HGMH making improvements to parking lots and gates

Posted: Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital (HGMH) is kicking off the first phase of a project to create 40 new parking spaces and modernize the parking gate payment system. Work on the project will begin in late September and is expected to be finished by the end of October, weather permitting.

The parking improvement project will be undertaken in three phases:

  1. add parking spaces on the west side of the hospital
  2. improve the asphalt on the east side of the parking lot and simplify the gate system to feature only one entrance gate
  3. improve the ambulance/emergency area

The additional parking spaces will make it easier for patients and family members to find the parking they need when visiting the hospital.  Additionally, the new system will replace the current coin-only system with one that uses tickets.  Visitors will be able to pay for parking at a machine indoors using a credit card, debit card, or cash.  The new system will also include a short grace period for those who need to make quick drop-offs to the hospital.  All of this will improve the patient and visitor experience at HGMH. 

During construction, patients seeing a physician on the west side of the hospital will have a longer walk to get to their appointment due to the lot closures. HGMH is making efforts to minimize the timeframe for this disruption but asks for patience during the process. Ultimately the new parking system will create more parking spots, streamline the entry and exit process, and the indoor payment machines are intended to reduce the amount of time outdoors especially during winter.

"Increasing the number of parking spaces, especially on the west side, plus creating the grace period, are positive changes for our visitors," says Linda Ramsay, HGMH’s Chief Financial Officer and Vice-president of Support Services. "We hope that patients bear with us during the upgrade process." Visitors can check the hospital’s website for any updates to the construction.

About Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital

Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital (HGMH) is a patient-centred primary care hospital that has been established in Alexandria, Ontario for over 50 years. HGMH provides acute care, complex continuing care, 24-hour emergency services, and rehabilitation to over 23,000 residents every year. Our team includes 150 staff members, who all take pride in bringing quality health care to our local Eastern Ontario community. www.hgmh.on.ca  

For more information and media interviews:

Contact Name: Michael Cohen
Title: Chief Executive Officer
Email: info@hgmh.on.ca
Phone number: 613.525.2222 x4104

Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital Announces New CEO

Posted: Friday, 27 July 2018

Alexandria, Ontario, (July 27, 2018) - After an extensive search process, Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital (HGMH) has appointed a new hospital CEO. Michael Cohen joins HGMH after 16 years at the Queensway Carleton Hospital in Ottawa, where he most recently held the position of Vice President - Clinical Services and Information Management since 2009.

In the months preceding the retirement of previous HGMH CEO Linda Morrow in June, HGMH's board of directors began an executive search process for the hospital's new leader. Board Chair Corey Kalsi says the search subcommittee is extremely pleased with the results. "Michael's genuine approach and outstanding relationship-building skills make him a great addition to our team.  He's strategic-minded and strongly oriented towards growing our hospital to ensure a sustainable future," he says.

Originally from Ontario, Cohen began his career in health care in 1995 in Calgary after earning a master's degree in sociology. In 1998, he returned to Ottawa to take on progressive analyst and management roles at the Canadian Institute for Health Information before landing at the Queensway Carleton Hospital where he has worked since 2002.

Cohen says he's very pleased to be joining HGMH. "I really like working for a place where I can get behind the culture. I've had the opportunity to visit HGMH on a number of occasions and interact directly with some of the senior staff. I was immediately interested in working for an organization that values people, that values patients, and has a sense of duty for their community," says Cohen. "I think there's a good fit between what I see as the culture and mandate of HGMH and my own personal values and leadership philosophy."

Kalsi says that the board looks forward to welcoming the new CEO to HGMH. "We are thrilled that Michael will be taking the reins as CEO, and we're proud to welcome such a superb leader to our exemplary rural hospital," says Kalsi.

Michael Cohen and Corey KalsiBoard Chair Corey Kalsi and newly appointed CEO Michael Cohen

ABOUT HÔPITAL GLENGARRY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital (HGMH) is a patient-centred primary care hospital located in Alexandria, Ontario. We recently celebrated our fiftieth anniversary, and have grown to provide acute care, complex continuing care, 24-hour emergency services, and rehabilitation to over 23,000 residents every year. Our team includes 150 staff members, who all take pride in bringing quality health care to our local Eastern Ontario community. www.hgmh.on.ca

For more information and media interviews:

Contact person: Corey Kalsi, Board Chair
Telephone: 613.525.2222 x4104

Meet the Doctor: Eric Bilodeau

Posted: Friday, 20 July 2018

Dr. Eric BilodeauEric Bilodeau was drawn to general family practice because he likes the variety of conditions he gets to treat, and the different types of patients he encounters. "You never know what you're going to see. I like to know a bit about everything," he says.

