Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare’s Leadership Team is standing behind CEO Natalie Bubela. The team has penned an open letter to the community following criticism over hospital redevelopment talks. Three options are being looked at for the future of the hospitals in Huntsville and Bracebridge, including moving to a one-site model which has sparked public outcry. That includes a Facebook page entitled “Listen to the People, MAHC!”, which has gained nearly 7,000 members and hundreds of posts.

The leadership team says Bubela has been referred to in a negative light and her reputation has been unfairly tarnished. The letter says Bubela started working as a front-line Registered Nurse, which began a 41-year healthcare career. It says she advocates for safe and quality care in Muskoka and supports the development and implementation of programs that make the patient experience better, including expanding services through adding ear, nose and throat and gynecological surgeries.

The letter also refutes speculation on the Facebook page that Bubela is flown in from Toronto. It says she lives in the community and owns a home here.

Read the full letter below:

This follows a motion which was in front of Huntsville council this week. If passed, a letter from the town would have been sent to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care asking for the MAHC board to be dissolved. MAHC Board Chair Evelyn Brown and Chair of the Capital Plan Development Task Force Cameron Renwick spoke to council during the meeting, explaining that the project is still ongoing and offered to meet with the town to answer questions and discuss concerns. Following that presentation, council agreed to put the motion on hold until April so that meeting could happen.

Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller has also weighed in on the community concern that a one-site hospital model is in Muskoka’s future. He made a statement at Queen’s Park this week, saying he was glad to see Huntsville put the motion on hold and MAHC needs more funding from the province so the two hospital sites can be maintained.

Previous stories:

Norm Miller throwing support behind hospitals in Huntsville and Bracebridge

Huntsville puts motion to petition province to dissolve Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare on hold

Of the $822M investment announced for hospitals across Ontario, MAHC will get $750,000

Huntsville Mayor Scott Aitchison could be facing a lawsuit over public opinion piece

Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare: MAHC is not suing anyone

MAHC being encouraged to “Listen to the People”