Busy year for Haliburton Highlands Health Services
By Chad Ingram
Published June 28, 2018
The past year saw the opening of the palliative care centre at the Haliburton Highlands Health Services facility in Haliburton Village, a facility that has been used by more than 40 patients.
“One of the major highlights of the year for us this year in our hospital services was the grand opening of our palliative care centre,” HHHS president and CEO Carolyn Plummer said during the organization’s annual general meeting in Minden on June 21.
Offering two private suites, washrooms and a kitchenette, the centre has received 47 admissions, 60 per cent of them related to cancer diagnoses, since it was opened to patients last August.
“Just to give you a sense, we have had a lot of positive feedback, both from patients and from staff,” Plummer said. “One person said that, ‘it was so nice to be able to come and stay with my loved one, and I could sleep over there with them, and be there with them.’”
In acute care, HHHS provided nearly 5,000 patients days worth of service, discharging a total of 375 patients throughout the year.
The emergency room at the Haliburton HHHS facility had more than 12,000 visits, the ER in Minden more than 15,000.
Another highlight of the year was the introduction of Holly Burton to staff.
“Thanks to the Haliburton Hospital Auxiliary, we purchased a state-of-the-art training mannequin, normally known as Resusci Annie, but nicknamed by our staff as Holly Burton,” Plummer said to giggles from the crowd.
The mannequin is used by medical staff for teaching purposes.
HHHS’s telemedicine services, which allow interaction with remote practitioners, facilitated more than 1,400 clinical visits, equating to nearly 400,000 kilometres of saved travel distance for patients, and close to 8,000 hours worth of time.
More than 8,000 ultrasounds were performed throughout the year, 112 echocardiograms (it was the first year for that service) and 133 bone densitometry scans, also employing technology that is fairly new to HHHS.
The Haliburton Highlands Health Services Foundation contributed more than a million dollars to HHHS during the 2017/18 fiscal year, the foundation raising money for capital purchases.
Also raising money for capital expenses, the Haliburton Hospital Auxiliary raised more than $120,000, the Minden Health Care Auxiliary more than $43,000 for the year.
There were nearly 600 new referrals in mental health services, with a total of nearly 5,000 visits, including more than 300 specifically for psychiatry. The youth early intervention program had 43 patients.
HHHS continues to seek physicians for its emergency rooms.
“We have been undergoing some medical staffing challenges, pretty significant . . . we’re not alone in this in the health-care system,” Dr. Kristy Gammon said during her report.
HHHS finished the fiscal year with a surplus of more than $32,000. The organization’s budget totalled approximately $25.5 million, with nearly $21 million in revenue coming directly from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
Fees from long-term care residents contributed $2.2 million. Combined, there are 91 residents at long-term care facilities Highland Wood, in Haliburton, and Hyland Crest, in Minden.
The meeting also included a presentation by Dr. Sheila-Mae Young about the Abbey Retreat Centre, a holistic getaway for cancer patients that opened at West Guilford’s Abbey Gardens this spring.