2024 Agenda

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Day 1

Thursday, February 29, 2024

All times below are Eastern Time
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08:30AM – 09:15AM

In-Person

Registration and Networking Continental Breakfast

08:45 AM

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08:45AM – 09:15AM

Online

Registration

09:15 AM

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09:15AM – 09:30AM

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Opening

Opening Remarks from the Chair

Steph Ouellet
Principal, Sailing Stone Solutions

09:30 AM

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09:30AM – 10:15AM

Session 1

NL Health: Transition and Change Management Lessons From a Large-Scale Reorganization

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Newfoundland and Labrador will celebrate one year since their transition to one health authority. Given the scale, there were some challenges, but many more successes as they move into their next phase.

The restructure had a large impact on rural healthcare delivery models, and required a realignment, and innovative approaches to meet the needs of the patients and the Ministry.

Key Session Takeaways Include:

  • How were the transition and opportunities and challenges planned and implemented over the past year
  • What changes to access were implement, and how were improvements rolled out
  • How has specialty care in rural communities been implemented, particularly the Orthopedics program
  • How were services standardized and how are they going forward in year two

Debbie Walsh
RN BN MHS CHE, Vice- President and Chief Operating Officer Eastern Rural Zone, NL Health Services

10:15 AM

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10:15AM – 11:00AM

Session 2

Enhancing Healthcare Delivery and Patient Services Through Virtual Care Solutions

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Access to robust healthcare in rural and remote areas is increasingly not just a possibility, but also consistently of high quality. The advancement of technology and innovative platforms, coupled with improved utilization of these tools, has diminished geographical barriers, and elevated the standard of care in both rural and urban healthcare settings. From utilizing phone and video-based access for symptomatic triage at a patient’s home to Virtual Emergency Room assessments leveraging remote biometric devices for comprehensive evaluations, as well as remote diagnostics and in-home care, rural communities can now access top-notch healthcare services within their localities, resulting in more positive health outcomes.

Key Session Takeaways

  • Insights into the deployment of remote strategies in rural and remote communities
  • Real-world examples of increasing access to care through remote diagnostic testing and virtual examinations
  • The significance of integrating virtual care with traditional in-person services in rural healthcare settings
  • Understanding patient perspectives and the advocacy for virtual care in facilitating real-time access to quality healthcare services

Charlene Brophy
President & CEO, Fonemed

11:00 AM

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11:00AM – 11:30AM

Break

Morning Break

11:30 AM

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11:30AM – 12:15PM

Session 3

Leadership Approaches for Small Hospital Leaders that Build Strength in Rural Communities

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Hospitals are a strong source of pride in the community. This is important for leaders, particularly the CEO, to keep in mind when engaging with the community – either through formal channels, or through on-street encounters.   Remember, in a small town, you are always on. 

We all have different leadership styles, but there are certain principles that can support leading hospitals in smaller communities. In this session Robert will share musings, experiences, and leadership insights through 20 years of leading hospitals in smaller communities.   

Key Session Takeaways Include:  

  • Important considerations for building engagement with patient advocates and political leaders  
  • Developing relationships with local media to demonstrate your hospital’s leadership in the community 
  • The importance of leading by walking around, being the face of the organization, and also the art of recognition 
  • Balancing the happiness of staff and internal teams with the goal of providing outstanding patient care  

Robert Alldred-Hughes
President & Chief Executive Officer, Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital

12:15 PM

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12:15PM – 01:15PM

Break

Lunch

01:15 PM

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01:15PM – 02:00PM

Session 4

Original Research Report
Factors That Affect Nurse Retention in Rural Canada: Strategies for Managing Nursing Shortages in Rural Alberta

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Retaining nurses remains a significant challenge across Canada, but more so for rural communities. Drawing on the early data from upcoming doctoral studies report from Royal Roads University, this research involved frontline nurses and their managers, utilizing a mixed method approach that comprised of surveys, interviews and focus group discussions.

This report provides important insight into what matters most to nurses living and practicing in rural communities – and it doesn’t always align with what leaders imagine nurses are looking for.

Key Session Takeaways Include:

  • What were the major findings, and how do they impact leaders going forward
  • Which internal factors mattered most, and how can leaders respond to meet them
  • What specific needs were identified from nurses surveys, and what do they tell us about their long-term needs

Nathan Banda
RN, BSN, MSN, DBA Candidate, Researcher, Director Surgical Services, Grande Prairie Regional Hospital

02:10 PM

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02:10PM – 02:55PM

Session 5A

Paramedic Data, An Untapped Resource: Leadership Through Partnership and Analytics to Improve Responses and Outcomes in Rural & Northern Communities

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Paramedics capture a vast quantity of data, however much of it is never reviewed which means a great deal of insight is being missed. The importance of data analytics is in its ability to allocate appropriate resources, such as staffing, and provide real time data on critical public health incidents.

