The Scarborough Hospital (TSH) is a ‘Wow!’ organization. That may seem like a trite way to describe this hospital, but for me, it signifies the energy and potential of this great institution. TSH is a special place in so many ways with a rich history, a resilient culture, and a remarkable team with sheer determination to be leaders in advancing patient care.
As we approach the upcoming merger with our colleagues at Rouge Valley Health System’s Centenary campus, it’s a good time to reflect on our legacy. TSH’s many successes will be a strong foundation to build a world-class, integrated hospital system for the Scarborough community. We will be joining forces with an equally impressive hospital, and together, we can only become stronger. I’ve personally taken some time over the last few weeks to reflect on my days at TSH and living in this vibrant Scarborough community.
Our patients are an inspiration. As the health sector shifts to an increasingly more inclusive environment where patients and caregivers are actively involved in all aspects of their care, I am heartened by the leadership that TSH has demonstrated. Last month, we had our 2016 Accreditation from Accreditation Canada and the five surveyors who evaluated our hospital noted in their remarks that TSH is “leading the way with patients as partners.”
I extend my gratitude to our many patient advisors and council members who have volunteered their precious time to be part of the conversation, for enlightening our team, and for co-designing solutions that enhance the patient experience.
I have personally come across so many patients that have faced insurmountable health challenges. Yet, with our assistance, they have recovered and returned to living productive lives. Our Communications department and TSH Foundation have captured many of these patient stories – willingly shared to highlight the great work we do here at TSH.
Our diversity brings us together to find better solutions. TSH mirrors the diversity of the Scarborough community and it has evolved as a core strength of our team. Inclusiveness, respect, and compassion are ingrained in our culture. We’ve become a national leader in providing exceptional patient care for a global community as recognized by two national diversity awards in as many years.
What’s more, our diversity drives creativity and innovation. Providing culturally competent care doesn’t just happen; it takes deep commitment and compassion. TSH’s culture creates an environment of open-mindedness – our team members are accepting of new ideas and exploring different ways of thinking and innovating. The results have been impressive and ultimately, our patients benefit.
Our team is remarkable. We are incredibly fortunate to be associated with thousands of brilliant, dedicated, and creative staff, physicians, and volunteers. Our recent Accreditation report demonstrates the hospital-wide commitment to quality and patient safety. We met 99.3 per cent of some 2,400 standards. Remarkable! This is a ‘can do’ team, sharpened by a culture of innovation. Over the years, there have been countless examples of TSH being the first to introduce new practices, technologies, and systems. You can view these many accomplishments on our history website at www.tshhistory.ca.
Leadership matters. Hospital management is constantly under fire, and at times it can feel like a thankless job and it’s certainly not for the faint of heart. For those of you who are in leadership positions, keep your head high. You play as much of a role in our hospital’s outstanding patient care as the rest of our health care team. It’s not just the countless, long hours of work you put in that makes the difference, but rather your commitment to our patients, and your desire to find creative solutions and provide value in a system that is under enormous strain. TSH’s excellent performance would not have been possible without you.
Community is essential. To be a viable and vibrant hospital requires enormous support from our community through our many volunteers on patient councils, TSH Foundation, Volunteer Services, and Boards of Directors. Our volunteers provide essential supports for patient care, fundraising, and governance. In addition, we are fortunate to be able to count on the generous financial support of our donor community that allows TSH to purchase the latest medical equipment.
Our relationship with the broader community is equally imperative. By engaging our community in a genuine and meaningful manner, we have created partnerships that will be integral to the success of the newly merged hospital in the years ahead. We must not take these relationships for granted as their voices and perspectives can only help our hospital find better solutions to the complex issues that we face.
Collaboration will define health care transformation. Essentially, our goal must always be to foster strong, trusting relationships with all of our stakeholders so that we can continue to enhance our potential to find the best solutions. It’s a simple formula, but it requires our constant attention. The new Scarborough and Rouge Hospital will thrive if these cultural strengths and relationships are brought to bear.
It’s been a privilege and an honour to have served The Scarborough Hospital and the Scarborough community. To have worked alongside such a high calibre team has been incredibly rewarding. I wish you all future success and best wishes.