Saturday was an auspicious day for the patients of Kingston, for our health system and for Queen’s hospital partners. On Saturday April 1, 2017, Hotel Dieu Hospital and Kingston General Hospital officially integrated their functions, and a new corporation was born. The integrated hospital will adopt a new “legal name” the Kingston Health Sciences Centre, pending a full analysis over the coming months of a permanent “business name”, by which the hospital will operate.
As observers of healthcare in Kingston will understand, the integration of our two acute care hospitals, is a momentous occasion. In this new configuration, there will be a new board of directors, a new executive team, and a unified professional staff.
I am delighted that Dr. David Pichora will be the new Chief Executive Officer, and Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick, the new Chief of Staff. We wish them, and the rest of the new executive team, well as the move forward with the mission of an integrated hospital.
The notion of an integrated hospital started almost a year and a half ago. Through the incredible work of two board chairs, George Thomson and Michael Hickey, and with the help with many, many others, the process unfolded in a extraordinarily positive way.
As Kingstonians and would know, the notion of integrating a faith-based hospital and the secular hospital has not been an easy one. But as someone who has been very materially involved through he entire process, I can attest that once the decision was taken by both boards to integrate, there has been nothing but a spirit of incredible cooperation and positivity.
I would like to single out Jim Flett and David Zelt, as per my blog from a few weeks ago, for special recognition. Jim and David worked indefatigably on integration and have helped make this marriage a very successful one.
I would also note, that the professional staff have been extraordinarily positive about the integration, and are extremely charged by the advantages that an integrated hospital will proffer.
Of all the files on my desk in my almost 7 years as dean, this has been the largest file. And, justifiably so. I cannot think of a single issue that’s more important in our current healthcare environment than moving forward as an integrated system. Kingston, as a community will benefit greatly from “all boats rowing in the same direction” under single leadership.
Perhaps, a final comment about Dr. David Pichora. David has been a long-standing colleague and a good friend. I can honestly say that I can’t think of another individual who is more poised to take on this leadership challenge than David. He’s incredibly smart, extraordinarily hard working, and most importantly, absolutely committed and dedicated to the welfare of our patients in Kingston and those in our region.
I’m equally excited about the new Board of Directors at the Kingston Health Sciences Centre, a board that I will join. It will be led by David O’Toole the current President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Institute for Health Information. David’s a terrific individual and we are very lucky to have has him as our inaugural board chair.
Please join me in congratulating all the many people who were involved in the creation of this new hospital, including the two board chairs who started the process, Dr. Scott Carson and Ms. Sherri McCullough.
If you have any comments forward to graduation so I can pass on, please respond to the blog… or better yet, please drop by the Macklem house, my doors always open.