I feel privileged to be entrusted with the responsibility of Acting CEO of Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHS).
For the last 20 years, I have been part of HHHS in various capacities and have seen firsthand the impact this health organization and both of the hospital sites have had on this community.
The last few weeks and months have been challenging for this community. As the new Acting CEO, hearing from you and working with the community and our health system partners to provide quality care to patients is my priority.
I have already started meeting with frontline staff and will continue to do outreach with the community over the coming days. On June 29 at 3:30p.m. at the Minden Community Centre, I will be hosting the first of a series of town halls to hear from you and discuss together how we plan to continue to provide high-quality care for this community for today, and into the future.
Our community is faced with a complex challenge. Like many communities across Ontario, HHHS has and continues to face significant staffing challenges despite our best efforts to grow our workforce. HHHS does not have adequate staff to safely operate two emergency departments.
Both of our hospital sites will continue to play an important role in providing care for our community. The Haliburton site will continue to operate an emergency department and an acute care inpatient unit and the Minden site will continue to provide important outpatient services, including the urgent care clinic and diagnostic imaging. HHHS will also continue to provide primary care, long-term care, end-of-life care, mental health and addictions services and community support services for the communities we serve.
More than that, I am pleased that the Ontario Ministry of Health announced that a new urgent care clinic will open at Haliburton Highlands Health Services Minden hospital site to provide routine and urgent care to the people of our community. This urgent care clinic is an opportunity to provide expedited access to health care services for our community. Initially the urgent care clinic will be open on weekends starting June 30th and planning is underway to operate the clinic up to seven days a week based on the community’s needs.
I am committed to building relationships with our patients, our staff and other health care organizations in our region so we can deliver quality care for our communities. As the co-lead of Kawartha Lakes Haliburton Ontario Health Team, I know the great things that can be accomplished when our community comes together with a common goal of providing access to safe, reliable and quality care.
The first step is to hear from you – the community HHHS serves. I am committed to hearing your thoughts and collaborating in shaping the future of health care in our community together.
I look forward to hearing from you and working with you to shape the future of HHHS.
Veronica Nelson, Acting President & CEO HHHS