Community Update - Spring 2017

Provincial Context for Health Care 

As you have heard in the media, the Premier and Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living have both been publicly transparent about their expectation for regional health authorities to manage their operations sustainably while ensuring quality care.  

To help us better refine our search for savings opportunities, all RHAs have been given an efficiency target. As we consider what we can do differently in this region that will lead to savings, we are keeping our target of $7 million in mind. With input from our program managers and directors, we are working to prepare for our board of directors and the Province options for consideration to achieve the level of efficiency expected of us while still delivering quality care.  

The savings we are to achieve through increased efficiency is a target that is distinct from our regional budget. We know the provincial budget will be released on April 11 and by that time we will have a better understanding of our budget for 2017-18. As we receive more guidance from the Province and as our budget for this year becomes more defined, I will be communicating with staff and community members about the plan moving forward. 

Regional Integration into Provincial Planning

RHA leadership is integrated into provincial planning processes. In particular, I’m chairing weekly meetings of RHA CEOs where the intent is to share and coordinate regional efficiency efforts so that we can find opportunities for improved operation among our regions. We can capitalize on cost savings that will only arise if we work together. I have also been asked to participate in the health financial planning task force that will review interrelated opportunities for efficiency efforts that will affect change on a broader scale.  

Marion Ellis, our vice president of acute care and chief nursing officer, has been asked to sit on the emergency department wait times committee by committee co-leads Dr. John Ross of Nova Scotia and Dr. Alecs Chochinov of Winnipeg. She will ensure our region’s struggles with emergency room staffing are represented. This committee is part of the Wait Time Reduction Task Force announced by the Province in December last year

Guiding Documents for Health Care

The Province is looking for us to contribute to an effective and sustainable health system that is patient-focused and evidence-based, and improves access to quality care for patients. To that end, they have commissioned the KPMG health care sustainability and innovation review. The first phase of the review is currently being reviewed at the provincial level with phase two due at the end of this month.  

They have also recently accepted for review the findings of the report commissioned in 2015 on planning options for clinical and preventive health care services for Manitoba. This report, that we’ve been calling the Peachey report, includes recommendations for further consolidation of hospital-based, high-acuity health-care services in the province, new team-based models of care to ensure all professionals are working to their full scopes of practice, better use of technologies like telehealth to reduce transportation costs and enhanced prevention programs to reduce the burden of disease. If you are at all interested in what the future may hold, I encourage you to give it a read

The province also made public a report on the future of home care services in Manitoba. Click here to read recommendations from this report that are being taken into consideration at the provincial level. 

Next Steps

Additional guidance will be coming to the Province by way of the second phase of the KPMG report that will outline work plans for areas of priority. I am part of the health system sustainability and innovation advisory committee related to the KPMG review of the health system. I have a very good sense of the high level priorities that KPMG has identified. Phase two of the report will provide further direction. We, and the other RHAs, will need to align our efforts with the Province's areas of priority and that will be the focus of the meetings I now participate in. It is my anticipation that by April we will have a much more complete picture of what the next year in Interlake-Eastern RHA and in provincial health care will look like and where we'll be headed. I continue to be committed to sharing with you what I am able to over the next months. 
Physician Recruitment

Physician Recruitment
Our region continues to work to recruit physicians to the region. We have seven international medical graduate (IMG) physicians who are completing their final few months of training and are scheduled to start with us in late summer/early fall time. We had another IMG physician, Dr. Tanner, start with us two months ago in Beausejour. The placement plan for the seven new physicians is primarily based on our primary care capacity needs and emergency department scheduling needs.

The successful physician retreat we hosted in Selkirk this past September is already paying off for the region. During the weekend retreat, our physician services department, in conjunction with community representatives, showcased the many career and practice opportunities our region has to offer. It was met with very positive feedback from the nearly 100 medical resident attendees. We’ve had more students request to be placed in our region for work experience over the summer than any other region this year! These work experiences are another step in forging relationships with upcoming young physicians that make our region more attractive to them when they complete their residency.

In addition, we recently hosted 27 medical students from the University of Manitoba’s rural interest group at Lac du Bonnet’s ice fishing derby. Rural Interest Group (RIG) is designed to provide medical students with exposure to rural medicine (i.e. beyond the Winnipeg perimeter). The students were bussed out for a day of fishing and trike and bombardier rides across the ice. This RIG event was generously sponsored by Lac du Bonnet RM and town of Lac du Bonnet, Lac du Bonnet Medical Group, Office of Rural and Northern Health and Interlake-Eastern RHA. The fishing derby excursion was met with positive feedback from the students and gave the physician services team the opportunity to discuss employment opportunities with the students while exposing them to our region’s landscape and winter lifestyle. 

