The North Bay Regional Health Centre is pleased to provide you with our quarterly e-newsletter update! NBRHC Well Aware is designed to keep you up to date on changes to our services, new initiatives and news that impacts our communities
A video recently produced by hospital staff explains the quality improvement system in place at NBRHC called More Time to Care. This system has been in place for the past year and empowers our staff at all levels to optimize their work processes to free up time for care and partner with patients to improve the patient experience. “We are committed to our people achieving their best through the development of More Time to Care, a management system that involves partnerships with our patients and their families in the design, delivery and evaluation of services,” says NBRHC President and CEO Paul Heinrich.” It also includes leadership development and creativity training for our outstanding team, which will allow us to become even more resilient and capable of leading major health care system transformation.” The video explains how More Time to Care came to be, and some of the tools that the staff has been using to improve processes that result in better care for the patient and their families.
Check out our NBRHC Annual Report compiled by the Communications Department! Our annual report contains a wide range of interesting stories that highlight our achievements and successes in the fiscal year 2014-2015, as well as our statements of financial position and operations, and a list of statistics on the services we offer. Through the stories compiled in this report we are able to show how we have been meeting our strategic directions: Access to the Right Care; Partnerships with Purpose; Our People Achieving their Best; Wise Choices.
Doreen Bellaire joined the Board in June. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Nipissing University and has completed diplomas focusing on speech and language, native classroom assistant, addiction care and social services. Her professional work experience includes working with the Nipissing First Nations where she was the native child welfare supervisor and a speech and language assistant with Nipissing First Nations and Near North District School Board. We welcome Doreen and her expertise to the Board.
The North Bay Regional Health Centre is fortunate to have a board of directors with a wealth of expertise and experience who represent communities throughout the Northeast region. Watch for upcoming profiles of their diverse backgrounds on our NBRHC website.
Seniors’ Education Day connects seniors and caregivers with services in the hospital and across the community. This year information booths filled the health centre gymnasium, providing everything from foot care tips to heart health and aging well….and offering advice to participants on where and how to access the best care.
“Seniors’ Education Day has proven to be a great opportunity for seniors and caregivers to gain knowledge about the resources available to them. Canada’s senior population is growing, and unfortunately many seniors do not know where to look to find timely information to help manage their health,” said Lise St. Marseille, Director of Mental Health at NBRHC.
Part of the day’s activities included a 12-minute Alzheimer’s awareness exercise. Among the participants were NBRHC President and CEO, Paul Heinrich and North Bay Mayor, Al McDonald. They donned blurred goggles, plastic gloves with rice in the finger tips, and headsets that provided annoying background noises, to mimic the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and provide a glimpse into what it is like to live with the disease. Mayor McDonald, who lost his grandfather to Alzheimer’s, commented how he felt anxious from the start, and the reality of not being able to understand what is being said, and not being able to hear or see properly hit home as he proceeded through the steps of the exercise. Heinrich stated taking part in the exercise helped him understand even more clearly how important it is to have empathy and patience with people who suffer from this disease.
“The Alzheimer’s awareness presentation allows event participants to gain a greater understanding about Alzheimer’s disease and encourages further discussion about Alzheimer’s care in North Bay and area,” said St. Marseille. The Alzheimer Society of Canada estimates nearly 15 per cent of Canadians 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and this figure is predicted to increase as our population ages.
Participants at the Seniors’ Day were pleased with the variety of information they were able to gather, some even suggested it should be held twice a year. One participant stated that it was an excellent way to get information in a comfortable environment, without having to resort to a telephone call. Plans for next year’s event will begin this fall.
The Indigenous/First Nations patients of North Bay Regional Health Centre and their families will soon have a refreshed, dedicated, exterior private space to meet their spiritual needs, on the west end hospital grounds. We serve a number of Indigenous/First Nations communities at NBRHC, but the current exterior ceremonial area was never completed and is not culturally respectful and sensitive to their needs. As a result, the area has been re-designed in consultation with Indigenous representatives from our catchment area. The area has been fenced and screened to provide privacy and protect the sacred grounds from foot traffic of both people and animals. The space consists of a ceremonial/sacred fire pit, a sweat lodge, healing circle and tipi.
Bill Butler is an Outreach Clinician at NBRHC. He explains that patients may access the sweat lodge (purification and cleansing ceremony) to cleanse and purify their spirit, to release their emotional attachments to past experiences in an effort to achieve a sense of balance and wellness. The sacred fire is used for a number of things associated with ceremonies such as the sweat, to heat the grandfathers (stones) used in the sweat lodge ceremony, or to offer tobacco in prayer when asking the Creator for guidance and direction.
Bill further explains that there are a range of sweat lodge and tipi teachings that vary from nation to nation, i.e. Ojibway, Cree. The teachings are diverse yet share a lot of commonalities, therefore various community traditional elders are utilized for ceremonies to support the diversity of our Aboriginal patients. Bill points out cultural learning is a life long process.
NBRHC’s mission is: “As partners in care, we restore and maintain health for mind and body.” The addition of this exterior space is an example of how the organization demonstrates the strategic objective -“Patients will receive services that are sensitive to culture, language and age”.
This is Phase One of a two phase initiative. Later this year we will be developing an interior space on the second floor at NBRHC. This space will provide a quiet, comfortable setting where patients and families can gather for prayer and smudging ceremonies.
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It’s estimated there are currently 10,000 to 12,000 people without a family doctor in the North Bay and immediate surrounding area. So the announcement recently that three family doctors will open a family practice together in North Bay, early in 2016 was welcome news. This decision was encouraged by the recent agreement by North Bay City Council to contribute up to $175,000 annually for the next three years, to family physician recruitment in our community.
The new team of doctors will benefit from grants provided by both the City ($25,000) and the Health Centre ($25,000). The money will assist with their practise start-up costs. The new physicians are in the process of working out the final details of their office space and will announce the location and patient intake process closer to their opening date.
Dr. Jonathan Blackadar is one of the new physician team members. He joined the NBRHC Emergency Medicine Department in mid-July and is looking forward to opening his practise early next year. “I’m excited about the opportunity to set up a practice in North Bay. I was born, raised and completed my residency training here. I value the opportunity to care for members of my home town community,” said Dr. Blackadar.
The breakdown of the funding announced by the City is that annually, $25,000 will be allocated for up to six physicians and an additional $25,000 will be contributed to NBRHC family medicine recruitment initiatives. NBRHC already allocates just over $400,000 annually to all physician recruitment (Family and Specialist). As a condition of receiving these grants, new local doctors are required to meet a series of criteria such as committing to practise for five years in the community, and taking 1,200 patients each.
“Addressing North Bay’s doctor shortage continues to be a priority for the Health Centre and we will be working with city officials to further build guidelines around this agreement,” said Chief of Medical Staff at NBRHC, Dr. Donald Fung.