Physician Leaders Support Transformative Regional Healthcare Plan for Muskoka

May 16, 2024

Muskoka, ON — The Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) of Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC), consisting of department chiefs, clinical committee chairs, medical directors, and physician leads from both North and South Muskoka, has provided its strong endorsement through a consensus statement in support of the proposed health system plan designed to transform regional healthcare delivery.

As trusted advisors the MAC is the leading medical committee that oversees the quality of medical care and provides council to the Board of Directors on all medical matters. The MAC operates within a decision framework that prioritizes quality of care while recognizing budget constraints, government regulations, and the current deterioration of facilities. The committee’s endorsement comes after rigorous assessment and comprehensive feedback from care-providers and community stakeholders and is based on the potential of the plan to maintain and enhance healthcare quality across Muskoka and surrounding areas.

“We, the members of the MAC, fully support the updated plan for our regional healthcare system as presented by the Project Team. This plan, improved through valuable community feedback, serves as a strong foundation for enhancing healthcare across Muskoka and surrounding areas. It aims to effectively expand our system and ensure each community sees improvements.

The strategy is carefully designed to maintain fiscal responsibility, reflecting our commitment to responsible use of public funds. This financial stewardship is apparent in managing initial construction costs and ensuring sustainable operational expenses.

We are committed to actively collaborating with the Project Team to address any issues that arise as we implement this plan. Together, we aim to develop a forward-thinking healthcare system that meets current demands and is prepared for future healthcare challenges. Our support for this plan shows our belief in its potential to improve healthcare delivery in our region.”

The MAC calls on the medical community and local politicians to support this vital project, which represents a significant investment from the province in healthcare development for the region. The collaboration of all stakeholders is essential, particularly considering the tight timeline and existing financial and governmental constraints.

The endorsed plan signifies a strategic transition from operating two independent small hospitals to adopting a cohesive regional healthcare approach, where two interdependent hospital sites complement each other and the broader local health system. This strategy aims to improve and expand services, benefiting each community in the region. It includes thorough risk mitigation strategies and a commitment to ongoing collaboration with healthcare providers to effectively adapt and respond to operational needs.

As MAHC continues engagement in the coming weeks, the MAC remains committed to its leadership role, supporting the planning team through this phase with a focus on strategic understanding, collaboration, and excellent healthcare delivery.

Members of the MAC:

Chief of Staff, Dr. Khaled Abdel-Razek (both sites)

Chief & Director of Emergency Medicine, Dr. John Simpson (both sites)

Chief & Director of Diagnostic Imaging, Dr. Jason Blaichman (both sites)

Chief of Obstetrical Services, Dr. Sheena Branigan (both sites)

Chief of Surgical Services, Dr. Hector Roldan (both sites)

Chief of Internal Medicine, Dr. Khaled Salem (both sites)

Chief of Family Medicine, Dr. Kristen Jones (SMMH)

Chief of Family Medicine, Dr. Melanie Mar (HDMH)

Quality Lead Physician, Dr. Keith Cross (SMMH)

Quality Lead Physician, Dr. Caroline Correia (HDMH)

Chief Medical Information Officer, Dr. Nick Biasutti (both sites)

Chair of Pharmacy & Therapeutics, Dr. David Johnstone (both sites)

President of Credentialed Staff Association, Dr. Allison Small

Vice President of Credentialed Staff Association, Dr. Joseph Gleeson

For more information on the health system redevelopment plan, visit our website at muskokaalgonquinhealthcare.ca or contact:

Bobbie Clark (she/her)

Director, Communications and Stakeholder Relations

Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare

T: 705.789.2311 x 2711

E: bobbie.clark@mahc.ca

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