Summary of January 22, 2007 Board Meeting

The Miramichi Regional Health Authority Board of Directors held its monthly meeting
January 22, 2007 at the Miramichi Regional Hospital. The following are highlights of the meeting:

1. Minute of silence held to acknowledge the death of Dr. S. Pershad

As a gesture of respect, the Board of Directors began their monthly meeting by observing a minute of silence to honour Dr. Suresh Pershad, who passed away on January 4. Dr. Pershad was an internal medicine specialist and the chief of internal medicine department at the Miramichi Regional Hospital. He had practiced medicine in the Miramichi for the past 27 years. Board chairperson Russell Whitney said that the passing of Dr. Pershad was a great loss to the organization and the community. “Dr. Pershad’s gentleness and kindness touched the lives of many Miramichiers and he will be missed.”

2. Financial Summary

The Finance Committee of the Board reported that at the end of November 2006, the Miramichi Regional Health Authority had an eight month operating deficit of $1.8 million. It is estimated that the health authority’s projected deficit will now be $3 million. The contributing factors include costs associated with the orthopaedic program, physician locums, and the operational shortfall including high occupancy rates which are all approximately $1million each.

3. Recruitment Update

In his report to the Board, Gary Foley, president and CEO was pleased to report that Dr. Lubin, a general surgeon had joined the health authority medical staff in January. His wife, Dr. Forrest, an emergency room physician will join him in the summer. Other physicians that have recently joined the health authority include Dr. Cohen, a bilingual psychiatrist and Dr. Roux, an ENT surgeon. An internist from South Africa and his wife, a family practitioner, an anesthetist, a psychiatrist, and a general surgeon have been recruited and are expected to arrive in the next two to three months. An offer has been made to an anesthetist. Mr. Foley indicated that he will be meeting with the chief of family medicine, a family physician representative and the vice president of medical services to identify potential family practice practitioner recruits with the goal having one additional family practitioner in place by August. Recruitment is ongoing for family physicians, an urologist, an ophthalmologist, internal medicine specialists, and a radiologist.

Other health care professionals the health authority is actively recruiting includes nurses, physiotherapists, a First Nations Interpreter, and medical radiation technologists.

4. Medical Laboratory technologist position approved

The Board endorsed the recommendation for the health authority to acquire a permanent fulltime Medical Laboratory Technologist (MLT-3) position at a cost of $59,000 a year based upon the recommendation of Marilyn Underhill, vice-president of professional services. The position will be responsible for laboratory information systems coordination, quality assurance programs and safety programs for the laboratory medicine department. This position will be instrumental in helping the department formalize and coordinate many aspects of its operation to meet national laboratory medicine standards. This recommendation will be included in the Health Authority’s Health and Business Plan.

5. Survey issued to First Nations Communities

The First Nations Liaison Committee of the Board has issued a questionnaire to each of the First Nations communities to evaluate their level of awareness about the First Nations Interpreter worker. The questionnaires have been distributed through the committee’s First Nation’s community representatives to a total of 665 households.

6. Report of the Chairperson

In his report to the Board, Russell Whitney, Board Chairperson provided an update of his activities since December in representing the MRHA. He reported that he had attended the New Brunswick Health Care Association’s meeting in December 2006 noting the main topic of discussion was alternate level of care patients occupying hospital beds waiting for a nursing home. He noted that the 10th Anniversary of the Miramichi Regional Hospital celebration held on December 15, 2006 was a great success and thanked those involved.

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