Spiritual care supports patient care at MAHC

In honour of Spiritual and Religious Care Awareness Week October 17-23, 2016, Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) is proud to recognize members of the community who play a role in supporting patient care at the hospitals.

In August, MAHC welcomed Spiritual Care Practitioner Karen Hamra to the care team. Karen became a certified Chaplain in 2015 when she completed her clinical pastoral education through the University Health Network.

Driven to become a Chaplain through her own personal journey in the health care system, Karen recognizes the valuable supportive role that the Chaplain has when people are in need. She is a Chartered Accountant by background with a Masters of Ministry and Spirituality from the University of Toronto and a Diploma in Spiritual Direction from the University of Toronto. Karen also holds a Masters of Education in Human Relations and Psychology from Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

“Spiritual and Religious Care Awareness Week is an opportunity to recognize the value of religious services and spiritual care and to recognize those who provide the care,” says Natalie Bubela, Chief Executive Officer. “MAHC is fortunate to have the incredible support of the Muskoka Chaplaincy Association sharing the cost of providing a dedicated Spiritual Care Practitioner at our sites, and is blessed with a strong network of nearly 50 faith leaders and spiritual care visitors who make themselves available to support patients during times of need.”

Research shows that spiritual care is an important part of the recovery process. The multi-faith and non-denominational chaplain supports patients, families and staff during scheduled times at both sites.

Outside of the scheduled hours, a 24/7 chaplain service is provided upon request from within the community. Pastoral care by faith-specific representatives is also available upon request to patients with a particular religious affiliation.

To learn more about spiritual care at MAHC, please visit MAHC’s website.

MAHC board appoints new directors

Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare is pleased to introduce three new Directors, appointed earlier this month to the Board of Directors following a recruitment drive this summer.

Rhonda Lawson joins the Board for a one-year term, bringing a wealth of board experience from for-profit and not-for-profit corporations. Ms. Lawson is a corporate executive who currently heads up her own human resources consulting firm.

Michael Walters has also been appointed to a one-year term as a board director, having served as a community member on the board’s Strategic Planning Committee last year. Mr. Walters is the Executive Director for the Georgian Bay Treatment Centre and has an extensive background in mental health.

Moreen Miller joins the Board for a three-year term with professional experience from the aggregate sector. She has also served on advisory boards for mining and aggregate, as well as land and watershed stewardship.

In addition, two new community members have been appointed to standing board committees. MAHC is pleased to welcome Linda Walsh and Adam Hutton to their community member role, joining Betsy Rothwell, Gordon Horne and Richard Augustine.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am excited to welcome these new members who bring the Board to our full complement,” says Board Chair Evelyn Brown. “We have a dedicated group of talented volunteers with diverse skills and I am looking forward to working with them.”

The Board of Directors is a 17-member skills-based, volunteer body with 12 elected directors. The Board plays a key leadership role in setting policies and visioning for the hospital and provides oversight of the delivery of health care in the communities that we serve. Learn more about the Board of Directors on our website.

MAHC wins award for electronic health record project

Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) has earned a 2nd place award for Excellence and Innovation in Project Execution for Cerner Implementation in recognition of MAHC’s Electronic Health Record project.

The award was presented during the Advancing Clinical Excellence Award Gala in April in Québec City as part of the Canada Collaboration Forum event, and includes a $1,000 donation that has been split between the Huntsville Hospital Foundation and the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation.

Cerner’s Advancing Clinical Excellence awards recognize partners that have demonstrated excellence in implementing and adopting health care information technology (IT) that provide quality solutions for documenting patient care and enhancing workflow processes. MAHC’s submission demonstrated how the system has provided benefits to clinicians and patients, enhanced interprofessional collaboration and enhanced processes, and increased efficiencies.

MAHC successfully implemented the Cerner Electronic Health Record system in partnership with the Grey Bruce Information Network in June 2015. The new electronic system involved interfacing nine different electronic applications that are used in nearly every clinical area of the hospital. It was the result of months of behind-the-scenes preparatory work by numerous staff across the organization to design and build the system to meet MAHC’s needs and months of training to hundreds of front-line staff and physicians. As a teaching hospital, nursing students, allied health students, medical students and residents receive a more comprehensive, hands-on learning experience with electronic charting.

“By implementing and adopting this technology, we have created more timely access to patient results, which allows faster clinical decision-making and interventions. We have also improved work processes and standardized documentation to improve patient safety and reduce risk,” says Natalie Bubela, Chief Executive Officer. “We are pleased to be recognized for the hard work that has been done to implement this technology.”

Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare: $2million donation, land offers won’t impact hospital site selection

(July 6 2:45pm Huntsville) The Huntsville Hospital Foundation today announced a major planned gift that, according to the donors, is conditional on the location of the future, one-site hospital for Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare.

Lake of Bay residents Les and Marijane Dakens want to leave the Huntsville Hospital Foundation a $2million legacy gift (as one of their will beneficiaries) with one stipulation: that any new, centrally located hospital built be no further south of Huntsville than Port Sydney on the Highway 11 corridor, according to a media release from the Dakens (see Related Articles).

“There is no question that this is a very generous gift, and while I can appreciate Les and Marijane Dakens’ desire to advocate for health care in their home community, the MAHC Board cannot be influenced by conditions that compromise the required Ministry process that we must follow for site selection for a new hospital,” says MAHC Board Chair Charles Forret. “CEO Natalie Bubela and I met with Mr. Dakens on July 2 to clarify the process we must follow for site selection in hopes he would remove the condition. That has failed to materialize. In April 2015 we received an offer of land from the Town of Bracebridge for one hospital that we also could not consider prior to the formal site selection process.”

“It is the responsibility of the Foundation to manage their donation protocols,” adds Forret. “As Chair of the MAHC Board, I am pleased that the Dakens support the Board’s decision, however the conditions of the planned gift – perceived or otherwise – will undermine the trust and confidence I believe the MAHC Board has earned in our communities. We, the Board, have a responsibility to pursue a site that is the most accessible to all those we serve.”

In May 2015, the MAHC Board of Directors unanimously voted to select one hospital as the best model to provide safe, high quality health care that is sustainable for future generations in the year 2030 and beyond.

In making this decision and acknowledging the importance of access and travel times, the MAHC Board committed to developing a single site that is centrally located to provide the highest degree of accessibility to the population serviced by MAHC.

MAHC hopes to receive Ministry approval of the preferred one-site model for 2030 and beyond by the New Year. The MAHC Board will then begin the site selection process, a process that could take up to 12 months and will involve internal stakeholders, community members and Foundation representation. The site selection process will involve criteria that have not yet been developed that ensure a rigorous, structured selection process. The Board is committed to following an open and competitive process that is accountable and transparent, and follows Broader Public Sector Guidelines.

Related Articles:

July 6, 2015, Huntsville Forester: Dakens Family gifts Huntsville Hospital $2million