HHHS supports EMS proposal for paramedicine program
April 30, 2014
By Angelica Blenich
The following are brief reports of items discussed at the Haliburton Highlands Health Services board meeting on April 24.
A proposal to introduce a community paramedicine program in Haliburton County is getting a thumbs up from Haliburton Highlands Health Services.
The Haliburton County EMS department developed a proposal and submitted it to the Ministry of Health on April 17, requesting $160,000, said HHHS president and CEO Varouj Eskedjian.
“It’s one-time funding for some technology and medication that needs to be provided to the EMS staff [department],” said Eskedjian.
If approved, the program would have EMS staff be proactive and go out to seniors who are identified as at risk.
“The concept is to visit these people when there’s down time and there is down time with EMS,” said the CEO.
The goal is for the regular visits to help eliminate unnecessary trips to the HHHS emergency departments.
“We are supportive of it, as well as the Family Health Team is supportive of it as well as a number of other community health providers have written a letter of support,” said Eskedjian.
HHHS has submitted a letter of support to be submitted with the EMS proposal.
“We think in our context in Haliburton County, with people being far away, from a transportation perspective, that this makes a ton of sense,” said Eskedjian.
Integration planning between HHHS, Community Care Haliburton County, VON and SIRCH continues, with the transition team meeting on a weekly basis, said Eskedjian.
One of the priorities the team recognized from the outset was the importance of clear communication with the staff and public, said the CEO.
As a result, the team sent out an RFP for a communications support person and has retained Jennifer Garland, a communications specialist.
From just outside of Peterborough, Garland was one of two who submitted a proposal, the other submission was from a local party, said Eskedjian.
According to Eskedjian, Garland is familiar with this community and has worked with area corporations and small hospitals.
“We’re very happy,” said the CEO, adding Garland has already begun to attend the integration meetings.
Garland will be developing a communications plan and engaging with the community and target stakeholders.
Her services are budgeted to cost $10,000 and will be funded through the Small, Northern, Rural Hospitals Transformation Fund, which has money allocated for communications support.
Part of the integration plan will see the board of directors of Community Care and HHHS merge into one board.
Community Care has nominated three current board members to join the HHHS board, said HHHS chairman Len Logozar.
Those individuals will have to apply and comply to the nomination requirements currently in place by the board.
Purchasing partnership with Ross Memorial
A procurement partnership with Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay is saving HHHS money when it comes to buying goods.
The arrangement has RMH doing the procurement, which is resulting in better pricing through shared services, said Eskedjian.
“This is a good news story,” said the president and CEO. “We were paying premium prices, in some cases.”
In addition, RMH has agreed to let HHHS do its large printing orders through the Lindsay hospital’s print shop.
Cash for Care winding down
The Cash for Care lottery facilitated by the Haliburton Highlands Health Services Foundation is winding down.
The next early bird draw is set to take place on April 30, with the last four draws scheduled for May 23.
Logozar encouraged board members to purchase tickets, if they had not already done so.
Proceeds from this year’s lottery were going towards palliative care, said Logozar.
“This year the tickets aren’t flying off the shelf,” he said.
This is the second year of the Cash for Care lottery.
Tickets can be purchased by calling 705-457-1580 or 705-286-1580. They are also available throughout the county at many business locations.