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HomeNewsPandemic recovery and hospital redevelopment top priorities for MAHC's new leader

Pandemic recovery and hospital redevelopment top priorities for MAHC’s new leader

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Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare’s (MAHC) new President and CEO says she’s very impressed with the organization she’s taken on.

Cheryl Harrison officially took over the role from interim leader Vickie Kaminski at the start of June.

She says her first order of business has been to get to know the staff at both of Muskoka’s hospitals, as she gets settled into the role.

After that, she says her priority is to help the organization bounce back from the pandemic.

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“The next order of business is focusing over the next few months on the pandemic recovery, recalibration, and revitalization for all of our team members,” says Harrison. “As everybody’s aware, the pandemic has been quite devastating, and I’m so amazed by the outstanding care this team has provided to our patients and families. And we want to be able to support them so they can continue to provide this best care.”

In April, the provincial government announced $14-million dollars of initial funding to redevelop the Huntsville Hospital and South Muskoka Hospital.

Harrison says the organization is very grateful for the funding, and that’s where her next focus will be.

“There’s a lot of work for our team here at MAHC ahead of us,” says Harrison. “I’m keen for the formal and more detailed information that we’ll be receiving from the Ministry of Health over the next while for our plan, for how we’re going to stage, and the next steps in the journey.”

According to Harrison, the two hospitals are continuing to run “well over 100 per cent capacity,” and staffing continues to be an issue. However, she says existing staff are doing their best to make up the difference, and “innovative approaches” have yielded a number of potential new recruits.

“The team is doing an amazing job just trying to make sure we’re getting patients in, trying our best not to have people sitting in the emergency department, and getting them to the right care,” says Harrison. “It’s challenging every single day.”

While there’s a lot of work to be done, Harrison says she’s overall very pleased with the state of the organization.

“I’ve been really impressed by the quality of care that is provided here,” says Harrison. “We have our accreditation process coming up in November, and I’m very impressed with our processes and the way that people work as a team here. It’s quite amazing.”

Harrison adds she’s looking forward to getting to better know both the area and its people, having served at the Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital since 2008.

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