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Public will get its first look at HSN's five-year plan in October

Validation phase of strategic plans starts after Thanksgiving
The public will get its first look at the direction that Health Sciences North is looking to take over the next five years when the second draft of their strategic plan is unveiled in October. (File)

The public will get its first look at the direction that Health Sciences North is looking to take over the next five years when the second draft of their strategic plan is unveiled in October.

Phase one of developing the hospital's plan that will direct them from 2019-2024 was completed in mid-June, and the strategic plan steering committee has whittled down more than 200 pages of feedback into a more digestible document that closer resembles what the plan will look like in its final form.

Health Sciences North's strategic plan will be a very slim four-page document containing five key goals and 25 measurable outcomes.

Maureen McLelland has been heading up the development of the plan as CEO Dominic Giroux's special advisor for the strategic plan. She has spent countless hours going over the feedback that was received during the "discovery phase" of the development of the plan, and the committee is now in the second phase, "review and synthesis".

"This next steering committee meeting on Aug. 20 is really a critical one because there was so much content and everybody was thinking, 'how are we going to make sense of this?'" said McLelland. "My job has been to try and frame it in a way that makes sense and honours what people shared with us. Leading up to the other steering committee meetings we really had to break it down and have groups of five going over 40 pages each, but this next meeting the package is going to be pretty slim."

From there, the committee will go through and dissect the first draft of the strategic plan, and McLelland will once again put it back together for the second draft which will be brought before the steering committee on Sept. 10.

"My job is to not make this theoretical and to have the plan be accessible to our staff and our scientists as well as the public," said McLelland. 

"That was part of the anxiety with writing it and thinking 'am I going to be able to get there?' I would say that the first draft certainly isn't perfect and I expect it to be critiqued and that's why we have a steering committee because if this isn't accessible to them then we've failed the test. I expect there to be some shakeup between version one and version two."

McLelland expects a few more minor tweaks to the second draft on Sept. 10, before the plan is brought to the public for phase three, the "validation phase", which is slated to get underway after Thanksgiving (Oct. 8).

A pair of town hall meetings will be held post-Thanksgiving, in addition to an online engagement period. The first meeting will be with internal stakeholders, including staff, physicians and the leadership team at the hospital.

The second town hall meeting will be with academic partners and community health service partners. The third session is when the general public will get their opportunity to get a look at the draft strategic plan and weigh in.

"This will be a much more concise engagement period because it's taking place over one month instead of three," said McLelland.

While the first two meetings with staff and community partners, the general public's engagement will be on a larger scale through press releases and online engagement in order to gather as much feedback as possible.

"At this point, the steering committee has already done their work about priority setting so it will be more about, how can we make this clearer and how can we break this down to be more meaningful," said McLelland.

"There will still be an element of 'did we miss something major?' and if there's any missing pieces. We'll have a lot of content to consider and then the window for the validation phase closes Nov. 2."

By this point the strategic plan will be nearing its completion and will go before the steering committee for a final time on Nov. 20, along with the data that was gathered in the validation phase. 

"The steering committee will get to see what people had to say but they'll also see the impact of that with the changed document which at that point is version four," McLelland said.

Once signed off on by the steering committee the plan will make its way up through both the HSN and HSNRI boards in December and January, and pending endorsement from both boards the plan will be launched by January 2019.

"Our dates are set, we've had a really good level of engagement from the steering committee and we've had this planned from a long way out," said McLelland. "I don't see any snags in our process and we're lining things up right now for the validation process and we're getting our website ready for that next phase, so all of that is running on time."

You can stay up to date with the hospital's strategic plan at, and come October the public will be able to view a draft of the plan and provide feedback.


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