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Message from Bonnie Adamson

2011 Annual Community Meeting
Wednesday, June 22


Thank you, Peter.

I want to start by acknowledging Peter Johnson for volunteering his time, energy and expertise as the Board Chair. Peter has served London Health Sciences Centre for over 25 years in a number of capacities—as a Board member, a foundation Board member, an advisor and a volunteer. Thank you, Peter for your tremendous leadership. I would also like to acknowledge the entire Board of Directors, who give generously of their skills and knowledge to help guide our hospital.

As Peter mentioned in his report, the theme of the 2011 Report to the Community is new beginnings. We’ve got new faces, new places and new ways of providing care. It is an exciting time for London Health Sciences Centre. After nearly 15 years of planning, all but one program (medical day unit) has completed their move into the North Tower as part of M2P2. Since hospital restructuring began in London in the late 1990s twenty-eight (28) services and programs and over 2500 staff and physicians have moved locations.

Last October the general and orthopaedic surgery inpatient unit became the first inpatient unit to occupy the new 10-storey state-of-the-art tower. Since then they’ve been joined by numerous other programs and services. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive as staff and patients embrace the new and improved facilities. Designed for health care in the 21st century, LHSC provides the perfect backdrop for our mission of care and innovation.

Of course, we still putting some final finishing touches on the building and taking time to properly recognize our donors for their generous contributions. Crews are also working hard to complete the new parking garage, which is why we are not holding today’s Annual Community Meeting in the new auditorium at the North Tower.

Instead, I have a quick video to provide you with a glimpse of the new spaces in the North Tower.

Video of North Tower plays (2 mins)

Isn’t it fantastic?!

I want to welcome all of the transferring staff and patients and thank the numerous LHSC teams and contributors for their support, commitment and hard work throughout the largest healthcare restructuring project in Ontario’s history.

Of course, it’s not every day that a brand new hospital is opened, so we will be taking the opportunity to properly celebrate such a significant and meaningful achievement for our community. I am pleased to announce that the official North Tower opening ceremony will be held on Tuesday, September 27 at 4:00pm. Mark your calendars!

To help prepare for this celebration, we have created a large banner that will be used during the ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the North Tower. Its here today and I encourage you to sign your name before leaving. Beginning tomorrow, the banner will be placed in various locations at the Victoria Hospital site and it is my hope that patients, staff, visitors and volunteers will take a moment to sign it.

Although we are excited to welcome all the new faces and programs to North Tower, we are also taking the time to celebrate the important legacy of care at South Street Hospital. As you may know, South Street Hospital will be a participating site in the 2011 Doors Open London weekend on September 17 and 18. LHSC will be opening the doors of its hospital for self-guided public tours for the first and last time in its 136 year history.

The Celebrating South Street Hospital event, organized in partnership with Museum London, will be a one-time opportunity for a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at many spaces in the hospital including the emergency department, operating rooms and the morgue. Hospital artifacts and archival photographs will be displayed for visitors throughout the weekend. Again mark your calendars for this unique event.

Returning to LHSC has marked a new beginning for me and today I will share my thoughts on what I have observed and what I have been told about our organization. I am going to spend some time reflecting on the achievements of the past year and I will tell you what changes we plan to make to ensure LHSC continues to hold the highest standard of safe patient care.

Throughout my first few months as President and CEO, I had the opportunity to ask hundreds of staff, physicians, volunteers, patients, stakeholders and community partners: What do YOU think? I wanted to know what others thought of our organization and to find out how they felt about the patient care experience, the investment in our people and our partnerships.

I discovered what many of you already know:

• we have a remarkable pool of skilled and dedicated staff, physicians and volunteers;
• our organization is committed to learning and leadership; and,
• we share a conviction that our work is meaningful and contributes to the well-being of our community.

I witnessed first-hand the dedication our people have to caring for our community within weeks of my arrival. With back-to-back snowstorms that virtually shut down the city, our patient care areas remained open and I was extremely proud of staff’s positive attitude and willingness to pull together. I also experienced the generosity of our staff that made both the Employee Giving Campaign and second annual Mitten Campaign the most successful to date.

I also heard and observed that there are opportunities to improve patient safety and the organizational culture. As we renew our focus to deliver these changes, patient safety must be our highest priority; addressing LHSC’s infection control rates and patient access challenges remains of paramount importance. To that end, we are working to consolidate our multiple efforts in these areas into a coordinated strategy, focused on positive results.

These priorities require investments of time and resources and today I am pleased to announce we have opened 69 beds and hired over 150 full-time nurses since November 2010. This includes the 21 short stay beds announced in May as well as beds in the surgery, medicine, paediatric and neonatal programs. In addition to these beds, LHSC is planning to invest a percentage of the growth funding to open another 38 beds by fall. This includes 11 mental health beds; three general paediatric beds; two neonatal intensive care beds; six surgery beds; and, 16 medicine beds.

LHSC is working closely with the Southwest LHIN to finalize the planning and funding related to the increased bed capacity. We will also continue to recruit full-time nurses.

As well as the new beds, we have allocated:

• $1.2 million to open a Rapid Assessment Zone at VH’s emergency department; and,
• $3.2 million to hire Infection Control practitioners and to purchase equipment that will reduce turnaround time for lab tests used in the identification of infectious diseases, and new waste management equipment.

