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.


Celebrating 100 blog posts (and counting)

I can’t believe that this is my 100th blog post to the community! Over the last 3.5 years I’ve had the privilege of sharing some of Osler’s most remarkable moments with you.


From the launch of our Strategic Plan to showcasing clinical innovations to highlighting our work with health system partners, we’ve had quite the ride and we can only go further from here. While we’ve touched on a number of topics over the years, a few have struck a real chord with readers. Here’s a little flashback to some of the posts that have resonated most with you:

Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on the amazing work done by Osler’s staff, physicians and volunteers every single day. I take great pride in sharing these achievements with you and challenging some of the traditional thinking around the delivery of health care in the community.

I’m not the only one who thinks we have a lot to share. On the heels of another busy holiday surge, a crew from CBC recently visited the emergency department (ED) at Brampton Civic to showcase our facility while exploring alternative care options for non-critical patients at Urgent Care Centres in the community.

As one of the busiest EDs in Canada, our teams are constantly working provide patient-inspired care to a high volume of patients in a fast-paced environment while making changes to improve the experience for everyone who receives or provides care.

  • Nurse Practitioners in acute areas of the ED and the addition of more physician hours are helping us to better manage patient volumes, reduce wait times and shorten length of stay.
  • With our community partners at Peel Regional Police, Osler is working to decrease offload times and transfer of accountability for Mental Health patients in the ED so officers can return to the community faster.
  • Displaying wait times at nursing stations in the Ambulatory Treatment Centres (ATC) is helping to improve collaboration and problem solving around patient flow.
  • Our new ED Patient Experience Team is a dedicated resource that offers comfort and enhanced communications to patients, families and visitors waiting for treatment.

While we continue to make improvements to the programs and services provided at Osler, we are looking forward to the opening of Peel Memorial in the not too distant future. This new facility will provide even more care options, including an Urgent Care Centre, for the Brampton community.

Sharing our expertise at the Canada-India Healthcare Summit

Ever since we sent a clinical team to India in search of opportunities to contribute to the homelands of our local citizens and gather valuable insights on innovative practices that can be used to better meet the needs of our community, Global Health has been a hot topic at Osler.

According to data collected during the 2011 Census, more than 62 per cent of recent immigrants to Brampton and 42 per cent of immigrants to north Etobicoke are from India. This statistic reflects the importance of collaborating with international experts as we work to improve health care for the Indian community in our region, and beyond.

We’re always looking for opportunities to create impact beyond our immediate community through education and innovation. At the recent two-day Canada-India Healthcare Summit, representatives from Osler did just that as they spoke about how we are meeting challenges in our community and how our solutions can help residents in India.

  • Ron Heslegrave, Chief of Research, focused on how Osler is building a strategic research program by harnessing information that our unique community and high patient volumes offer, in order to drive health care innovation at Osler and across Ontario.
  • Naheed Dosani, Lead Palliative Care Physician at Brampton Civic, addressed the social determinants of health and their impact on palliative care delivery in global health settings while providing an overview of current research and novel interventions that address poverty, education and housing for patients with serious life-threatening illnesses.
  • Jane deLacy, Executive Director, Clinical Programs, spoke about how Telehomecare and digital health is helping Osler meet the needs of a growing population, which requires ongoing support to manage chronic diseases. Digital health is viewed a as a potential solution to improving access to health care in rural India.

As the largest health care provider in the Central West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), there are many opportunities for Osler to make a difference at home and abroad. We look forward to exploring many exciting opportunities in the future.

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:


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.

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?

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.

“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.