Haliburton ER to be short–staffed come spring

By Angelica Ingram

Published Nov. 1 2016

The following are brief reports of items discussed by the Haliburton Highlands Health Services board of directors during an Oct. 27 meeting.

The Haliburton emergency room will be left with a “really big hole” next spring following the departure of one of its doctors said Haliburton Highlands Health Services chief of staff Greg Karaguesian.
Karaguesian said he has been seeking out doctors interested in joining HHHS and is in contact with a few.
The departure will be happening sometime around April or May said Karaguesian.
It will result in a loss of about 14 shifts being covered.
Karaguesian said doctors in Minden can’t help out as many of them do shifts in other area hospitals.
“They are very tight there” he said. “A lot of them are in other emergency rooms so it’s not like they can stretch any further.”
Karaguesian said every month there are about two to three empty shifts that they’re trying to fill.

After plans for the final phase of the expansion of the new palliative care suite were approved by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care on Oct. 21 the project is moving right along said HHHS CEO and president Carolyn Plummer.
The CEO said they will be announcing the selected contractor soon and that pre-construction activities are already underway.
As a result of the construction there will be some reallocation of parking spaces as well as redirection of patient flow said Plummer.
“We do have a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for Dec. 2” she said. “Additional details will be circulated in the near future.”
During her report to the board Haliburton Highlands Health Services Foundation executive director Dale Walker said the approval news was welcomed by the foundation and that the Making Moments Matter campaign which is for the palliative suite will be included on the Christmas mail-out campaign.
To date $925000 has been raised for the project which has a price tag of about $1.1 million.
Walker said funds raised from the upcoming Cash for Care lottery will also go towards the palliative project with the lottery launch set to coincide with the groundbreaking on Dec. 2.
HHHSF board chairman Peter Oyler said it was his intention to make sure the palliative project did not go over budget and that the goal was to have the remaining funds raised prior to the Rotary Golf Classic next summer.

A new chief of staff has been announced.
Karaguesian informed the board that doctor Kristy Gammon will be filling the role for a two year term beginning Jan. 1 2017.
“She’s agreed to take the post for two years” he said. “And what we’d like to see is have someone in place so that when she’s finished the two years there’s a replacement for her.”