These reinvestments are possible because of new growth funding related to the completion of the North Tower. At the same time we remain committed to stable financial health. For the past several years LHSC has achieved its goal of operating with a 2 to 3% positive margin. We ended the fiscal year with a positive margin of 4.8% - again primarily due to the new growth funding.

I am very pleased our financial health allows us to make important investments in our two priority areas – patient access and infection safety. Over the past few months, we have had the opportunity to develop a shared vision for LHSC. This new emerging vision - Exceptional Experiences, Extraordinary People, and Engaging Partnerships - will help us become a dynamic organization through which we can each achieve our very best.

I look forward to working collaboratively to achieve our new vision and to creating a new organizational culture that focuses on trust, accountability and teamwork. Building on its legacy of care and innovation, LHSC will be known as an inspiring and leading academic community:

  • Driven to achieve excellence in patient care, service and safety;
  • Dedicated to improving the patient and family experience;
  • Transformed by discovery and innovation; and,
  • Committed to collaborative partnerships

While we will always to strive for improvement, we do have many reasons to celebrate. Our patients continue to provide us with positive feedback. According to data collected by NRC Picker and posted on the Ontario Hospital Association’s (OHA) myhospitalcare.ca website, LHSC’s acute inpatient care was rated better than average for overall care in 2008-09 and 2009-10, and in the Emergency Departments the overall care was rated above average for 2009-10. All other dimensions in inpatient and emergency care were rated as being similar to the average of Ontario hospitals.

Our young patients demonstrated leadership through the Children and Youth Advisory Council at Children’s Hospital by launching the Children’s Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. The Bill of Rights and Responsibilities was developed for children and youth to help them understand and promote their rights and responsibilities during their stay at LHSC’s Children's Hospital. We will learn from their experience as we develop the LHSC Patient Bill of Rights.

Last year LHSC continued its proud tradition of medical breakthroughs and I had the privilege of announcing two world firsts and two Canadian firsts in recent months. On November 3, 2010, LHSC’s cardiac surgery team led by Drs. Bob Kiaii and Linrui Guo successfully performed an aortic valve bypass using a new implantable surgical device that promises to revolutionize the bypass surgery. This was done to treat a patient with critical aortic stenosis who could not have conventional treatments due to his underlying high risk condition.

In March, we announced another world first when LHSC's cardiac surgery team, again led by Dr. Kiaii, successfully performed an emergency surgery to repair a hole in a patient’s heart caused by a pacemaker complication using the DaVinci robot.

Robotically assisted surgery was also used for the first time in Canada last December, when Dr. Anthony Nichols and Dr. Kevin Fung, head and neck surgeons, removed a small portion of a patient’s cancerous voice box. The surgery spared the patient from excess scaring on the throat and neck and also eliminated the need for the patient to undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) also became the first hospital in Canada to use wireless technology for to evaluate blood pressure and flow has been integrated into a new catheterization laboratory recently opened at LHSC’s University Hospital and made possible by generous donations given through London Health Sciences Foundation.

LHSC’s capacity to innovate for the world was further advanced this year when the Lindros Legacy Research building was unveiled, housing four new teaching and research centres:

• CSTAR’s Brent and Marilyn Kelman Centre for Advanced Learning;
• the Dr. Sandy Kirkley Centre for Musculoskeletal Research;
• the Centre for Clinical Investigation and Therapeutics; and,
• the Matthew Mailing Centre for Translational Transplant Studies.

Each centre provides researchers and educators with the right environment, infrastructure and tools to make significant advances in health care on a national and international scale.

LHSC continued its tradition of collaboration and we extended our partnership reach globally this past year. CSTAR or Canadian Surgical Technologies and Advanced Robotics, announced an international partnerships with West China Hospital, one of the largest acute care hospitals in the world, to work on a series of projects including research, education and business development programs. CSTAR also joined the provincial government and 31 other delegates on a trade mission to Israel and the West Bank to promote Ontario’s innovative life sciences companies, attract investment and strengthen cultural ties.

We also celebrated our extraordinary people with the 2011 President’s Awards. In addition to recognizing individuals at LHSC who demonstrate outstanding community service, core values and leadership, the awards program was expanded to acknowledge outstanding innovation at London Health Science Centre.

On June 9th, I hosted a ceremony and awarded the following people with the 2011 President’s Awards.

Mary Helen Adams for Outstanding Community Volunteer Service.
Chris Harris for Core Values, How We Work Together.
Sue Brighton for Core Values, How We Serve Our Patients.
Catherine Glover for Leadership.
• And Dr. Christopher Fernandes for Innovation.

Catherine Glover, Chris Harris and Chris Fernandes are here with us today and I would ask that they please stand.
Congratulations to all of you.Next year we will be adding a fifth award for Outstanding Physician Leadership in honour of the late Dr. Murray Girotti who made such an important impact to our organization.

As we look to a collective new beginning that has already seen many new faces join our organization, I want to give a special welcome to all those who have joined us from St. Joseph’s Health Care, London as part of the program transfers. I am confident that their expertise, compassion and commitment to excellent patient care will continue to thrive here at LHSC.

With such skilled, dedicated and caring people making up our organization, I know that LHSC is ready for new beginnings. We have the opportunity to build a great future based on a remarkable past. A future rooted in the hearts and minds of the people who create the wonderful fabric of London Health Sciences Centre.

I would like to take a moment to reflect and celebrate this past year’s accomplishments.

Year in review presentation set to music

Thank you