Almonte, Carleton Place hospitals host virtual AGMs

LANARK COUNTY – Almonte General Hospital (AGH) and Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital (CPDMH) hosted virtual annual general meetings at the end of June.

The AGMs provided an opportunity to look back on the past year, highlighting the commitment of staff, medical staff and volunteers.

Before sharing the accomplishments of the past 12 months, both board chairs focused on the past few months and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“To our staff at AGH, Fairview Manor, Lanark County Paramedic Service, and the Foundation – thank you all so very much for stepping up during this crisis,” AGH board char Randy Larkin said. “You donned whatever PPE was required, took extraordinary precautions, and you demonstrated professionalism and dedication to patient and resident care that is second to none.”

CPDMH board chair Rob Clayton echoed those comments.

“The events of the past few months have shined a well-deserved spotlight on our hospital team,” he said. “While COVID-19 has created uncertainty, one thing is clear. We have an amazing team and we will face these challenges head on. Everyone has truly been outstanding.”

The leadership of Dr. Karen Turcotte and Dr. Steve Walker and the collaboration between the two hospitals and their medical staffs, the Ottawa Valley Family Health Team, Lanark County Paramedic Service and Leeds Grenville Lanark Public Health in establishing the COVID-19 Assessment Centre in Almonte was applauded.  In addition to on-site testing and assessment, the assessment centre also supported community paramedics offering testing for local long-term care homes and house-bound patients.

The AGMs also highlighted the continued evolution of the Mississippi River Health Alliance. Throughout the year, work has continued on a joint clinical services plan that will transform the way care is delivered in North Lanark. In addition, joint corporate goals, committees and staff positions are helping the organizations to work even more closely together.

Other notable successes include:

  • Fairview Manor provided 40,275 days of care to our residents, which represents 98 per cent occupancy of our 111 residential and one respite bed.  It had a significant waiting list throughout the year – a testament to the quality of care provided by the team.
  • Lanark County Paramedics responded to 24,732 calls over the past year – an increase of 7.5 per cent over the previous year.
  • In Carleton Place, work continues on Stage Three of the emergency department redevelopment. COVID-19 learnings are being applied to the plans.
  • The two foundations continue to provide incredible support. The AGH-FVM Foundation surpassed the $1 million mark, by approximately $200,000. The CPDMH Foundation raised almost $884,000 this past year and is now focusing on a comprehensive capital campaign for the new emergency department.

“At both hospitals, the dedicated volunteers bring heart, humour, and community spirit,” communications lead Jane Adams said. “We look forward to welcoming them back soon.”

At each AGM, the outgoing board chairs, Larkin (AGH) and Clayton (CPDMH), were thanked for their dedication and strategic leadership.  Both are staying on their respective boards as past chair in the upcoming year. 

Dr. Christiane Deschenes, outgoing chief of staff at AGH, was also recognized and thanked for her service to the Hospital and to the community.  Dr. Deschenes is retiring after 39 years of service as a Family Physician in Almonte. 

President and CEO Mary Wilson Trider summed up the past year.

“Amongst the things which haven’t changed are the commitment of our staff, medical staff and volunteers to provide excellent care for our patients and residents,” she said. “The connections so many of us have to each other through family and shared experiences, inside and outside the workplace, give our organizations the special feeling people talk about when they come here for the first time – and result in the tremendous support that we enjoy from the members of our communities.”