I am pleased with the level of response to our call for applications to join our Board of Directors. We are in the process of selecting volunteers to fill four vacancies.
In addition to Board Directors, we are also providing opportunities for community members to participate on committees of the Board. This supports interested and committed people to gain experience and knowledge and prepare them for positions on the Board of Directors in the future.
Part of the role of the Board of Directors is the evaluation of the Hospital President & CEO. That process is underway with a new performance evaluation framework. Jean Bartkowiak agreed to pilot the new approach, which incorporates the manner in which the President & CEO builds organizational alignment towards our Hospital’s Strategic Directions, develops the people who work at our organization, and develops himself as an individual. The new framework supports a more meaningful evaluation to build high performers to be even more impactful. Our Board values effective leadership, which is integral to both patient and staff satisfaction.
Serving as a Board member requires an intensive commitment of time and energy, and I am grateful to those who dedicate theirs to our Hospital. I am continuously moved by the dedication of our volunteers, both on the Board of Directors, and serving in areas throughout the Hospital and the Health Sciences Foundation. It was an honour to be part of the Volunteer Appreciation Event on April 18. Each year, hundreds of volunteers contribute thousands of hours to support patient care delivery. I thank you all for your meaningful gift.
Finally, I take this opportunity to address questions regarding parking that Board Directors have received from members of our community. Some people object to paying for parking at the Hospital. However, most people are not aware that parking operations are not funded by the province as part of our operating budget. Parking lots are expensive to operate due to asphalt maintenance, snow removal, lighting and other associated operations. Those costs – over $1 million each year - are not covered by government funding. Parking fees cover the costs. Otherwise, parking lot maintenance costs would mean fewer funds to support health care services.
A working group of Patient Family Advisors – volunteers who have had recent experiences as patients or family members of patients at our Hospital – conducted a thorough review of our parking operations, and supported the current fees. Our Hospital’s parking rates are well below the average costs at other Ontario hospitals. For example, our daily maximum fee is $7.00. At Health Sciences North in Sudbury, it is $10.00, and at Hamilton Health Sciences it is $20.00.
As always, our priority is ensuring that patients in our community receive the specialized acute care they need in an academic environment at our Hospital. This is how we will be Healthy Together.
Nadine Doucette TBRHSC Board Chair