Data literacy and communication among healthcare teams are key factors in using this important data. It is therefore vital that organizations devote resources to building relationships and robust data capture/analytical capabilities.

Key Session Takeaways Include:

  • How to get started, and how to use existing data to get a picture of what is happening in real time
  • What live monitoring of community health looks like, and how it can lead to reduced opioid deaths and improve care for the unhomed patients
  • Essential communication strategies for physicians, hospital and health agencies to engage with paramedics in their community.
  • The importance of choosing the correct data points in building your metrics
  • How to deal with problematic paramedic data and how to turn it into useful data
  • Lessons learned on connecting the data and determining what it means 

(John) Chris Smith
HBSc, ACP, Lead Researcher, Peterborough County-City Paramedics

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02:10PM – 02:55PM

Session 5B

Patient and Family Advisory Council and the Evolution of An Integrated Experience Program

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Patient experience, quality of care, and healthy outcomes, is the ultimate goal of all healthcare providers and hospitals. Ensuring the best care and outcomes requires the coordination of a team of providers and family input.

While Northumberland Hills Hospitals has had a Patient and Family Advisory Council since 2016, they have evolved and expanded their council. They are emphasizing the importance of collaboration between all departments and the role of the Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC) in decision-making.

Evolving the processes across their 137-bed hospital to strike a balance between their PFAC partnerships across every core program and corporate projects, this integrated model is seeing positive results from patients, staff, and physicians.

Key Session Takeaways Include:

  • How the PFAC was established and how it can be applied to other smaller community hospitals
  • How the program is governed and structured to maximize effectiveness and outcomes
  • How they have been progressing on their evolution, and where they expect to be in the future

Jennifer Gillard
Vice President, Patient Experience, Public Affairs and Strategic Partnerships, Northumberland Hills Hospital

Bonnie McKee
PFAC Chair, Northumberland Hills Hospital

02:55 PM

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02:55PM – 03:25PM

Break

Afternoon Break

03:25 PM

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03:25PM – 04:10PM

Session 6

Grow Your Own BN Program: Lessons Learned from the AHS Nursing Initiatives for Rural and Indigenous Communities

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Formed as a partnership between Old Sun Community College (Siksika First Nation), Alberta Health Services (Wainwright, Alberta), and Portage College (Cold Lake and St. Paul, Alberta), several communities are able to adapt to this innovative program to mobilize the strengths and address the needs of the community.

With a goal of addressing the ongoing recruitment and retention issues in rural and remote communities, they are able to recruit and train nurses in their own communities. Learn how the program developed and operates, how it can be adapted to any location, and what their expected next steps will be.

Key Session Takeaways Include:

  • How the funding and organizational models were structured, and how integration is being facilitated
  • The interest, uptake, and benefits of building a local nursing workforce in rural communities, including interest from indigenous students
  • How the program will expand, and what lessons were learned
  • How others can adopt a similar program suited to their own needs

Heather Bensler
Assistant Dean Academic Partnerships, Associate Professor (Teaching), Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary

04:10 PM

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04:10PM – 04:55PM

Session 7

ChatGPT: Deploying AI – When and How to Address the Challenges and Opportunities

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By now everyone has had some awareness of ChatGPT and AI, but how many have begun to use it in a real setting. When deployment in healthcare settings, there are more concerns than we would see in many other industries. But also more opportunities to deliver care, particularly in rural and remote areas.

Through a highly interactive session of polls, demos and discussion, we will explore when and how to effectively address the challenges and harness the tremendous opportunities that AI presents in the healthcare sector.

Key Session Takeaways Include:

  • What AI can do well, and what it can’t do well
  • How leaders can harness ChatGPT to draft up strategic plans under limitless scenarios
  • How ChatGPT can be directed toward patient and stakeholder communication to remote areas
  • Real-world uses and case studies specific to healthcare in rural and northern communities

Steph Ouellet
Principal, Sailing Stone Solutions

04:55 PM

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04:55PM – 05:10PM

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Closing

Closing Remarks

Steph Ouellet
Principal, Sailing Stone Solutions

Leigh Chapman
RN PhD, Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), Health Canada

05:10 PM

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05:10PM - 06:00PM

Activity

Networking Reception

Day 2

Friday, March 01, 2024

All times below are Eastern Time
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08:30AM – 09:15AM

In-Person

Registration and Networking Continental Breakfast

08:45 AM

}

08:45AM – 09:15AM

Online

Registration

09:15 AM

}

09:15AM – 09:30AM

v

Opening

Opening Remarks from the Chair

Steph Ouellet
Principal, Sailing Stone Solutions

09:30 AM

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09:30AM – 10:15AM

Session 8

Supporting Specialty Care in Rural Settings

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Innovative strategies have been developed to support the provision of rural pediatric care in British Columbia. It is hoped this will support the recruitment and retention of rural general pediatricians and rural primary care providers. These strategies could be applied to other jurisdictions and to other specialties which play a critical role in rural health care, such as general psychiatry.

