Quality through caring: NSHA’s annual general meeting emphasizes care, compassion and collaboration

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

NSHA AGM - July 10, 2019 in Truro from Nova Scotia Health Authority on Vimeo.

TRURO, N.S. – Care. Compassion. Partnership. Collaboration. Innovation.

These are the qualities that Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) focused on during the organization’s fourth annual general meeting, Healthier Together: Quality Through Caring, on Wednesday in Truro.

The meeting opened with the video story of Darcy Sack, a client of the Enhanced Home Visiting program in the First Nation community of Sipekne’katik.

NSHA president and CEO Janet Knox acknowledged organizational successes, including work to improve access to primary health care, mental health and addictions and surgical services. She also acknowledged challenges, including Nova Scotians who don’t have a family doctor or nurse practitioner, or are waiting too long for mental health care, a test or procedure, or a nursing home placement.

“We are working to improve timely access to community-based care and services and realign our resources with a focus on the right care, by the right provider, in the right place, at the right time,” Knox said.

“We need to modernize and transform our health system by looking at the needs of the population we’re serving and then redesigning our programs and services to meet those needs,” she added.

“Redevelopment projects in Cape Breton and Halifax are good examples. We are investing in community–based care, maximizing the use of technology and making the best use of our resources.”

NSHA Board of Directors Chair Frank van Schaayk noted that,“the challenge is to deliver on not only day-to-day performance across the health system, but also on the milestones in the system’s transformation. Achieving tangible, visible and consistent improvements is Job 1.”

He also stressed the importance of organizational transparency.

“We must let Nova Scotians know how we are working to improve the system, show the results and challenges, and how and why we make the decisions we do,” van Schaayk said. “Since this time last year, progress made on transparency includes the open board meeting format, more than 1,000 responses to media requests, and the posting of board meeting highlights to our website.”

The board chair also launched NSHA’s renewed strategic plan for 2019-22, which was shaped by broad internal and public engagement.

“You will see more concise values statements that clearly define our actions and decisions, in keeping with the feedback we received,” van Schaayk added. “We have also reformulated our strategic directions to establish three distinct pillars: Our Services, Our People and Our Communities. These restated directions will help us focus the organization’s efforts over the coming three years.”

“We need you to challenge us and hold us accountable to meeting these goals, but also to trust that we are working with the best interests of Nova Scotians at heart. We may not always get it right; as they say, failure is a necessary and inevitable part of every success. However, if we stay focused on the future that we want to create, while listening to one another and to our communities, and work together, we will get there.”

The board chair also acknowledged outgoing members Marie McCully Collier and Wayne MacDonald. He also welcomed new member Paul Comeau.

“The stories in NSHA’s 2018-19 annual report show us what’s possible if – fueled by caring – we work together, are open to change and embrace the possibilities before us,” Knox said.

 Highlights from NSHA’s 2018-19 annual report include:

• how focus on wellness is improving joint replacement access and care;
• how cultural safety changes how Public Health thinks about the health needs of First Nation communities; and
• how patients and communities are informing our new patient menu and enhanced room service model.

Read NSHA’s full 2018-19 annual report here: www.nshealth.ca/AnnualReport2018-19


Provincial Media Line: 1-844-483-3344

About Nova Scotia Health Authority
Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) provides health services to Nova Scotians and a wide array of specialized services to Maritimers and Atlantic Canadians. NSHA operates hospitals, health centres and community-based programs across the province. Our team of health professionals includes employees, doctors, researchers, learners and volunteers. We work in partnership with community groups, schools, governments, foundations and auxiliaries and community health boards. Visit nshealth.ca for more