The Beaus

by HCE Exchange on August 19, 2010

The Beauséjour Regional Health Authority, located in Moncton, New Brunswick, holds the distinction of being the largest provider of Francophone health care services in Atlantic Canada. Although the Beauséjour Regional Health Authority is government funded, this does not mean that an innovative and driven administration team is not essential. As Acting President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Louis-Marie Simard, explains “We are engaged in a major renovation and construction project. We are looking at increasing our square footage by 300,000 sq. ft. because of the growth of our services offered and an increase in general population growth.”

The Authority currently employs 2,500 people. Beauséjour’s primary care services treat about 90,000 people, with the entire organization servicing around 350,000 people in the region.

Simard has been with the organization since 1989, and has been in his current position for nearly two years.

Locations

The Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont Regional Hospital is the administration centre for the Beauséjour Regional Health Authority. This 302-bed facility offers comprehensive care, ranging from primary to specialized and tertiary health care services to residents. The hospital also provides patients with care in their choice of official language.

Other facilities the Authority operates include the Dr. Leon Richard Oncology Centre, the Stella-Marie-de-Kent Hospital, the Dieppe Health Centre, the Sediac Regional Medical  Centre, the Veterans’ Health Centre and numerous public health and mental health community centres. “We also set up a research institute about seven years ago called the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute. It receives funding from the federal government and private companies and is doing very well,” says Simard.

Looking to the Future

“We started about a year and a half ago with the University of Sherbrooke and the University of Moncton teaching programs for medical students, and it has played a positive role on our organization.”  Simard notes that it has been proven that graduates tend to stay close to the school where they graduated, and that these “teaching programs are a good way to bring young people into our organization.”

This is important to Simard, who sees the lack of human resources as one of the biggest challenges his organization faces. He says that not only is there a strong need for physicians and specialists, but also for medical imaging and lab technologists.

The New Brunswick government has created incentive packages for physicians and pharmacists to keep them in the region.

Goals for the Beauséjour Regional Health Authority

Although the physical expansion of the organization is of paramount concern to Simard, other long-term goals are in place for various other sectors of the organization. The ambulatory clinics have been very successful in recent years, in terms of disease treatment and services, such as cardiac and respiratory care. Currently, Simard would like to focus on preventative care to the community. “We would like to see the community health centres increase their range of service and adapt to the 21st century model of healthcare delivery. That is to be closer to the patient and to develop a community approach, so that the patient will participate in the program and we will encourage a healthy lifestyle, such as good diet and exercise. We believe this is a major topic for the future.”

Simard would also like to concentrate on improving the information technology and quality control facets of the organization. “We are going to put an emphasis on excellence. We are doing a good job, but we want to do a better job and we want to be able to prove it- with quality data and reliable information in service delivery, teaching and research. Although we have lots of data and electronic systems to gather and store information, we need a plan in place to be able to use this information.”  Since the organization, being government funded, does not prioritize revenues, Simard feels that the organization must strive to maximize their funding and be able to show exactly where the funds have been put to use. “We should be proud of what we are doing and be accountable to communities about care and cost. We are working on putting in place the tools to show the population what we are doing.” Simard believes this will benefit the organization in the end. “We will then be able to use the data that we now have to improve on the quality and the efficiency of care.”

Simard explains that he takes the most pride in the reputation that Beauséjour has developed for not only offering services in both official languages, but also for its patient care, empathy and respect. “We have a reputation of being very caring; the interaction with our staff is very positive- it is a hallmark of our organization. We are a young organization with energetic staff who is eager to perform and help patients.”

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