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New QHC CEO may be what the doctor ordered

On June 22nd, Quite Health Corporation held its Annual General Meeting with the majority of the Board of Directors present as well as approximately one third of the 54 Community Advisory members. CEO Mary Clare Egberts made a very detailed power point presentation on the financial recovery of Q.H.C. over the last year. Currently the corporation has a very small surplus. She may very well be “what the doctor ordered” to cure Q.H.C.’s ailing financial problems over the last decade. Her strong background in finance will certainly be helpful. Even before her arrival she was well known for her ability to communicate with both the staff and community members at the former hospital where she was CEO. She has gotten off to a good start. Since her arrival she has spoken to many groups and individuals. Also, she has been very accommodating in that she has made herself highly visible and available to meet citizens who are interested or concerned about health care.

Amazingly enough, shortly after her arrival Ms. Egberts talked to union reps on the picket line outside of Q.H.C. Belleville. She has also held meetings with many of the staff at all four of the hospitals. The interesting fact is that she did this without any senior managers present and she also took notes. She obviously can not implement many of the staff suggestions because of limited funding from the Ministry of Health but the point is that she listened and was respectful of their concerns. This initiative is certainly a step forward in improving staff morale.

Undoubtedly the CEO has her work cut out for her in earning the confidence and support of the communities at the satellite hospitals. The unfortunate mistrust which has taken place with Q.H.C. senior administration over the last decade may quite possibly be redeemed under her tenure. From the onset, Ms. Egberts has advocated that Q.H.C. must respect the culture of the different communities. If the Board of Directors, senior administrators and management share her philosophy this will be another step forward. Many of the Q.H.C. stakeholders have realized that all hospitals cannot offer duplicate services. We only ask that Q.H.C. attempt to retain the present services in the rural hospitals and endeavour to enhance these services on a as needs basis. If changes need to be made, Ms. Egberts has said that she will endeavour to ensure that the rationale will be indicated to the community which is being effected. In that vein, hopefully she will hold “town hall” meetings throughout the Q.H.C. catchment area. Also, it is hoped that under her leadership we will be able to level the playing field. Time will tell.
Fran Renoy, Picton

Filed Under: Letters and Opinion

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