~ April 2011 Edition
~ Contributing Editor: Dennis Dwyer ~
Member at Large
Apropos..... by Dennis Dwyer
Communities develop best when they enjoy good leaders. The CEO of our hospital, Todd Stepanuik is one. Another, is the Probian who introduced him, Lt. General (Ret’d) Don McNaughton. When he and Fran returned to Perth upon his retirement in 1989 as Deputy Commander of NORAD, the local boards of the Smiths Falls Hospital and the Great War Memorial Hospital in Perth had agreed to merge before they might be forced to by the Ontario government. In the early 90s, they approached Don, to chair the committee set up to effect the merger. Within less than a year the merger was consummated ----- it was the first merger of its kind in Canada where hospitals in two separate communities came together. Not an easy task for a leader. Once again Perth had found someone to step forward and serve.
PERTH & SMITHS FALLS DISTRICT HOSPITAL by Dennis Dwyer
Todd pointed out that the hospital is big business. It is the largest single employer in the area with over 500 staff, but also has over 300 volunteers, a payroll of over $32,000,000 and an economic impact through the community of $150,000,000 + . It is classified as a “large community hospital”. With 80% of the funding coming from government and costs increasing every year by 5-6% while funding only increases by 2%, the financial challenges are obvious.
Tremendous community support and good fiscal management allowed the hospital to acquire its first cat-scan in June 2010. In many ways this was a defining moment. Building a “people-first” and “patient-centred” culture at both campuses has produced a high performance community institution that is in the top 10 of its class in Ontario with one of the lowest staff turn-overs and sick-time rates in the province. When adding to staff, an MBA is not as important as a person’s DNA ----- will they want to be part of a culture that does not accept the status quo and will they commit to what is really a long term marriage with this medical service community? It is on this basis that the excellence of our hospital will be maintained.Unlike other provinces, Ontario has maintained local hospital boards and Todd sees this as a great strength. Looking to the future in the areas of surgery, obstetrics, emergency services, mental health and general health, wellness, and clinical services, all these are vital to our community and must be maintained and paid for ----- somehow!
An important future goal for the hospital will be to reduce that part of its income from government from 80% to something significantly less than that ---- not an easy task. The Probians who attended Todd’s presentation were privileged to meet a community leader who gives us hope that even in these difficult times, our hospital will continue to be in the forefront of positive change. For many of us, the presence of a first class hospital weighed heavily on our decision to locate here. What we heard encourages us to tell friends that living in the Perth area means having a great hospital close by. Thank you Todd, and through you to all the staff and volunteers of the Perth & Smiths Falls District Hospital.
Marvelous Wonderettes ~ May 25th
Self-introduction ~ George McClure
by Dennis Dwyer
One of the great things about being a member of Probus is that in retirement, you can meet people who have done many things and lived in many places. George McClure is a good example. Starting in Georgetown, ON, he moved to Kingston at RMC, then as a naval officer to Esquimalt ( H.M.C.S. Naden ) and Ottawa ( N.D.H.Q. ) got married in Perth then on to University of California at Berkeley, then Honolulu, back to Kingston to teach at RMC then moving into the Canadian Government for DREE responsible for the Atlantic Provinces. Moved again in 1970, to join McCain Foods for a 25 year career. It included a brief stint as visiting professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax. While responsible for developing their global business he lived in Europe and Canada with many side trips to South America, East Asia, South Asia and Africa. He retired from active service at McCain’s in 1995, but almost immediately became a faculty member of York University’s International MBA program in Toronto while doing special projects for McCain’s until 2000. Still active today, he is a member of the Board of Directors of McCain Foods.
He and his wife Jean were married in 1994, first moved to Smiths Falls then on to Perth. Like other Probians they believe it was one of their best decisions. We should ask George to tell us how his four children enjoyed all these moves ! They certainly agreed with him as he looks fit and happy.
Management Team Notes