In my update a few weeks ago, I mentioned that initial planning was underway to develop a proposed framework and process to create a new PHC strategic plan. I’m pleased to say that this approach has now been agreed upon, so we can get started with a full organisation-wide engagement and planning process to create this new plan.

The objective is to develop a seven-year strategic plan (2019-2026) – one that articulates our desired future state, is driven by our Mission, Vision and Values, and brings value to those we serve, PHC people and the health care community at large. This plan needs to be meaningful to everyone who works at Providence, our patients and residents and our external stakeholders – and it needs to guide our decision making and prioritisation across the organisation.

To get this plan right, we need your help!

Over the next few months there will be many different opportunities for you to engage in this process, and to express your views – but to get things started I wanted to briefly outline what I think the challenges are, and the questions that we need to answer.

We know that the world is changing—technologically, demographically and socially—faster than ever. Our challenge is to acknowledge these changes, and consider what we need to do now in order to be a world-class organisation, providing compassionate and innovative health care to some of the most vulnerable groups in society, in 2026.

We know some of the answers.

For instance, we know that we need to replace many of our buildings including, of course, the aging St. Paul’s with a new St. Paul’s and integrated health campus, and renew our long-term care beds through an exciting redevelopment vision. But we also know that health care is about so much more than buildings. Most importantly, it is about people – and our challenge is to support our staff, and to sustain and build on our PHC culture, to ensure that PHC is the place where the best people want to work. To do this we need to agree not just what we will do, but how we will do it.

So I leave you with this to mull over as we embark on our planning: What will it take to make PHC the best possible organization for patients, residents, staff, medical staff, researchers and volunteers in the 21st century? What do we need to do to sustain and build on the unique PHC culture? How do we maintain a truly compassionate approach in a challenging and hard-edged world? What does PHC look like in a digital world? How do we stay flexible to meet the next health crisis, whatever this might be? How do we support new areas of clinical and research expertise? And how do we continue to innovate to help change the world for the better?

Our planning team is working on a number of ways to connect with you, and to listen to as many ideas as possible. I ask that you please keep your eyes and ears open for future communication around the various ways that you can be involved and have your voice heard over the next few months.

Providence has an inspirational track record; here’s to planning a journey to an equally inspirational future, together.