In 2016-17, the WRHA took the initial steps on a journey that will see the most significant change to regional health-care delivery in a generation. As interim President and CEO, it’s my pleasure to report on our progress and to share our plans for the first phase of changes that will come into effect this fall.
For too long, Winnipeg has lagged behind the national average on a number of key measures, most notably wait times for emergency services and lengths of stay in hospital. Those challenges affect the entire continuum of care, diminishing our ability to serve our community and threatening the sustainability of our system. The changes we are undertaking are necessary, and long overdue.
And so, in line with recommendations in reports by Dr. David Peachey and the consulting firm KPMG, we have engaged clinical experts across the system in designing a framework for health-care delivery that better serves our patients, streamlining processes and removing roadblocks to quality care.
These changes were announced by my predecessor, Milton Sussman, in April of 2017. On behalf of our entire organization, I want to extend our sincere thanks to Milton for his wisdom and direction in setting our course and, in particular, for his dedication to both patients and staff across the region.
I want to thank our Board of Directors, as well, for their unwavering support and guidance in our efforts to enhance and sustain quality health care in Manitoba. All of this change brings with it a considerable amount of disruption. It’s stressful and it’s hard. But our staff and physicians remain focused on providing the best care possible, contributing to discussions and challenging the status quo. I want to acknowledge and thank them – all 28,000 – for their dedication and professionalism throughout this process.
Since taking on my role in June 2017, I have had the opportunity to meet staff across the region, to hear their feedback and their ideas for improvement. Change of this magnitude does not happen without a sense of shared purpose and commitment to those we serve. I’m intensely proud of our people, their conviction and their willingness to participate fully in meaningful, transformative change – for ourselves and generations to come.
Interim President and CEO, WRHA
In my first annual report message as Chair of the Board of Directors, I’m pleased to report on what has been a year of profound change for the WRHA. Reaching both deeply into and broadly across the region’s programs and services, the Healing our Health System plan introduced in April 2017 aims squarely at addressing fundamental challenges that have impeded quality and timeliness of care for too long, to the frustration of our patients and staff alike.
The region has consistently fallen below national averages in a number of critical measures of care – including wait times – and our Board is committed to continuous improvement and innovative solutions that result in improved access, better care and efficient and effective use of resources.
Despite the disruption that is a natural and expected part of transformation, staff and physicians across the WRHA are rising to the challenge, propelled by their dedication to patients and their families. Their commitment is commendable and inspiring, and I thank them – all 28,000 – on behalf of the Board, for their professionalism.
The Board is confident that as the Healing our Health System plan is implemented over the next two years, the WRHA will emerge more focused, accountable and structured to deliver the right care, at the right time and in the right place. It is a needed framework for health-care delivery that deploys resources, both human and financial, in a manner that provides better patient care while preserving the system that delivers it. Our community deserves nothing less.
I wish to thank the Board members who retired from service this year:
|Bob Brennan (Chair)||Jean Friesen|
|Myrle Ballard||Robert Freedman|
|Maj. Joanne Biggs||Doris Koop|
|Elaine Bishop||Connie Krahenbil|
|Sheila Carter||Dr. Pravinsagar Mehta|
|Jeff Cook||David Rondeau|
|Jennifer Faulder||Rob Santos|
|Verna Flett||Bruce Thompson|
|Bob Brennan (Chair)
Maj. Joanne Biggs
Dr. Pravinsagar Mehta
Their vision, hard work and commitment are greatly appreciated.
In addition, I would like to acknowledge current Board members:
|Derek Johannson (Vice-Chair)||Maj. Catherine Harris|
|Dr. Alaa Awadalla||Kiran Kumedan|
|Bill Baines||Donald Lepp|
|Jan Byrd||Bruce Matlashewski|
|Dawn Daudrich||Dr. Judith Scanlan|
|Victor Giesbrecht||Gord Steeves|
|Raquel Godin||Shannon Stefanson|
|Derek Johannson (Vice-Chair)
Maj. Catherine Harris
Dr. Alaa Awadalla
Dr. Judith Scanlan
I speak for all of us when I say it’s an honour and a privilege to serve in this capacity.
In closing, I would like to thank former WRHA president and CEO Milton Sussman, who retired from the WRHA this summer, for his direction in launching the Healing our Health System plan. I would also like to extend my appreciation to interim President and CEO Réal Cloutier and his team for leading the plan’s effective implementation as we transform our health region, improving the quality of care and service during a time of great change.
Board Chair, WRHA