by Mary Wilson Trider
Two of the most common questions I’m asked these days are: “What is happening in the upper level of 95 Spring Street (the former Fairview Manor building)?” and “Does the Hospital know about The Hub group?”. I thought I’d take this opportunity to answer both.
First, 95 Spring Street. There is a whole floor of empty space above the Ottawa Valley Family Health Team, LifeLabs, Public Health and Capital Hearing offices.
Regular followers of this column may remember reading about Almonte General Hospital’s (AGH’s) new strategic plan, which the Board approved in June.
Strategic Area of Focus #4—partnering for revenue opportunities that utilize available land and assets to better serve the health and wellness needs of the community—is intended to address the question of what to do with the empty building space and also the question of whether there is a different or better way to use the land owned by the Hospital.
Many ideas have already come forward from both inside and outside the organization. Over the next 12 to 18 months, and in conjunction with work on the other three areas of strategic focus, the Board will consider various options for using the building and land. The process it will use has not yet been determined, but we will continue to inform the community as it evolves.
The answer to the second question about The Hub group is “yes”. I first met with representatives of this enthusiastic group of volunteers in February to discuss our shared desire to have more palliative care services available in the community served by AGH.
We have had three additional meetings since then and we agree on a number of things.
One of these is that along the continuum of palliative care—from in-home support for patients and their caregivers, through clinics, day programs and residential hospice to dedicated palliative beds in a hospital setting—it is necessary and appropriate that different organizations play different roles.
Through the implementation of Strategic Area of Focus #3—leading collaborative efforts to address the needs of the community and provide access to services for aging and end of life patients—AGH will work with community-based organizations, partner health care providers, the Champlain Hospice Palliative Care program and others to improve access to palliative care services for the community.
Mary Wilson Trider is the President & CEO of the Almonte General Hospital