Archive for March, 2015

The Change Foundation’s 20 Faces of Change Awards recognizes NBRHC Patient Family Partnered Care

North Bay Regional Health Centre’s Patient and Family Partnered Care Coordinator, Tamara Dube-Clarke and the Chirgwin Family of North Bay have been presented with a provincial 20 Faces of Change Award.  It’s an award created to honour those who have inspired positive changes in Ontario’s health care system.  They were specifically recognized for making the health care system more patient-focused. Kathy Chirgwin was the wife of Andy, who had Alzheimer’s disease and had been a patient at NBRHC for more than four years. Sadly, Andy passed away in January of 2015.

Tamara and Kathy Chirgwin“Kathy wanted to somehow show the caregivers the person her husband used to be, someone who loved his family very much, so that they would better understand him,” said Dube-Clarke. “So we decided to work together to create a video of Andy’s life story to introduce him to his caregivers as a former policeman, a husband, father and grandfather.” The video helped hospital staff have empathy for Andy as a patient and as a person, and has been used by NBRHC as a training tool.

Dube Clarke and Kathy Chirgwin were among the recipients recognized at The Change Foundation’s Capstone Summit and 20th Anniversary Celebration at the Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel in Toronto, March 9, 2015.

“We are extremely excited to shine a light on your achievements as a leader in patient engagement and family-focused change in the province’s health care system. It is our honour to celebrate your demonstrated commitment to improving the system for patients and families with this award,” stated the Change Foundation in a letter confirming the award to Dube-Clarke.

Launched last November, the 20 Faces of Change Awards campaign sought nominations of patients, caregivers, health care leaders and practitioners, family members, community members, volunteers, and staff that have contributed to improvements in patient- and family-focused care. The 20 recipients were chosen by a specially appointed Selection Committee of third-party health care leaders who sorted through over 80 nominations from a diverse range of teams, individuals and organizations, submitted from all across Ontario.


Kathy Stackelberg
NBRHC Sr. Communications Specialist

Problem Solving Session for Physician Recruitment

The North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC) is looking for innovative thinking when it comes to the recruitment and retention of family physicians — a clear theme of the Creative Problem Solving Session that took place Wednesday night at the health centre.

The Mayor of North Bay and CAO, NBRHC, community partners, active family doctors and home based residents and students have partnered together to look for new ways to attract family physicians to the community.

While the hospital successfully recruited 10 physicians in 2014, the focus is shifted to primary care in response to the rising number of physicians reaching age of retirement and practice closures.

“There is a shortage of family physicians in North Bay, and we need to understand why. We are here to recognize any obstacles, so we can strategically plan how to overcome them,” says Paul Heinrich, President & CEO of the North Bay Regional Health Centre. “This session provides a reservoir of great information; we must identify what of this information is most impactful and take action.”

Members came together to brainstorm ideas on how to attract more primary care physicians to the city, as well as what could be done as a community to make North Bay a top choice. “We have a great lifestyle, one of the safest cities in the province and a community that cares. We have so much to offer,” stated Mayor Al McDonald. “Through this team effort, we can tell our story about how great our community is to work, play and raise a family.”

Creative Session

The meeting established the beginning of an action plan, and focused on themes like how to support physicians in establishing practices in the city.

“By expanding this task force to include additional stakeholders, we can garner further support for these physicians” says Dr. Paul Preston, Medical Director & Chief of Primary Care, NBRHC. “Our city and hospital need to not only match the standard practices of southern and northern communities, but take recruitment to the next level.”

“With continued support from the municipalities and the members of this committee, we will continue to build on this plan and further our recruitment efforts to ensure primary health care needs for our community are met,” says Heinrich.


Heather Cobbledick
Communications Specialist, NBRHC
Work: 705-495-7592
Cell: 705-498-4245

Forensic Mental Health Unit for Women included in mental health funding Announcement

The NE LHIN has announced new funding for Northerners who are experiencing mental health and addiction challenges. In total, $4.4 million was announced for projects and services including mental health peer support, care for people with acquired brain injuries, housing support, expanded forensic mental health services for women, and help for parents through the launch of a Northern Ontario Postpartum Mood Disorders Network strategy. Of the announced funding, $3.2 million will go toward developing the new women’s forensic mental health unit here at NBRHC.

mental health funding announcement

Details of the new Forensic Mental Health Service for Women at NBRHC:

The unique needs of women in the forensic mental health system requires the development of a dedicated, highly supported and secure inpatient unit to better respond to specific needs which often involves complex disorders and related challenging behaviours. North Bay Regional Health Centre has been chosen by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to develop and operate this specialized intensive treatment, rehabilitation and behavioural management service for the Province which will take into account the differences in the offending, medical and psychiatric profiles of women.

NBRHC will develop and operate an 8-bed forensic mental health service for adult women (18 yrs+) who have been found unfit to stand trial or not criminally responsible due to mental disorder and are subject to Disposition Orders of the Ontario Review Board (ORB) under the Criminal Code of Canada.

The funding announcement also includes $440,000 for a transitional rehabilitation housing program, and $100,000 for behaviour therapy. These two programs are being provided to better serve patients with developmental disabilities and subject to ORB Disposition Orders.

Following the planning and development phase, the new unit will open for patients in approximately 18 to 20 months.

Patients in this unit will stay from 18 months to three years depending on their individualized need and plan of care.

“Women referred to our service will likely have had complicated lives, failed treatments and negative clinical experiences,” said Hélène Philbin Wilkinson, Director, Dual Diagnosis and Mental Health & the Law. “As such, our long term goal will be to foster an internal change process within patients in a trusting therapeutic environment while facilitating continuity of care planning with our referring hospitals. We will work with our partners to gain their input into care decisions about the patient on an on-going basis.”

Paul Heinrich, President and CEO of NBRHC said: “This new highly specialized Provincial level female forensic mental health unit is a testament to the NBRHC team’s reputation for high quality care and demonstrated reliability. In addition, the new community investments will allow some of our long stay mental health patients who require more custodial care with support, to live in an environment more suitable to their well-being, while making hospital beds available for higher level care.”