On December 5, our Clinical Operations Group (COG) opened up time on their agenda to have a dedicated conversation around our 7-year strategic plan, and what needs to happen between now and 2026 for our pursuit of world class to feel like a success.

Across four tables, more than 20 leaders reflected on what’s working, what’s not working, and shared the ideas on how to bridge the gap between the two.

COG meeting

Several key insights * came up during the session:

  • Cost of living will be a challenge going forward. Affordable housing, onsite and/or subsidized daycare, parking that’s strategically placed — maybe even free for staff? – placed all the way along the street to the new hospital.
  • There are a lot of pockets where research is being done but we’re not bringing this work out on a national or international stage. Because of funding, people are very hesitant to travel for conferences. We’re limiting ourselves.
  • This is a really hard place to work but we know everyone has one another’s backs.
  • Fiona’s blog makes me feel valued in the work that I do. She sees the importance of the soft, the intangible touches of our work.
  • We’ve become very innovative in tackling issues even if it’s not what everyone else might do; we’re responsive. Providence is willing to go the extra mile, jump in, and honour our commitment to social justice.
  • We honour our history and it is a point of pride for us. I still feel a lot of pride about how we responded to the HIV/AIDS crisis.
  • Financial performance is our biggest risk.
  • There are so many competing priorities. We’re told to be innovative but then there’s always another ask or more work. It feels like mixed messages.
  • We provide care and nurture the spiritual beliefs of everyone, regardless of their faith. We need to be clear on that. We create space for everyone’s spirituality.
  • In the media, there are a lot of stories about the things that we don’t do that could potentially turn people off of the need for Catholic health care. We need to message that it’s not that we don’t do it — we just facilitate other ways of accomplishing our patients’ wishes.
  • It’s about the whole person — it’s an observational difference.
  • We have compassion and social justice at the forefront, so it gives us a gateway into that type of care. This sets us apart from what is traditionally delivered in health care.
  • Be proactive, versus reactive.
  • Important for us to look at our current workforce and be able to offer more flexibility, whether that’s job-sharing or different shifts rotations.
  • Build connections with community where we’re not just about medical connections but social ones. We see a person, and all of the factors that make-up their health.
  • All of us should be employees of the organization.
  • Yes, we do provide care to a unique population – but to do that effectively, we need to support our people. And if they don’t feel that support here, then they’re just coming to their shift to punch in and get a paycheque but they’re not doing anything extra.
  • In-the-moment recognition is important. Maybe every program has a slush fund that we can use to buy gift cards or coffees to recognize others with?
  • Some programs have money for professional development and other areas say no. That impacts culture.
  • Thinking about palliative care as a model of care that’s integrated with other services, encompasses a person’s health goals. An upstream, complementary approach.
  • There’s a lot of rah-rah but if you talk to someone who is giving care on the front line that likely isn’t their perception.
  • So much happens here in silos. Like dissemination of information. Or different pockets of money for different programs. The specialty areas are focused on their single population but not what’s going on across the organization. It creates a have-have-not environment.

* Please note: these are but a few of the comments heard and ideas discussed – all sentiments were fully captured by the lead and table facilitators and will be rolled up into the findings shared with SLT.

Clinical Operations Group