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HSN looking to public to help shape strategic plan

Speaker series to open up discussion on direction of Sudbury hospital in years to come

Health Sciences North is in the early stages of developing its 2019-2024 strategic plan and the organization is looking to keep the public very much in the loop.

As part of the process, the hospital will be kicking off the "Discovery Phase" with a speaker series that will welcome experts from around the province between April 4 and June 12, where the public is being invited to take part and get a better understanding of HSN's future direction.

William Charnetski is the first speaker in the series and will hold a pair of presentations on April 4 at 7 p.m. inside the Rock Garden Cafe at HSN, and again at 7 a.m. on April 5. Charnetski is the chief health innovation strategist with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

"He (Charnetski) has several projects running simultaneously throughout various parts of the province and they range from innovations in homecare, innovations in diagnostics, IT and how IT can be value-added to the consumer and providers of healthcare," said Maureen McLelland, special advisor to Dominic Giroux for the strategic plan.

"He'll cover a range of the work that's going on in Ontario and we'll benefit from hearing what's going on around the province. He also manages some funding for innovation projects so I think it's important for all of us to understand that there's access to innovation funds and knowing how to access those grants."

Between now and the middle of June, McLelland and other members of the Strategic Plan Steering Committee will be gathering as much feedback as they can through the speaker series and brainstorming sessions between April 10-12 that are open to the public.

"In the middle of June, we'll have collected all of the input and we'll have a fairly good sense of what people are thinking and what is emerging as top priorities," said McLelland. "We'll have a third meeting with the steering committee at that point and a pretty good sense of where we're headed."

The first draft of the strategic plan is expected to be completed by the end of July and presented to the Health Sciences North board of directors. While the hospital is opening its ears to the public throughout the course of drafting the plan, there are still some guiding principles being followed.

In the early stages of planning the steering committee analyzed the hospital's environmental scan which was presented to the committee at the end of February and published on March 5, which helped in the selection of the speakers who will visit Sudbury in the coming months.

"It's a look back at our history and how we've evolved as an organization and based on that anaylsis we tossed around some ideas around topics," said McLelland. "That's what went into the selection of the speakers, it was based on the topics that were emerging from that backgrounder and environmental scan."

McLelland and the steering committee have been given a certain measure of freedom when it comes to drafting the hospital's strategic plan, without a great deal of stipulations apart from the timeline to have it completed and that it should include no more than five priorities and no more than 25 outcomes associated with the priorities.

"The terms of reference were endorsed by the board of directors in terms of the process and timelines, but they do not direct the content of the strategic plan," said McLelland, who says that she's excited about the process the steering committee is taking.

"It's really exciting to be doing this and being so transparent and trying to get as many views as possible," she said. "We're genuinely interested in ensuring that the strategic plan is a reflection of the feedback we've heard and that people can get behind it."

Health Sciences North is in the beta stages of launching a new website where the public will be able to keep up on all the latest in the strategic planning process. The website is expected to be up and running within the next week.


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