The role of the Almonte General Hospital’s Chief of Staff

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by Mary Wilson-Trider

Mary Wilson Trider4Last week, the Almonte General Hospital (AGH) announced the appointment of Dr. Michael Dolan to the position of Chief of Staff, replacing Dr. Anne Oldfield, who had served as Chief for three years.

 A hospital’s board of directors is responsible for governing the affairs of the corporation. Its role includes setting the direction of the organization through the strategic plan, overseeing the use of hospital resources, monitoring performance, and reporting to stakeholders, including the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and the community.

 The Board delegates the running of the hospital to its two employees. The Chief Executive Officer manages the operations of the Hospital and supervises the day-to-day activities.
The Board’s other employee is the Chief of Staff. He/she is appointed by the Board to be responsible for the medical and dental staff of the Hospital and for supervising the medical and dental care given to all patients.

The Chief of Staff is the Chair of the Medical Advisory Committee, or MAC. At AGH, the MAC is made up of all physicians who have active staff privileges, which means that AGH is the main hospital where they work.

Every Ontario hospital is required by the Public Hospitals Act to have a MAC. It is responsible for considering and recommending to the Board the appointment, reappointment, suspension or revocation of physician privileges. The MAC also reviews and makes recommendations to the Board regarding critical incidents and matters related to the quality of care, as well as any other duties that the Board might assign to it. Various committees exist under the MAC to deal with such topics as Infection Control, Pharmacy and Therapeutics, Health Records and Credentialling.

Along with the CEO, Chief Nursing Officer and President of the Medical Staff Association, the Chief of Staff is a non-voting member of the Board of Directors. This is required under Regulation 965 of the Public Hospitals Act.

At each Board meeting, the Chief of Staff reports on the activities of the MAC for the previous month and any other matter that the Board should be aware of. He/she is also a member of the Senior Management Team and works closely with the CEO and Vice Presidents on operational issues that affect medical care. The Chief of Staff represents AGH externally at meetings with colleagues across the LHIN and in other forums locally and provincially where physician input is required.

The Board looks forward to working with Dr. Dolan over the next three years, as we move forward with our new strategic plan.

Mary Wilson Trider is the President and CEO of the Almonte General Hospital.