Board Of Directors
Message from Julia Kamula,
Board Chair of Hamilton Health Sciences
There is currently a national conversation on the sustainability of our healthcare system. And as I write this, I am keenly aware of the challenges we face, not only in my role as Chair of the HHS Board of Directors but also as a member of the community. Like many of you, I have felt the frustration and anxiety that come with rushing a loved one to the hospital only to wait for hours to be seen by a doctor who has dozens of other patients to attend to. This is only one situation among many that have become all too commonplace in healthcare today.
As Chair of the HHS Board, I am also confronted by the numerous issues that have contributed to the dilemma we find ourselves in. HHS is grappling with a complex situation that includes among other things: an aging population, increased healthcare usage, and shrinking government funding. Moreover, while many hospital organizations across the province are facing similar pressures, HHS is in many ways unique because of Hamilton’s demographic and socio-economic profile.
The entire healthcare system is at a crossroads and current circumstances call for an unprecedented shift in how we do things. The challenge is daunting, but HHS is in a distinct position to meet it head-on. The organization’s size, impact and scope of services are nothing short of remarkable. We are Ontario’s most comprehensive specialty care hospital system; a family of six unique hospitals, an urgent care centre, a regional rehab centre and a children’s health care centre. As a world-renowned academic and teaching hospital HHS is also committed to advancing excellence in education and research. There is no other hospital system in the province that provides the range of primary, secondary, tertiary care, research and education comparable to the scale that HHS provides.
Because of all this, HHS is able to draw on a tremendously rich talent pool with some of the best physicians and health care professionals in the country; leaders in research, innovation and learning. It’s the responsibility of the HHS Board of Directors to help harness these considerable resources, mining the talent and best practices found across our network of organizations, and consulting with other healthcare professionals and policy makers to find original solutions for what appear to be unmanageable challenges.
HHS must also continue to attune itself to the public’s needs and concerns, putting patients first and providing a consistently excellent patient-care experience. This is, and must remain the underlying principle guiding our mission. As such, HHS has conducted a multi-year public and stakeholder consultation to ensure a solid understanding of the needs of the community now and into the future. Through this process, HHS is proud to have released an ambitious and strategic vision. Our Healthy Future is a blueprint for HHS’s future. It highlights service integration and new partnerships with providers, patients, and our community. Significantly, our vision embraces a shift toward population health and preventative care as a key strategy for sustainability.
As we move forward with this vision, we will do our best to ensure that any initiatives or changes are as painless and uncomplicated for you as possible. That said, our health care system doesn’t just need change. It requires transformation, and the process of transformation can be uncomfortable. Sometimes things seem to get worse before they improve. We ask for and thank you for your patience and support.
I feel lucky to be able to work with an extraordinarily talented and caring group of people who are first and foremost members of the community, and who are committed to navigating future challenges with the welfare of that community in mind.
On behalf of the Hamilton Health Sciences Board or Directors, we look forward to continuing to serve you and providing Best Care for All.
Chair, HHS Board of Directors