Highlights of the Board of Directors public meeting

Edmundston, December 1, 2015 – The regular public meeting of the Board of Directors of Vitalité Health Network was held on Tuesday, December 1, 2015, in Edmundston.

Financial elements

As of September 30, 2015, the Network recorded total expenditures of $284.8 million compared to the planned budget of $286 million, i.e. a surplus of $1.2 million. The Network recorded a surplus of $1.8 million in employee salaries and benefits.

We also note several expenditure items that are in deficit, including those for medications, laboratory supplies, food supplies, and equipment maintenance.

The Network is also reporting an increase in employee overtime hours in the order of 4.1% and in sick leave hours of 2.1%.

A vision for the future: Transforming and modernizing care delivery

Gilles Lanteigne, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Network, summarized the steps taken to date to transform and modernize the health care system. “Over the past six weeks, we have had a number of consultation meetings and sessions with our community partners, health professionals, and physicians,” Mr. Lanteigne stated. He explained that the proposed vision and approach had been well received, with everyone acknowledging the need to make changes and the fact that the status quo was no longer possible. “I fully appreciate the concerns that many have raised.

In an ideal world, it would be possible to put all the new services in place without touching what already exists and then proceeding with the changes. I am convinced that a carefully planned implementation will be key to success,” he said.

The Network can count on a competent and dedicated team with an ever-present focus on the quality of the health care services provided to the population. “We are going to pursue our work in a spirit of collaboration and transparency with all those involved.”

“In Situ” Clinical Training Centre at the Grand Falls General Hospital

A centre has recently been developed in the basement of the Grand Falls General Hospital to provide rural care teams with tools for teaching, continuing education, and clinical skills maintenance. According to two of the driving forces behind the project, namely Dr. Marcel Martin and Dr. Paul Ouellet, this teaching centre can re-create scenarios very close to the clinical reality and expose health professionals to the stress conditions present in real-life situations.

The training centre is described as in situ (from the Latin for “on site”) because it provides professionals in the Northwest Zone with teaching and training on site, with no need to travel outside the region. Another important aspect of this centre is its affiliation with the Anatomy Department of the Université de Sherbrooke, which supplies the cadavers of deceased persons who donated their bodies to science. These bodies are stored on the premises, which greatly facilitates the teaching and training activities conducted at Grand Falls.

The development of this centre required an investment of nearly $72,000, with a contribution of just over $50,000 from the Foundation of the Friends of the Grand Falls General Hospital. The training activities are set to begin in January 2016.

The Network seeks to minimize patient travel

The Board of Directors’ Special Committee on Patient Travel has continued its work. The committee has reviewed the appointment booking process and analysed why large numbers of patients do not present for their appointments. The committee has also examined patient satisfaction with telehealth and has identified a few sectors that could be developed using this service delivery mode.

The President and Chief Executive Officer has also confirmed that the Network is continuing to emphasize the importance of planning and booking patients’ appointments with care to minimize their travel. “These measures are all the more important with winter approaching and the weather often making driving hazardous. Patients’ safety and wellness are central to our concerns,” he concluded.