Dean On Campus Blog

The Integration of Kingston General and Hotel Dieu Hospitals

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.

 

Richard

4 Responses to The Integration of Kingston General and Hotel Dieu Hospitals

  1. Bill Moore Meds ''62 says:

    Richard, what an enormous accomplishment! Many thanks to you and all the others who worked so hard and long to bring consolidation of Kingston hospitals .Queen’s will benefit from many, some maybe currently unknown, ways from having a unified Kingston Health Sciences Centre, the need for which probably was apparent in my father’s day (Meds ’28) and certainly was in mine. Major change is difficult for every previously vested interest but the sum of the new whole should be good for the future of medical care in Kingston and the long-term growth of Queen’s being an attractive consideration for outstanding students, staff, faculty, and funding sources. I look forward to learning about continuing progress.

    • reznickr says:

      Bill,

      well said! Thanks,a s always, for your comment. It was indeed a momentous event for Kingston and Queen’s.

      Richard

  2. Henry Dinsdale says:

    An auspicious day indeed! Although the importance of this announcement lies now and in the future, it prompts memories of one’s experience, first as a student (beginning in 1949 at the start of the then six-year medical course) and later as a hospital. staff member. Those memories trace the remarkable, and at times rocky, evolution of the hospitals’ involvements with teaching. When I graduated, the relationship of physicians with the university was much less well defined. Hospital allegiances were often paramount; you were either a KGH or a Hotel Dieu physician. Regionally the situation was comparable to Brockville where physicians had to choose between being a member of staff of either a civic or a faith-based hospital. One looked with envy to Belleville where physicians were members of a single, civic hospital.

    You undoubtedly appreciate the challenges to some of your decanal predecessors in their interactions with hospital boards as they promoted the concept of an integrated health sciences centre. A favorite adage of one of them, Larry Wlson, seems apposite: “When you drink the water, remember who dug the well.”

    • reznickr says:

      Henry,

      Thanks for your comments and your historical perspective. I certainly appreciate Dean Wilson’s quote. We have indeed come a long way. I am very hopeful for the future. What has been sop remarkable has, since the day the boards agreed, the incredible spirit of good will and a focus on what’s best fro our patients.

      Richard

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