Annual Meeting Concludes Northumberland Hills Hospital’s 2022-2023 Fiscal Year

In Local

The Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH) Board of Directors hosted their Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 22nd.

Held in person at the Peter B. & Mary T. Smith Community Education Centre on the second floor of NHH, the meeting was chaired by Elizabeth Selby, who formally completed her first year as a returning Board Chair at the June meeting.

Opening remarks commenced with a formal territorial acknowledgement delivered by Hospital President and CEO, Susan Walsh. Elizabeth Selby called the meeting to order pursuant to the By-Laws, welcoming Board Directors and Community Committee members, hospital staff, physicians, and special guests.

Following approval of the minutes of the June 2022 Annual Meeting, Michael McAllister, Chair of the Board’s Finance and Audit Committee, presented the NHH Financial Statements for the year ended March 31st, 2023.

NHH ended the year in a strong financial position, poised to successfully enter a period of growth. The hospital is able to look to the future and redevelopment needs with confidence.

Anoop Michael, representing NHH auditor KPMG, presented a positive Auditor’s Report and the audited financial statements were accepted as presented. KPMG has been the hospital’s Auditor since 2006 and, most recently, through a competitive process, has been awarded a new five-year contract.

The Board Chair’s report followed as Elizabeth Selby began her address reflecting on the achievements of the past fiscal year, which included effectively managing the operation of the Hospital during a pandemic and celebrating the tremendous collaborative efforts between NHH’s volunteer partners to support growth initiatives hospital wide.

In addition to her written review of the year, which will be found on pages 4-5 in the 2022-2023 Annual Report to the Community, Selby recognized the essential collaborations with the NHH Foundation, NHH Auxiliary, Senior Leadership Team, and the Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC), paying special mention to their contributions in helping shape a ‘new normal’ as we begin to emerge from the pandemic.

“NHH continues to find innovative ways to bring connected care close to home, create accessible care for patients and their families, maintain a responsive and healthy work environment for our hospital teams, and ensure that exceptional patient care, every time, for every person remains at the forefront of care,” said Selby. “As we embark on a new year ahead, I would like to extend gratitude to the commitment shown by our volunteer partners at the NHH Auxiliary, Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) and the NHH Foundation, who have recently launched the Exceptional Community, Exceptional Care campaign, the largest fundraising campaign in the organization’s history, and in the history of Northumberland County. To date, $18 million has been raised, including a $1 million contribution from the NHH Auxiliary.”

Selby also took an opportunity to thank Tom McLean, of Ward 2* who completed his tenure with the Board of Directors at the June meeting. Previously a Vice Chair of the NHH Board, Chair of the Operations Committee and a member of the Executive Compensation Committee, Tom has most recently chaired the Board’s Governance Committee, acted as Vice Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee, and served as a Director on the Committees responsible for Facilities and Campus Development, the Executive and Performance Evaluation Committee.

Catharine Tozer, of Ward 1*, a longstanding member of the Board, who completed her tenure last year, also conclude a final one-year term as a Community Member at the June meeting and was recognized by Selby for her service.

Selby closed her report by thanking those who offered support over the past year as Board Chair. “I would like to thank Susan Thivierge, Executive Assistant, Susan Walsh, President and CEO, our Chief of Staff Dr. Mukesh Bhargava, and the Senior Leadership Team for their support in the first year of my return as Board Chair,” said Selby. “I am equally grateful to the Board Directors and Community Members for their continued dedication and commitment to service excellence.”

Following her address, Selby introduced Susan Walsh, President and CEO, to deliver personal remarks.

In addition to written highlights published in the Annual Report, Walsh touched on key achievements from the year, which included NHH’s successful award of Accreditation with Exemplary Standing from Accreditation Canada, saying, “This is the highest-possible achievement in a rigorous continuous quality improvement process we opt in to on a regular basis and it was very meaningful as a leader and a member of this community. This Accreditation not only serves as a testament to the dedication and expertise of our team, but also provides assurance to our community that we consistently deliver exceptional quality and service.”

Also recognized by Walsh was the successful operation of NHH’s Cough, Cold and COVID Assessment Centre, formerly the COVID-19 Assessment Centre, which wound down services after a three-year run. “The second highlight for me this past year has been the slow, steady wind down of COVID restrictions, evidenced most recently by the March 2023 closure of the Cough, Cold and COVID Assessment Centre outside the NHH Emergency Department. A prime example of strength in teamwork if I’ve ever seen one, that small Centre reinvented itself on multiple occasions to meet the ever-changing needs of this community, demonstrating nimbleness and commitment to customer service that earned, quite rightly, much appreciation.”

Walsh also spoke to NHH’s Strategic Plan Framework—introduced in 2022—and the collaborative efforts between community partners that helped guide its development, saying, “Done in collaboration with community partners through the Ontario Health Team of Northumberland, we logged more than 500 touchpoints with local residents, patients, health-care providers and partners before arriving at a new shared purpose, “People First” and four proposed strategic priorities to focus on in the coming years. We validated and refined these priorities into the four-point Strategic Plan Framework that is guiding us today.”

Following Susan Walsh’s address, Cyndi Gilmer delivered the report of the Board’s Nominating Committee. The Board endorsed the Committee’s recommendation that Mike Cassady, of Ward 3* be elected for a three-year term.

Finally, two re-appointments of ex officio Board members were approved, both for one-year terms:

• Dr. Mukesh Bhargava, Chief of Staff

• Susan Walsh, President and CEO

The Board also welcomed their new NHH Foundation representative, Gavin Ivory, who was appointed incoming Chair of the NHH Foundation at their Annual Meeting on June 21st

. Elizabeth Selby warmly welcomed Gavin’s participation at the Board table in the year ahead in this ex officio capacity.

Jennifer Gillard, Vice President, Patient Experience, Public Affairs and Strategic Partnerships presented a new award, the Experience Partner Award for Exceptional Service, which aims to recognize individual patient or caregiver partners who have demonstrated exemplary service and contribution to enhancing the delivery of person-centred care at NHH.

The first recipient of the Experience Partner Award for Exceptional Service— was Patient and Family Advisory Council partner, David Harnden, of Grafton.

An inaugural member of NHH’s PFAC, David was recognized for being steadfast in his commitment to Post-Acute Care Services (PASS) at NHH, where he has been involved in improving discharge planning, patient flow, patient entertainment, patient experience surveys and COVID response, including NHH’s visiting guidelines.

“David, in addition to the work you’ve done with the PASS team, you have been a strong and steady voice in the growth of NHH’s small but mighty PFAC,” said Jennifer Gillard to David during the award presentation. “You are an unwavering champion for the voice of the patient and their caregivers and a true example of what we mean when we say patient partner.”

Elizabeth Selby concluded the meeting with closing remarks and thanked guests for attending. A motion to terminate the meeting was accepted.

NHH’s 2022-2023 Annual Report to the Community is available now on the hospital’s website. Copies are available in alternate formats on request from the hospital’s Public Affairs office (905-377-7757).

For more information on the NHH Board of Directors, please see the Accountability tab of nhh.ca. Information reflecting the 2023-2024 Board will be updated in the coming weeks.

*Ward 1 is the Municipality of Port Hope

*Ward 2 is the Town of Cobourg

*Ward 3 is all other townships within the Hospital’s West Northumberland catchment area (Hamilton, Cramahe and Alnwick/Haldimand)

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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