How to be a Community Leader in 3 Easy Steps

Recently, I had the great pleasure of speaking to more than 200 guests at the State of the City luncheon hosted by the Brampton Board of Trade. I was honoured to join Mayor Linda Jeffrey and Peel Region Police Chief Jennifer Evans as we gave an economic update to the business community.

Our collective presentations provided a good indicator of challenges and opportunities facing the city and our region. While there were a lot of wonderful insights shared during the luncheon, one of the main takeaways from the meeting came from Mayor Jeffrey: “We have all the right ingredients for long-term success.”

Osler is an essential part of that recipe for success and there are three things that we can do as leaders to help build a sustainable health care system now and for the future.

  1. Don’t fear change, embrace it.

Change was one of the biggest themes of the day and in the coming years, we can expect a lot of it. As I walk around the units of Osler hospitals I can see the early signs of change in the types of patients who come to us for care. Here is a snapshot of how the demographics of our region have changed, and how they will continue to change, over the next decade:

CommunityGrowthChart

These numbers mean that we need to change the way we deliver health care in our community in order to create a sustainable health care system that can support the increasing demands for chronic and acute health care. Osler is meeting these challenges by shifting our clinical priorities to accommodate the changing needs of the communities we serve.

We are also placing a tremendous amount of energy renewing and redeveloping our spaces at Peel Memorial and Etobicoke General so we can provide high-quality care now and well into the future.

  1. There’s no “I” in team.

If two heads are better than one when generating new ideas, three heads are definitely better than two. Earlier this year, we formalized a bold new strategic partnership with the Central West Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) and Headwaters Health Care Centre (Headwaters). This regional approach to health care planning is designed to put patients and families first by strengthening the system and finding new and better ways of working together.

It’s a first in the province of Ontario and others will be looking to us as leaders, setting the example of how to collectively strengthen the delivery of health care across our region. Aligning our resources will allow us to:

  • Promote further collaboration;
  • Identify joint investment opportunities;
  • Navigate system-level planning; and,
  • Improve our combined ability to meet the health care needs of our community.

Relying on the expertise of our partners builds a stronger bond and creates a more efficient way of operating in a challenging environment.

  1. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

You’ve likely heard the adage “slow and steady wins the race.” I agree that a thoughtful and well-paced approach to change is the best way to achieve success in health care. The only difference is that the race never truly ends, we just keep adapting to new realities as they appear.

When faced with significant change Osler has reacted with a measured approach. We have started to lay the groundwork for a strategic shift from avoidable emergency visits and unscheduled patient admissions to scheduled outpatient appointments. Our five-year Strategic Plan continues to serve as the roadmap for how we will evolve health care in our community to achieve our Vision to deliver patient-inspired health care without boundaries.

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