Annual Public Meeting Reviews a Year of Change for Southern Health-Santé Sud

Abe Bergen (Board Chair) and Jane Curtis (CEO)

Southern Health-Santé Sud has seen a lot of change over the past year. The region welcomed a new Chief Executive Officer and Governing Board and saw changes at the leadership, staff and community levels.

“Although we often focus on what we lose in times of change, it is more important than ever to recognize the opportunities we have before us,” said Jane Curtis, who took over as Chief Executive Officer in April 2017 at Southern Health-Santé Sud’s Annual Public Meeting in Steinbach on October 4. “I am very optimistic that we are heading towards a better and more sustainable future for our region and for health care in Manitoba.”

Achievements & Successes

Curtis went on to highlight some of the changes and achievements that have taken place in the region over the past year. Although too numerous to mention, they include the development of a new, five-year strategic health plan, a Declaration of Patient Values and an Indigenous Licensed Practical Nurse Training Program offered in partnership with Indigenous communities and Assiniboine Community College, to name a few.

Fresh from the ribbon-cutting ceremony on the new, expanded Tabor Home for Morden, new Board Chair, Abe Bergen pointed out that it has been a busy year for construction in the region.  The new Centre de santé Notre-Dame Health Centre in Notre Dame de Lourdes opened in the spring offering bilingual acute care services, as well as the new Bethesda Primary Care Centre in Steinbach.

As the region’s population continues to grow, partly through immigration, ensuring that people have safe access to health care remains a priority, said Curtis. Reflecting the region’s mandate as a designated bilingual region, Accreditation Canada has recognized the region for its ability to provide high-quality, French language services.

Listening to the Patient's Voice

The region’s three Local Health Involvement groups (LHIGs) met regularly, continuing their work to engage communities and transform the patient experience, said Bergen.

The region also gathered 2 000 more patient surveys full of valuable information and will continue to survey patients at its facilities and be responsive to identified gaps and needs, said Curtis. 

Dr. Brock Wright, lead of Shared Health Services of Manitoba gave a brief overview of the new organization’s vision and plans for transforming the health system in the province.

Recovering from Mental Illness

This year’s meeting theme was ‘Mental Health and Addiction” and highlighted personal stories of people who have struggled with and are recovering from a mental illness.  Sean Miller, of the Canadian Mental Health Association, chaired a panel discussion with three members of the “Sharing Our Story” program, coordinated through the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society. Prefaced by an information video on addiction, Ann Thompson-Courchene, Jackie Koop and Ken Reddig each gave a brief presentation about their mental illness journey and recovery. They shared some of the struggles they faced and how they got better - the most common thread of recovery being family, friends and ‘connection’.

The meeting wrapped up with the presentation of this year’s Quality Service Award winners.

For more information regarding the 2016-17 accomplishments and success stories, access the full version of the Southern Health-Santé Sud 2016/17 Annual Report.