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Weyburn, Saskatchewan
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Highlights of the February Regional Health Authority meeting

Sun Country Regional Health Authority (SCRHA) announced at its Feb. 29 meeting that it has begun a search to hire into the CEO position of the organization. SCRHA has contracted a search firm to conduct this process. Marga Cugnet, Interim President and CEO, has served in this position since September of 2010.

In other business, SCRHA learned that:

  • Sun Country Health Region (SCHR) is developing a plan to provide a new kind of patient and family-centred care in order to provide exceptional care and service to our customers.
  • SCHR will increase the number of trained operating room nursing staff by two seats each year for the next three years to ensure sufficient operating room staff to increase the number of surgeries performed in the Region. By increasing the staff and the number of surgeries here, SCHR will help reduce the wait lists for surgery in larger city hospitals.
  • Audits are showing that surgeons in SCHR are complying 95-100 per cent of the time with the new Surgical Safety Checklist.
  • Public Health nurses in the Region collected data in November on all children between the ages of 4 and 6 years at child health clinics to establish a baseline for the future assessment of obesity in children. Childhood obesity is on the rise in Canada, sitting at 8.6 per cent for children between the ages of 6-17 years. The Canadian Institute for Health Information and the Public Health Agency of Canada released the 2011 report called Obesity in Canada that says the prevalence of obesity in 2004 in children aged 2 to 5 years was 6.3 per cent. The report also estimated that the economic costs of obesity are 7.1 billion when based on the costs associated with 18 chronic diseases that are linked to obesity. 
  • Between January 11- February 15, 2010, SCHR hired three Registered Nurses, one Licensed Practical Nurse and one Out of Scope staff member. During that same period, two Registered Nurses, one Licensed Practical Nurse and two Out of Scope management staff resigned.  
  • Eleven doctors are still in various stages of the recruitment process for the City of Estevan and area, two doctors for Arcola and area; and three doctors are being recruited for Weyburn and area.  
  • Nine Nursing Students were placed in SCHR facilities from January 3 – February 14, 2012. Four students were placed in Estevan and two each in Weyburn and Carlyle. 
  • A session of the University of Saskatchewan Pre-Health Professional Club for high school students interested in health care careers is scheduled for April 2 in Estevan. The focus is on Grade 11 students. The club is anticipating between 50-60 students this year in the Region. SCHR supports and speaks at club activities in the Region. The club provides an opportunity for students to explore and experience the various stages of career development in a health sector occupation.
  • SCHR’s recruitment department attended one career fair in Saskatoon in January, and three in Regina during February.
  • SCHR has awarded 40 bursaries up to November 14, 2011.   Recipients include students in the following programs: 33 in registered nursing; two in physical therapy; one paramedic; one in medical lab technology, three medical students. In comparison, 54 were awarded in 2010-2011.   In addition (and as per a local initiative under the SCHR/SUN Joint Partnership Agreement), five bursaries at $7,000 each were awarded to students in nursing who have committed to a return of service in a rural facility.
  • Two construction projects in the Region are progressing as expected. Mild weather this winter made it possible for work to continue on the new long term care wing for Redvers Health Centre and the new health centre for Radville. In Kipling, SCHR is waiting for a commitment letter from the community for costs over $18 million, so the functional plan can be finalized and submitted to the Ministry of Health for approval.
  • Consistent with the Region’s mandate to implement Lean training, over 30 per cent of staff have been trained in basic Lean concepts as of Jan. 31, 2012. 100 per cent of public health staff are included in that number, with three Lean projects initiated to improve office work flow, standardize use of the Community Health Library, implement new evidence-based prenatal education modules.
  • 100 per cent of mental health and addictions staff have also received the Lean training, with three lean projects underway in that department. One project will standardize the use of a screening and assessment tool, another will close inactive files to reduce waiting lists for clients, and streamline the practices of child and youth psychologists, again to reduce wait lists for clients.
  • The Mainprize Manor and Health Centre Trust Committee, Midale approved funding of $25,000 per year for 5 years to be allocated between Estevan and Weyburn for ambulance replacement. This is the second time that the Trust Committee has made this commitment of $125,000 total funding for the two cities and surrounding areas.
  • SCHR is working with White Bear First Nation to provide several health programs to residents on the reserved land. The Live Well with Chronic Diseases program will be offered in the band office in the spring and a SCHR dietitian is offering nutrition services on a regular basis. A one day Women’s Health event will be held on the reserve in May, with participation from the White Bear wellness coordinator and SCHR nurse practitioners, dietitians, public health, primary health and home care staff.  
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