South West LHIN and three area hospitals announce process to finalize service accountability agreements

    LONDON, ON, Sept. 8 /CNW/ -


    The South West LHIN today announced the appointment of external reviewers
to work with senior management at three area hospitals. The reviewers will
work with hospital management to develop plans to balance hospital operations
leading to approved service accountability agreements.
    All Ontario hospitals are required by provincial legislation to sign a
Hospital Service Accountability Agreement (H-SAA) that has a balanced
financial operating position. Of the twenty hospital corporations in the South
West LHIN, 17 have signed H-SAAs for the next two fiscal years. The
negotiation period for the three remaining hospitals was extended by the South
West LHIN Board so collaborative solutions could be developed. Hospital
management will now have third-party expertise (external reviewers) to help
them develop a plan to achieve a balanced operating position.

    The external reviewers are:

    -   Grey Bruce Health Services - Michael O'Keefe
    -   Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital - Michael O'Keefe
    -   Woodstock General Hospital - John Oliver

    (See background below for further information on each reviewer)

    The timeline for the review process is as follows:

    1.  The reviewers will begin work the week of September 8, 2008.
    2.  The hospital board will consider for approval the planning documents
        for 2008-10 agreements by November 15, 2008.
    3.  The South West LHIN board will consider for approval the H-SAAs at
        its meeting on November 26, 2008, at which time the details of the
        agreements will be made public.

    Once approved by the LHIN board, the agreements will be in force until
March 31, 2010.


    "We are glad we are able to move forward on these agreements in
partnership with the hospitals," said Norm Gamble, Chair, South West LHIN
Board of Directors. "Everyone is committed to a sustainable, integrated health
care system in the South West"
    "We are very pleased that such high calibre healthcare executives with
tremendous experience in hospital management are able to step forward and work
together with our hospital partners to find solutions," said Michael Barrett,
Acting Chief Executive Officer, South West LHIN. "It is important that we take
a collaborative approach, so we can finalize an agreement that all parties can
use to move forward."


    -   The 2008-2010 Hospital Service Accountability Agreement (H-SAA)
        process marks the first hospital budget negotiation between Ontario's
        14 LHINs and hospitals. Hospitals are required to balance their
        budgets under the Local Health System Integration Act, 2006. Signed
        by the boards of directors of all hospitals and their LHIN, H-SAAs
        hold hospitals accountable for operating within a balanced budget and
        maintaining agreed upon service levels.

    -   Ontario's LHINs have an accountability agreement with the Ministry of
        Health and Long-Term Care. For information on the South West LHIN's
        Ministry-LHIN Accountability Agreement, visit the "Accountability"
        section under "About our LHIN" at


    John Oliver

    John Oliver is President and CEO of Halton Healthcare Services, which
includes the Georgetown Hospital, the Milton District Hospital and the
Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital. Prior to the amalgamation of these three
hospitals, he was the President and CEO of Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial
Hospital. John recently took a one-year secondment to join the Ministry of
Health and Long-Term Care as an Assistant Deputy Minister.
    John received his Bachelor of Commerce from McMaster University and his
Master of Health Science Administration from the University of Toronto. He is
a Chartered Accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario,
a Certified Health Executive with the Canadian College of Health Service
Executives, and a Member of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He
is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors of Shared Services West and
the Co-Chair of the MRP Funding Working Group. John is a former Chair of the
Cardiac Care Network of Ontario, Chair of the Halton-Peel District Health
Council and Chair of the Reference Group on Hospital & Physician Issues.

    Michael O'Keefe

    Michael O'Keefe has over 30 years of leadership experience in health care
management with organizations across Canada and internationally. Michael is
currently Senior Advisor to the Pan Canadian Medical School Alliance and his
past experience includes interim President and CEO of Orillia Soldiers
Memorial Hospital, Chairman of Canadian Hospitals Network International,
President and CEO of Interhealth Canada Limited, Executive Vice President and
Chief Operating Officer of The Toronto Hospital, Executive Vice President and
Chief Operating Officer of Ottawa Civic Hospital, President and CEO of
York-Finch General Hospital and international health care experience from the
Middle East and U.K.
    Michael has a Master of Hospital Administration degree from the
University of Toronto. As well, he is on the Governance and Leadership Council
of the Ontario Hospital Association, a director of Alegro Health and the
International Advisory Committee of the Hospital for Sick Children. Michael is
a past Chair of the Toronto District Health Council, a past Director of the
Ontario Hospital Association, the Toronto Community Foundation and the Toronto
Central LHIN.

    The South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) is a crown agency
responsible for planning, integrating and funding more than 150 health service
providers, including hospitals, long-term care homes, mental health and
addictions agencies, community support services, community health centres, and
the South West CCAC. Established under the Local Health System Integration
Act, 2006, as one of 14 LHINs across Ontario, the South West LHIN operates an
annual health care budget of $1.8 billion. The South West LHIN covers an area
from Lake Erie to the Bruce Peninsula and is home to almost one million

For further information:

For further information: LEARN MORE: Grey Bruce Health Services: Pat
Campbell, President and CEO, Grey Bruce Health Services, (519) 376-2121,; Woodstock General Hospital: Natasha Veljovic, President
and CEO, Woodstock General Hospital, (519) 421-4211,;
Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital: Mike Mazza, President and CEO, Middlesex
Hospital Alliance, (519) 245-5295 ext 5592,; South West
LHIN: Matthew Clarke, (519) 672-0445, ext. 2566,,
Toll-free: 1-866-294-5446

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South West Local Health Integration Network

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