These types of events are successful because representatives from our communities and town invest time and money to ensure medical students are integrated into the community and are made to feel welcomed and appreciated. In the future, communities can expect to be approached by our physician services team about opportunities for the community to partner with our RHA for upcoming physician recruitment events. 
Rehabilitation Centre in Beausejour

Physicians in our region are now referring patients to our regional physical rehabilitation centre at the Beausejour Health Centre. We’re targeting patients who require intensive rehab so they can make their way safely back to their own homes. Beausejour was selected for this regional program because it can accommodate a physical rehab program with minimal renovations, it’s relatively central in the region and only 45 minutes from Winnipeg for patients returning to the region. Through the referral process, patients recovering from orthopedic surgery, including hip and knee operations, can be referred to Beausejour’s rehab centre to recover in our region instead of in Winnipeg. 

Creating Personal Care Home Beds

In February, the Province confirmed they would not be pursuing a personal care home in Lac du Bonnet at this time.  Value-for-money is a key consideration of the government and they are seeking to limit their capital investment in personal care home projects to about one third what they have funded in the past. Government is reviewing proposals with an objective of maintaining lowest possible capital investment and ongoing operating costs at any new facilities. We continue to make a strong case for our region to receive more beds and the ongoing conversations we’re having with interested communities provides an opportunity to see and hear a number of different ideas and models. Which proposals will actually result in approved projects is unknown. With the government limiting their investment, communities are coming up with creative ways to finance the remaining two thirds capital cost for any new projects. There is no doubt that community support is a key factor as community engagement, time and financial resources are all needed for a successful project. 

  Accessibility for Manitobans

As part of provincial initiatives through The Accessibility for Manitobans Act, Interlake-Eastern RHA is committed to striving towards ensuring equal access and participation for all people, regardless of their abilities. Barriers to accessibility are obstacles that may be systemic, technological, physical / architectural, information / communication, or attitudinal in nature that make it difficult or sometimes impossible for people with different abilities to receive health services. Barriers usually develop because accessibility needs are not considered.  

Interlake-Eastern RHA’s accessibility planning committee wants to understand the barriers to accessibility in our health care services and programs so that we may identify ways to improve. You and your community members are encouraged to take part in this short, anonymous survey to assist us in identifying and addressing the different types of obstacles, both visible and invisible. Please feel free to visit this link and share it among your constituents:

  Does your community use social media? Follow us!

Facebook:  Interlake-Eastern Health                               Twitter:  Interlake-Eastern RHA

We’re always grateful to our community partners who post, share and retweet Interlake-Eastern RHA’s programs, events and health messages to their followers. Together, we can use social media as another way to provide health care information to your residents. Some timely things to keep in mind while posting on social media:
Vote for Echocardiography Equipment
to come to  Interlake-Eastern 
The Interlake-Eastern Health Foundation is one of the finalists for the Sunova golf classic funding competition! The Rotary Club of Selkirk is fundraising $120,000 to buy specialized echocardiography equipment for our region and they could receive as much as $30,000 from the golf tournament if we can help get them the most votes. You can cast your vote for the echocardiography equipment to be the recipient of the proceeds from Sunova's golf classic tournament being held in June.

The Interlake-Eastern Health Foundation became a registered charity in March 2015. Since then, the foundation has been working to build a strong Board of Directors, create policies and procedures and start to build relationships with the communities it serves! The foundation is committed to improving the quality of life in our communities through philanthropic support. It will work to secure financial support for the region’s facilities and programs through granting to enhance patient care. I will share more information with you about the foundation in subsequent updates.  

The echocardiography unit would be located at the new Selkirk Regional Health Centre for access by all regional residents. If you have time to watch the five minute video you will see our me and Dr. Dan Lindsay, our director of diagnostic imaging,  talking about  the need for this equipment regionally. 

You can vote every day up until March 19 at 11:59 p.m. Once you are there, click on the orange Vote Now bar to vote. Please share and encourage your network of friends and family to vote as well. Thank you on behalf of everyone in our region who is waiting to get an echocardiogram!

Did you know that our emergency department schedules are now online?

Physician availability in our emergency departments is now posted online. Please encourage your residents to visit this page: . People can also call our toll-free line for ED status: 1-866-267-5818.

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Share and retweet messages about cancer screening on your own Facebook and Twitter pages. Cancer care publishes when screening programs are in our region on For more information, check out the website to find out when screening events are happening in your area.

Looking for a graphic for your social media posts? Contact Lita Hnatiuk at . 

This community update is provided to elected leaders within Interlake-Eastern RHA as a means of  information sharing. This update can be shared publicly. 
Thank you,

Ron Van Denakker

Phone: 204-785-4701