Two hospitals. One goal: the very best care close to home. AGH and CPDMH announce new alliance and shared CEO.
Almonte General Hospital (AGH) and Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital (CPDMH) have a history of collaboration. Today, the two Boards are announcing that they are forming stronger ties with a single goal: to provide the best care for local communities.
To support ongoing collaboration, the Mississippi River Health Alliance (MRHA) has been created. The Alliance is a joint committee that provides a means for both Boards to work together to identify opportunities for better care. It will make recommendations to the two hospital boards.
“About a year ago, we announced that the two Boards wanted to do more and would be meeting together to examine all options and identify opportunities for stronger collaboration,” says Paul Virgin, Board Chair, AGH. “The two hospitals are very aligned given our close proximity and shared patient population. We have a real opportunity to be a leader in the region with this model.”
“We want to improve each patient’s overall health care experience through a strong, coordinated system of care,” explains Marcel Pinon, CPDMH Board Chair. “This planning fits well with the Ministry of Health and Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) transformation agendas.”
In fact, the hospital Boards have been working closely with the Champlain LHIN to develop this plan. The plan will be presented to the Champlain LHIN Board at their April 27th meeting.
This idea is not new to our region. “Barry’s Bay and Renfrew Hospitals have had a similar relationship for more than 15 years and both communities definitely benefit from this partnership. A shared CEO has allowed us to identify opportunities to grow and secure new services for both hospitals,” notes Andy Boldt, Board Chair, Renfrew Victoria Hospital. Jasna Boyd, Board Chair, St. Francis Memorial Hospital in Barry’s Bay agrees. “There are many success stories. Our partnership has resulted in improved access to clinical services for our patients and families. We are able to build on each other’s strengths and continually respond to the changing health care needs of our communities.”
“This is not a merger,” notes Paul Virgin. “Each hospital remains a separate corporation with its own Board providing strategic direction and oversight for its local hospital. It’s business as usual for the staff, physicians, Auxiliary, volunteers and Foundation. Patients will continue to receive the same services at their local hospitals, with the same level of care.”
As part of this new partnership, the two hospitals will share a President and Chief Executive Officer. Mary Wilson Trider will assume the role in September 2016, at the time of Toni Surko’s retirement as CPDMH’s Chief Executive Officer.
“Our discussions identified a unique opportunity with regard to the CEO,” adds Marcel Pinon. “Our Board looked at many options and consulted other hospitals that have already implemented this model. This shared model makes sense, particularly in an environment where recruitment and retention of senior leaders in rural areas can be a challenge.”
CPDMH and AGH already collaborate on many fronts. They have successfully attracted funding for a new program that supports vulnerable seniors in our region. A joint pharmacy system is improving the safety of medication delivery and the hospitals share pharmacy staff. The hospitals also have one Director of Human Resources. And, the two hospitals are combining their buying power to purchase new digital x-ray equipment for both hospitals.
“It’s the right thing to do for our patients and their families,” says Paul Virgin. “We are creating a stronger voice and vision for local health care.”