South West LHIN appointment part of plan to improve emergency care

    LONDON, ON, Oct. 16 /CNW/ - South West LHIN Chief Executive Officer Tony
Woolgar today announced the appointment of Dr. Lisa G. Shepherd as LHIN
Emergency Department (ED) lead, a new role in each of Ontario's 14 Local
Health Integration Networks (LHINs) that will help improve wait times and the
quality of emergency care locally and across the province.
    "The challenges faced by our emergency departments are considerable and
affect our entire health care system," says Woolgar. "We welcome Dr.
Shepherd's expertise as we begin to work together with hospitals across our
LHIN to reduce wait times and improve patient flow in our emergency rooms."
    Dr. Shepherd is an emergency physician at London Health Sciences Centre
and St. Joseph's Health Care, London, and an associate professor with the
Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at The University of Western Ontario.
Her previous administrative appointments include leadership roles with
Southwestern Ontario Rural Regional Medicine and the Southwestern Ontario
Medical Education Network.
    "I'm excited to begin working with my peers to address some of the
challenges faced by emergency departments in our communities," says Dr.
Shepherd. "This role will establish a framework to identify improvements for
those who depend on, and work in, emergency care."
    The appointment of LHIN ED leaders is a key component of the provincial
ED Action Plan established in October 2006. LHIN ED leads are accountable to
the LHIN for advising on ED resources, establishing a local ED network, and
developing a strategy to respond to sudden, unanticipated increases in
emergency department workload. Leads are also responsible to the Ministry of
Health and Long-Term Care for human resource planning and the development of
an ED information system.
    LHIN ED leaders will work with the chair of the provincial ED Wait Times
Expert Panel, which takes the place of the Working Group on Improving Access
to Emergency Services. The expert panel, co-chaired by Dr. Michael Schull and
Ken Deane, will advise the Ministry on how to best implement a strategy to
improve access to emergency services and reduce wait times.

    The South West 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.
The South West LHIN covers an area from Lake Erie to the Bruce Peninsula and
is home to almost one million people.

For further information:

For further information: Tommasina Conte, (519) 672-0445, ext. 208,

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South West Local Health Integration Network

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