Sault Hospital Board Member Questions Motion to Accept Algoma OHT Language

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Approval of motion acknowledges what patient and family care providers have “articulated”, says governance committee chair Kirkpatrick

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The principle that the Sault Area Hospital Board endorsed the “Values ​​and Guiding Principles” of the Algoma Ontario Health Team without the benefit of an increased opportunity for comment and discussion was examined under a microscope.

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The Board learned this week that the HSA Governance Committee reviewed and endorsed recommendations to align with Algoma Ontario Health Team member organizations and adopted the Patient and caregivers endorsed by the Patient and Family Advisory Council and ESO partner organisations.

Board Member Mario Turco asked if the Board should approve this motion and if indeed it did, then why was there not more discussion on the matter.

“If it requires our agreement, we should agree with it and understand how it was developed etc.,” Turco said during the virtual board meeting.

“Does this require our approval? Obviously someone else approved it. Why does he demand ours? And, if it requires ours, should there have been a process to get more commitment from the board? »

Sault Area Hospital President and CEO Ila Watson said she had “debated” whether the matter required board approval, adding that she later referred to the hospital’s vision, mission and values ​​statement.

“And, to me, something as important as that would probably strike me as odd that we did it at the executive level and then just briefed the board,” Watson said during the meeting.

“I think this is a good opportunity for the board to review and align with what has been accomplished at the provincial level, what members of the Ontario Health Team in Algoma have endorsed.

The direction is “certainly” the recommendation of the hospital’s patient/family advisors and its Citizens’ Referral Committee, Watson said.

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“So I took it for governance,” Watson said. “If you decide you don’t need to approve that, I think that’s one thing. And then, if you wanted to have a more detailed and in-depth opportunity to review it, I’m sure the chair would consider that request.

Board member Antoinette Blunt said matters related to mission, vision and values ​​”rest with the board.”

“It is up to the board from a strategic perspective to have a role in approving this,” she added.

Governance committee chair Sharon Kirkpatrick echoed Watson’s position, telling the meeting that the principles were “articulated” by people with direct knowledge, such as patients and family counsellors.

“I don’t know if we were going or should weigh in on them,” she added. “But if anyone else is concerned that we approve them, let me know.”

No other board members raised any objections during the open portion of the meeting and the motion was eventually passed.

Turco said he didn’t necessarily disagree with the language in the proposal; it was the process that disturbed him the most.

“Are we just approving something here and is that our role? Turco asked. “If we’re endorsing values ​​and directions and so on, somebody should have come in and made a presentation and we’d have to be okay with that, other than, ‘There…endorse it.'”

He called the procedure “not good governance”.

“I think the process is a bit flawed here,” Turco said. “I’m not saying, ‘Let’s not approve of this.’ I think I could offer some suggestions for some improvements.

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“It’s good work, but the process is a bit flawed when you bring something in and we automatically approve it. I don’t think that should be our role.

Turco’s capture was quickly decried by Kirkpatrick and Blunt.

“I would view this as not being a rubber stamp, but acknowledging what the patient and family care providers have expressed, what they think is important to them,” Kirkpatrick said. “So they articulated that, and my vote would be to support what they articulated.”

Blunt said she doesn’t believe every board decision is up to the board directly.

“We review them through the committees and I certainly rely on the expertise of the members of the governance committee to decide my vote at the board level,” she added.

“The reason why I don’t see this as a rubber stamp like when it comes to governance issues that need to be changed or updated, or if we want to be in step with adopting the guiding values ​​and principles from the Algoma OHT, this goes to the Governance Committee.”

[email protected]

On Twitter: @JeffreyOugler

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