/HHHS reduces deficit by $182000

HHHS reduces deficit by $182000

By Sue Tiffin
following are brief reports of items discussed during the March 28
meeting of the Haliburton Highlands Health Services board.
Highlands Health Services has reduced a $250,000 deficit to $68,000, an
improvement of $182,000 in six months, from July 2018 to January
 “Previously it was projected that HHHS would be in a breakeven
position by the end of the fiscal year at the end of March, and we are
anticipating that we will be in a position to achieve that goal,”
finance committee chairman David Gray told the Times after a board
meeting on Thursday, March 28. 
said this is possible due to recent government funding of three major
projects including the Haliburton water treatment, long-term care roof
repairs and replacements, as well as the efforts of the management
working groups.
spite of difficulties in reducing sick and overtime costs, significant
progress has been made to achieve cost savings in all other supply costs
with the successful implementation of several projects,” Gray said.
“These will achieve annual savings in the coming year of more than
$46,000 and pending projects of $52,000 which will positively impact
next year’s operations.” 
Board member Dave Bonham called it a remarkable accomplishment. 
Bill 74 impact on local health services unknown  
too early to know what significant changes to Ontario’s health-care
system through Bill 74, The People’s Health Care Act, 2019 will mean for
health services in Haliburton County, said Carolyn Plummer, HHHS CEO. 
act contains two major components. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term
Care has amalgamated several provincial agencies including Cancer Care
Ontario, eHealth Ontario, Trillium Gift of Life Network and all 14 Local
Health Integration Networks into a “superagency,” called Ontario
Health. Plummer said the agency is expected to serve as a single central
point of accountability and oversight for health care in the province. 
second change is that health service providers across several health
sectors will be organized into 30 to 50 Ontario Health Teams (OHT).
Plummer said the provincial government had not yet released much
information about what the health teams will look like, but have noted
“they will be providing health services in an integrated way, so
different parts of the health sector working together in an integrated
way such as hospitals, long-term care and community, working together to
provide service to anywhere from 50,000 up to 300,000 people.” 
said at this point there hadn’t been clear direction about how the
health teams should be established, except that it would be a
patient-centred model and that the teams be focused on local health
is too early to know what this legislation will mean for HHHS or how it
will affect health services in Haliburton County; however given our
experience as a rural health hub, our well-established partnerships and
collaborations, and our current integrated services (hospital, long-term
care, community programs, palliative care, mental health) we have an
opportunity to take a leadership role together with our partners in
developing the OHT model,” said Plummer in her report.
said the government indicated they would be issuing an expression of
interest at some point in March, but HHHS still had yet to receive it
and she hoped it was coming quickly. 
actually excited about what we might be able to do together with our
partners, and I think we’re in a really good position to move forward
with this,” said Plummer to the board. 
Centralized referral service ‘good news story’
Coulson of the community advisory committee spoke to the popularity of a
new program offering centralized referral to community services.
if you have a problem, phone community services, phone one number, and
people will look after you,” said Coulson of the program. Fifty people
had used the system, which connects people with a wide range of programs
including Meals on Wheels, the GAIN program, foot care program and
palliative care services, in three months, and more than 150 people had
used it in six months. 
the math, there could be four to five hundred people a year who go into
this centralized service and get looked after,” said Coulson, who said
the service had been a key recommendation of the community advisory
committee “from day one.” 
Coulson called it a “good news story,” that the province is following suit on.
some of us have suggested, well, not only have we identified the
problem but we in Haliburton have identified the solution – a
centralized referral system,” he said. 
think it’s beyond good news, we’re looking at good health and maybe
saving the odd life, too,” said Dorothy Owen, HHHS board member.
HHHS thanks county for physician recruitment support
Plummer thanked the County of Haliburton for including funding for a physician recruiter in this year’s budget. 
have seen the success that recruiters have had in other communities,
and the far-reaching positive impact that has resulted for those
communities,” she said. “We are incredibly fortunate that the County has
decided to make this investment in our community.” 
the Haliburton Highlands Family Health Team and the County of
Haliburton have been working to recruit physicians to the emergency
we have been able to attract some physicians who are interested in
providing locum coverage, we continue to face challenges recruiting
physicians to our community on a more permanent basis,” said Plummer. 
HealthForce Ontario, the Central East LHIN and the MOHLTC have supported recruitment efforts. 
Accreditation assessment in 2019 
assessment of HHHS by Accreditation Canada will be completed in early
December. The last assessment took place in 2015. The review assesses
HHHS against standards of excellence, identifying strengths and needs.
process includes an onsite, independent, third-party assessment of the
organization using standards built upon best practices used and
validated by similar organizations around the world,” said Plummer. 
An accreditation simulation exercise and further training will take place prior to December. 
Mental Health Services hire 
Beverlee Groves-Foley is joining the HHHS team in the role of mental health manager.
comes from an extensive career in mental health services at Ross
Memorial Hospital. Groves-Foley will join in a part-time role in April
and be full-time at the beginning of May. 
Programs taking place at Youth Wellness Hub 
are open at the Youth Wellness Hub for some programs as renovations are
completed at the Haliburton space being constructed as a partnership
between Point in Time and HHHS. A kitchen installation and accessibility
retrofits are underway, according to a report by Plummer.
“As the
renovations are nearing completion, some youth programming has already
begun, including some drop-in programs, soft-skills development through
the arts, and employment programs,” said Plummer. 
the programs have already begun “speaks to not only the need but the
desire both to provide the service and for the youth to be accessing
that service,” said Plummer.
A grand opening will be held this spring. 
Dr. Karaguesian retires 
23 years with HHHS, Dr. Greg Karaguesian has retired from emergency
medicine. Karaguesian was a full-time emergency department physician at
Haliburton Hospital, chief of staff from 2014 to 2017 and the Haliburton
emergency department physician lead for the past two years. Plummer
thanked Karaguesian for his contributions to HHHS and the community,
saying he had gone “above and beyond in many situations to help support
the team during time of crisis,” and wished him well.