The Sustaining Pediatrics in Rural and Underserved Communities (SPRUCe) network coordinates in-person pediatric care to rural and remote BC communities, while also supporting connections between rural pediatricians and supporting the mentorship of medical learners (pediatric residents and medical students) by rural pediatricians. The Child Advice in Real-time Electronically (CHARLiE) virtual pathway offers immediate, 24/7, real time virtual pediatric care, virtual simulation training and education for rural primary care providers. Both are initiatives of the Rural Coordination Centre of British Columbia, and support the improvement of health equity for individuals living in remote, rural communities in British Columbia.

Key Session Takeaways Include:

  • Learn how a clinical network can support rural pediatricians to fill provider care gaps, to provide education and to foster mentorship of future rural pediatricians
  • Consider the possibility of a virtual method to support rural primary care providers in the provision of care to children and youth with urgent health needs
  • Discuss the importance of medial trainees having exposure to rural pediatric practice, and how this can impact recruitment
  • Leverage this care model to be deployed nationally, and for other specialties, providing improved access to specialty care in rural and remote communities

Kirsten Miller
MD FRCPC, BC Northern Health Authority Medical Lead, Child and Youth Health Program, Co-Lead, Sustaining Pediatrics, Rural and Underserved Communities (SPRUCe), Paediatrician, Prince George, BC

10:15 AM

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10:15AM – 11:00AM

Session 9

Virtual Presentation
Health Human Resource Crisis: Increasing Indigenous Representation at Yukon Hospitals

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While there has been a healthcare staffing crisis across the country, it is particularly stressed in rural and remote communities, in particular Yukon’s First Nation communities. In response, Yukon Hospital Corporation is working to address its staffing crisis while improving the experiences of Indigenous clients, through their Indigenous Workforce Strategy.

Through Yukon Hospitals Commitment to Truths & Reconciliation, Decolonization and Indigenization, the Indigenous Workforce Strategy is being implemented, with some initial success that we are proud to share.

Key Session Takeaways Include:

  • How Yukon Hospitals are increasing indigenous representation within its workforce
  • How they are increasing cultural safety and humility and supporting traditional ways of knowing and being
  • How they are developing foundational supports for advancing Truth and Reconciliation, decolonization, and indigenization
  • How they are enhancing engagement with Indigenous communities and establishing meaningful relationships with those Indigenous communities

Tanya Solberg
Executive Director, Allied Health Programs, Yukon Hospital Corporation

Laura Salmon
Director of First Nation Health Programs, Yukon Hospital Corporation

11:00 AM

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11:00AM – 11:30AM

Break

Morning Break

11:30 AM

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11:30AM – 12:15PM

Session 10

Island Health BC
Leadership in Clinical Governance: Delivering on Quality and Safety Across the Continuum of Care in Rural and Remote Communities

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Clinical governance is the framework by which the governing body, leaders, and health care providers have responsibility and accountability for the quality of care.

In the fall of 2021, in response to clear direction from our care teams, Island Health launched the Clinical Governance Improvement Initiative with the ultimate goal of improving clinical outcomes for patients and families.

In this progress report, we will elaborate on how we continue to listen to our care teams and are proud to be taking meaningful steps towards clear, simple, and transparent clinical governance and accountability.

Key Session Takeaways Include:

  • Intrinsic motivation to make things better that is deeply rooted in perspective of public service, we are challenging the norm because we can make things better for the public and the people we serve, care doesn’t just happen at the point of care
  • We are in the process of changing the model for health system decision making, following the HSO standard for clinical governance, delegating authority to clinicians and teams to ensure we are charting the best course of improvement based on the data, standards and evidence
  • We are designing a model with patient partners included at every level of decision making, including the most senior executive tables, to ensure we are designing the system with the patient, for the patient.

Andrea Tuchlinski
Director, Clinical Governance & Quality, Island Health

Max Jajszczok
Executive Director, Community Hospitals Centre/North Island, Rural Remote Strategy and Ops, Island Health

12:15 PM

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12:15PM – 12:30PM

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Closing

Closing Remarks

Steph Ouellet
Principal, Sailing Stone Solutions

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