News

Planning for the future

A letter from the Winnipeg Health Region

BY ARLENE WILGOSH
Winnipeg Health Region President & CEO
Wave Magazine, November / December 2010


Arlene Wilgosh

Whether you're booking a vacation, renovating your home or saving up for retirement, it's prudent to have a plan.

Same thing holds true in health care. When you know what you want, and determine the steps required to achieve it, you're able to make it happen.

For the better part of a year, the Winnipeg Health Region has been developing a strategic plan for the future. Developed in consultation with members of the community and our staff, this plan will guide decisions concerning the delivery of health-care services for the next five years.

I'm excited about this new plan because it charts a new course for the Region, one that provides a clear picture of what we are trying to achieve as an organization and how we plan do it.

At the core of this plan is the newly defined statement of Vision, Mission, Values and Commitments. You've likely seen vision statements posted on the walls of many businesses and organizations. They are designed to let everyone know what the organization is about and what it hopes to achieve.

Our vision statement does the same thing. It spells out in clear and simple terms what our goals are: Healthy People. Vibrant Communities. Care for all.

Our mission identifies the overall purpose of the Winnipeg Health Region. We're here to co-ordinate and deliver safe and caring services that will help achieve our vision by promoting health and wellness.

Currently, we're doing this with the help of nearly 28,000 people working in more than 200 funded health-service facilities, agencies and clinical programs, and an operating budget of $2.1 billion dollars.

Our values guide our actions at work. We believe that each person is entitled to care provided with dignity and respect, and we will treat each other and our partners in health care with dignity and respect.

Our commitments focus on how we will deliver care. The three benchmarks - innovation, excellence and stewardship - will guide us. These are promises that we are making to ourselves, to one another and to the public.

We want to live and breathe these words. They make up the strongest threads in the fabric of the organization. It's what we expect of ourselves and what the public should also expect of us as the largest health region in the province.

Using the Vision, Mission, Values and Commitments as a foundation, the Region has also identified six strategic directions. These statements of intent are like a compass that will be referred to as decisions are made about priorities and actions. Strategic directions are important so that we can always stay on course with our decisions. We can reach our overall goal of having healthy people, vibrant communities and care for all if we're all following the same road map.

As you can imagine, planning is critical in an organization that provides and co-ordinates health services for more than 700,000 people living in the Winnipeg area, as well as referral services and health support to many others throughout Manitoba, Northwestern Ontario and Nunavut.

While the Region's new five-year strategic plan doesn't officially kick in until April 2011, the new directions are being shared with staff, stakeholders and the general public to send a clear signal about where we are heading as we move forward.

Of course, many of our activities are already in line with these these strategic directions. In this issue of Wave, for example, you will read about efforts to enhance access to care by making available a new drug used in the treatment of macular degeneration, a debilitating eye condition that can lead to blindness. You will also read about Norah Vincent, who works in our Clinical Health Psychology Department. She has developed an innovative website application that is helping thousands of people who suffer from insomnia. And you will also read about the work of Barbara Wheeler, a clinical nurse specialist who is leading a project at St. Boniface Hospital to ensure preterm babies get a healthy start in life.

Of course, this issue of Wave also includes our regular advice columns on healthy eating, active living and mental health, all written by Region staff members, and all designed to help you live a happier, healthier life.

In the months ahead, we will continue to bring you news and information about the steps we are taking - big and small - to enhance the delivery of care. Meantime, I'd like to take this opportunity wish all of our readers a safe and happy holiday season.

Wave

About Wave

Wave is published six times a year by the Winnipeg Health Region in cooperation with the Winnipeg Free Press. It is available at newsstands, hospitals and clinics throughout Winnipeg, as well as McNally Robinson Books.

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