South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) appoints external reviewer in London

LONDON, ON, May 19 /CNW/ - At its Board Committee meeting on May 11, 2011, the South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) Board of Directors recommended the appointment of an external reviewer to review clinical coverage at the St. Joseph's Health Care London urgent care centre and at both the University Hospital and Victoria Hospital emergency departments of London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC).

The South West LHIN has selected Dr. Kevin Smith, President and CEO of St. Joseph's Health System in Hamilton as the external reviewer.  Dr. Smith will be responsible for providing an action plan to the South West LHIN with recommendations for both St. Joseph's and LHSC that will be intended to ensure optimal use of the urgent care centre and appropriate clinical coverage in the city of London urgent care centre and emergency department system.

The Board's decision to proceed with the appointment of an external reviewer is in response to the continued reduction of service hours at the St. Joseph's urgent care centre due to challenges in ensuring physician coverage. One of the two strategic directions of the South West LHIN is to enhance access and sustainability of hospital-based treatment and care related to emergency services. The LHIN's goal is to ensure access to care in the right place at the right time and to address challenges such as shortages of specialized staff.

QUOTES

"We know the important role that the urgent care centre plays in the city of London. For many patients, it is the right place to go for care. It also allows our busy emergency rooms to focus on patients who require emergency care. We are committed to working closely with Dr. Smith, the London hospitals and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to come up with better solutions. We need to get this right."  - Jeff Low, Chair, South West LHIN Board of Directors

"I am hopeful that positive, innovative solutions can result from focused attention on the difficulties of recruitment across our sites. I am looking forward to Dr. Smith's report." - Dr. Gary Joubert, Head of Emergency Medicine, London Health Sciences Centre & St. Joseph's Health Care, London

"We welcome the opportunity to work with Dr. Smith on this issue, as we continue to do everything in our power to resolve this human resource issue. We remain committed to urgent care as part of London's health care continuum." - Dr. Gillian Kernaghan, President & CEO, St. Joseph's Health Care, London

"We know the importance of having the right resources in the right place. We recognize the important role the urgent care centre plays in our emergency health system and we look forward to working with Dr. Smith as he carries out his review." - Bonnie Adamson, President & CEO, London Health Sciences Centre

QUICK FACTS

  • Dr. Smith has had initial meetings with all of the parties involved and will provide his action plan with both immediate interventions and long-term strategies to Michael Barrett, Chief Executive Officer of the South West LHIN.
  • The South West LHIN Board endorsed the appointment of an external reviewer at its Committee meeting in London on May 11, 2011.
  • When it first opened in 2005, the Urgent Care Centre at St. Joseph's Health Care operated from 8 am to 10 pm and functioned as an integral part of the emergency/urgent care system in the City of London.
  • Members of the public who want to provide feedback to the review team can do so electronically through a web-enabled form on the South West LHIN homepage at www.southwestlhin.on.ca or by mailing it to: London Hospitals ER/UCC Clinical Services Review Feedback, c/o South West LHIN, 201 Queens Ave, Suite 700, London, ON N6A 1J1 .
  • The South West LHIN is one of 14 LHINs established by the Government of Ontario to plan, fund and integrate local health care services.
  • The South West LHIN funds and is accountable for the performance of more than 150 health service providers including hospitals, the South West Community Care Access Centre (CCAC), community support services, community health centres, mental health and addictions agencies, and long-term care homes.
  • South West LHIN organizations provide health care to people living in the area between Long Point and Tobermory, in the Counties of Elgin, Oxford, London-Middlesex, Huron, Perth, Grey, Bruce, and part of Norfolk.

MORE

For more information on the South West LHIN, visit www.southwestlhin.on.ca

BACKGROUND

BIO - Kevin Smith

Kevin P. D. Smith is President and CEO of St. Joseph's Health System, (Hamilton) which spans the full continuum of care from community-based to tertiary academic acute-care.  An Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Kevin remains active in academic programs at McMaster University and the University of Toronto.

Educated in Canada, the United States and Great Britain, Dr. Smith began his career in medical education, followed by leadership roles in university administration prior to taking on senior management roles in academic hospitals and health systems.  His continuing education has focused on governance in the public and private sectors and is professionally certified by the Institute of Corporate Directors and has completed the Harvard Program in Effective Governance.

A frequent advisor to the Ontario government, Kevin has served as ministerial supervisor and investigator on behalf of the Government of Ontario and led a number of government corporate initiatives.

Kevin also participates in a number of provincial and national government bodies including the Association of Canadian Academic Healthcare Organizations, the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario, and the Change Foundation.  In 2010, Dr. Smith assumed the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) a $6 Billion independent organization founded by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure.  Kevin is also the past Chair of the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA), an organization representing all 153 hospitals in the Province of Ontario and Vice Chair, Home Capital Group - one of Canada's most successful financial services companies and highly rated for its governance practices.

SOURCE South West Local Health Integration Network

For further information:

Annabelle Mackey
519 672-0445, ext. 2573
Annabelle.Mackey@lhins.on.ca

Toll-free: 1 866 294-5446
www.southwestlhin.on.ca

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South West Local Health Integration Network

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