadians call the communities we serve home and according to CCO, women in this group are an under-screened group for breast cancer. Osler’s diagnostic imaging team is teaming up with the Mississauga-Halton Central West Regional Cancer Program to host a “mammothon” at Brampton Civic and Etobicoke General Hospitals on October 20. This one-day breast screening blitz will provide women aged 50-74 the opportunity to experience preventative health care at its best.

Osler is continuing to build strong partnerships, like these two examples with CCO, that enable us to continue leading the way in providing innovative health care delivered with compassion.

Leaving Osler ahead by a century

You may not know this about me, but I’m a huge music fan. Earlier this month I had the chance to see one of my favourite bands, The Tragically Hip, take the stage during their final tour. Watching the band play through their catalogue of quintessentially Canadian hits was bittersweet as I knew that this was the end of an era.

While this news is not nearly of the same calibre, many of you have heard that I’ll be leaving Osler this fall. This was not an easy decision to make but it’s the right one.

At Osler, we are committed to providing world-class care closer to home and I’ll have an opportunity to do just that for my own local community in my new role as President and CEO of Lakeridge Health in Oshawa. This move presents an exciting opportunity for me to take the considerable learnings from Osler’s evolution to help create a brand new organization, build a new hospital and improve the health of patients and families in the community my family calls home.

Although this was a very difficult decision, what made it a little bit easier was knowing that Osler is in a great position to continue providing excellent care and services to the community it serves in the Central West. We have an amazing leadership group and wonderful teams throughout Osler that will continue to move forward with the ambitious strategic agenda we have been working so hard to achieve.

In the coming weeks we’re creating a transition plan to set the stage for Joanne Flewwelling, EVP Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Executive, to step into the role of Interim President and CEO. She is a remarkable leader who inspires everyone around her with such Grace, Too (for you Hip fans out there), and her considerable talents will propel Osler to success as we complete Accreditation, open Peel Memorial and expand Etobicoke General. With the strong leadership of Dr. Frank Martino, Dr. Naveed Mohammad and the entire Senior Leadership Team at her side, we can rest assured that Osler is in safe hands.

Osler is incredibly fortunate to have a team of outstanding leaders throughout the organization who are willing to go beyond in times of change.

It’s hard to believe I came to Osler just over six years ago! In that time we’ve dramatically transformed Osler from a community hospital system into a provincial leader in delivering innovative health care. I couldn’t be more proud of our achievements, and this just scratches the surface:

  • Developing our first-ever five year strategic plan, in which you played a critical role;
  • Introducing and expanding clinical programs that are essential to the health of this community;
  • Focusing on the needs of patients and their families to create the best possible experience;
  • Continuing to provide exemplary care in the face of unprecedented volumes; and,
  • Strengthening our administrative and clinical relationships with our system partners.

Together we had the courage to advocate for change to improve our local health care system for patients and their families. It wasn’t always easy but it was our Music at Work :)  Through it all, I’ve enjoyed my time here and will truly miss it.

While I may have been at the helm during this transformational time, our success has been a full team effort including every member of the Osler family – from staff, physicians, and volunteers to our health care partners. We should all be proud of what we’ve achieved together in such a short time to deliver patient-inspired health care without boundaries to everyone who comes through our doors. It has always been a team effort from incredible folks across the entire organization and that won’t change.

Osler is truly a place like none other. I’m confident that with our wonderful team, and holding true to our values, you will continue to do amazing things for patients and families in the Central West region. A final paraphrase of the legendary words of Gord Downie, the work we have all done together to set Osler up for a successful future has put us Ahead by a Century.

Hugh and Catherine’s 65-year health care journey at Osler

Every day we touch the lives of patients and their families – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I believe you can never underestimate the impact of the care you provide regardless of how you help during the patient journey.

A few weeks ago, I received a letter from John Birks, thanking Osler for the wonderful care his parents – Catherine, 95, and Hugh, 99 – have received at Osler hospitals over the past 65 years. John credits his parents’ long life partially to the care they have received at Osler.

Hugh and Catherine have the distinction of being Brampton’s oldest and longest married couple. Throughout their lives, they have been treated at Peel Memorial and Brampton Civic hospitals. From Emergency to Cardiology, Urology to Palliative, Surgery to Intensive Care and many more, John shared stories of the incredible care his family has received.

Both Hugh and Catherine are living well into their 90s. The constant care, dedication, compassion and professionalism provided by the Osler team have no doubt made a difference in their lives. It is always a pleasure to hear about how Osler staff, physicians and volunteers make a difference in the community. As Osler continues to grow and evolve, I know our team will continue to be committed to providing patient-inspired health care without boundaries.

Hugh and Catherine’s story is a testament to the value of providing an excellent patient experience at every point in the health care journey. I’m always in awe of the many compliments we receive about the care provided at Osler hospitals and it proves how our teams come together to bring our Vision to life by ensuring that truly patient-inspired care is at the heart of everything we do.

I hope this story of gratitude continues to remind us how innovative care delivered with compassion from staff, physicians and volunteers plays an essential role in creating a positive patient experience, every day.

On August 20, Hugh and Catherine will celebrate their 71st wedding anniversary. This is an incredible milestone that very few couples reach and I couldn’t be more thrilled for them. On behalf of everyone at Osler, congratulations on your anniversary and we wish you continued health and happiness!