Technology is helping us to bridge geographic gaps to provide equal access to care; caregivers are finally being recognized for the countless unpaid hours of support they provide to loved ones; and more patients have more opportunities to manage their own care. And yet throughout all of these changes, the core of our mandate remains the same – to help individuals receive the best supportive care in the comfort and safety of their own homes and their home communities.
As I reflect on the past year, I am proud of the role our dedicated Board of Directors have played, not only to provide quality governance to the North East CCAC team, but as leaders within our health care system – supporting innovation, bringing health partners together, and integrating services to improve the patient experience.
In fact, our 2016-2017 Strategic Plan identifies two Strategic Directions that clearly reflect the Board's vision for the North East CCAC:
- to coordinate and deliver patient-centred home and community care; and
- to influence/lead partners in system transformation.
I have had the distinct pleasure and honour of being involved in the home and community care sector for the past many years, the last nine with the North East CCAC. And although there have definitely been challenges along the way, not the least of which is our ongoing effort to balance fiscal realities with an ever growing demand for care, I am so proud to have worked alongside my fellow Directors, both past and present, as we advocated for the unique health needs of communities across Northeastern Ontario, and of course the thousands of patients and families we ultimately serve.
As you'll see in this annual report, there are many successes to celebrate. The Board was engaged throughout the year by presentations from both frontline and management staff who shared new and innovative approaches to care, but also had honest discussions about issues and barriers they identified, which Board members could then address at provincial tables. Congratulations to the entire multi-disciplinary team; we appreciate your dedication to providing outstanding compassionate patient care – to every person, every day.
There have been key accomplishments on the Board agenda as well. Our Quality Governance model continues to be the foundation of Board activities, and has helped ensure that our policies are clear, appropriate and respect the culturally unique populations we serve. Adopted in 2012, the model was highlighted by Accreditation Canada for its innovation and effectiveness.
We have been and remain dedicated to quality, ethics, transparency, and accountability. We have developed processes for monitoring and improving performance, including reporting structures and schedules, a forward-thinking Ethical Decision-Making Framework, and a comprehensive Risk Management Framework, focusing on all aspects of the organization's work.
I'm pleased to report that thanks to the Board's leadership, the North East CCAC implemented a pilot project for patient-managed care in 2015. Eligible patients receiving personal support services at home had the opportunity to manage and schedule their own care, either hiring their caregivers directly, or working with a contracted service provider. After a positive evaluation, the government has committed to introducing the program across the province in 2016-2017.
The year ahead will be one of change and transition. Our Board of Directors will continue to work with Ministry officials, our funder, the North East LHIN, and the myriad of health care partners across the system to ensure that the 15,000 patients we serve each day across the North East will continue to be well cared for, whether at home, at school, or in their home communities.
We are proud of the contributions we have made and the impact we have had as governors of such a compassionate and caring organization. On behalf of the Board of Directors of the North East CCAC, I am pleased to present this 2015-2016 annual report.
R.M. (Ron) Farrell
Chair, Board of Directors