That's good news for Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital (HGMH) as our community welcomes him as our newest family practice at the end of the summer. He also speaks French, yet another asset.

Born in Val d'Or, Quebec, Dr. Bilodeau earned his bachelor's degree in Biopharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Ottawa before going on to medical school at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine in Sudbury. After earning his MD, Dr. Bilodeau returned to take up a residency in Ottawa at Montfort Hospital. He's also taken up emergency room placements in the past year, in several towns in across Ontario including Hearst, Cochrane, Englehart, Sturgeon Falls, and North Bay.

Having been all over, Dr. Bilodeau says he's looking forward to settling in to family practice. "I enjoy being able to have my own practice," he says, adding that he's also looking forward to getting to know the HGMH community. He already has a good impression. "I like the fact that people are friendly. The hospital has been very welcoming so that's great."

Dr. Bilodeau is already familiar with the area as he owns a bed and breakfast in Hawkesbury where he hosts other doctors in the area.

Asked about his medical philosophy, Dr. Bilodeau says that he is keen about focusing on the whole person and overall wellness. "It's not just about pills and prescribing—being healthy is more than that," says Dr. Bilodeau. "I promote healthy living, lifestyle modifications to make people live a long life." He practices what he preaches by getting lots of exercise himself, including running, hiking, tennis, badminton, squash, and even landscaping on his property.

Dr. Bilodeau definitely knows that he's in the right field and looks forward to growing in it even further. "I enjoy helping people, it's a job where you never get bored, so I love the medicine and the challenges that it brings," he says.

**

Dr. Bilodeau's office number is 613.525.5702

Mental illness: families helping families

Posted: Wednesday, 4 July 2018

On Tuesday, June 12, ten family members, all of whom have a loved one in their life who is mentally ill, attended the first Alexandria-based meeting of the Cornwall & District Family Support Group (CDFSG). Hosted by the Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital (HGMH), the peer support group gave local family caregivers a chance to voice to their frustrations and ask questions of other members.

While this was the first time the CDFSG has met in Alexandria, the all-volunteer organization has been championing family caregivers in the Cornwall area for many years. The group's peer support meetings and family-to-family education courses have helped hundreds of caregivers from all across the region.

The organization's key message is that families are NOT alone. "A support group like ours lets caregivers unburden themselves among people who understand what they're going through," says group facilitator James Joyce. "By sharing our ups and downs, we all learn how to better cope with the 'roller coaster' of mental illness."

This new community resource has the full support of the hospital's top management team. "By encouraging groups like this, we push back at the stigma that has surrounded mental health issues for so long," says Linda Morrow, the hospital's Chief Executive Officer. "It also helps families gain some control over what can be an otherwise chaotic life experience."

Given the success of the first meeting, a second one is planned for Tuesday, July 10. To register, family caregivers who are interested in attending should contact the CDFSG at 613-527-1201 to register.

The meetings are free, even the parking. And they're completely private. The CDFSG's one firm rule is: what's said in the group stays in the group.

For more information, James Joyce from the Cornwall & District Family Support Group at 613-527-1201.

Retirement of a CEO: Linda Morrow

Posted: Friday, 29 June 2018

LindaMorrowLinda Morrow was only 16 when the misfortune of finding herself in hospital for a minor injury made her look around and realize that she might want to work in health care herself. Fast forward 37 years and Morrow is wrapping up a career that has taken her from Registered Nurse to CEO of Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital (HGMH).

Training at John Abbott College in Quebec where she was born and raised, Morrow started her career at Lakeshore General Hospital as a float nurse, working in units from Emergency to Obstetrics.  She moved to Alexandria after meeting her husband, dairy farmer John Morrow (she also had other family, including grandparents, in Eastern Ontario).

Morrow completed her Emergency Nursing Certification when she arrived at HGMH, and started as an Emergency Nurse, taking on a full-time evening position.  She built her skills further with inservice education, a CPR instructor course, by working on the finance and quality committees, and by getting more involved in projects at the hospital including computerization of the nursing workload and scheduling. Morrow says all these activities helped prepare her to take on leadership positions.  "I never really planned to go into administration," says Morrow. "My career just led me there."

Highlights at HGMH

In 2001, Morrow became the Chief Nursing Officer and in 2006 became CEO.  Of her early role as a nurse, Morrow says she liked the contact with patients and colleagues.  "It's very gratifying when you're a frontline nurse. There's lots of unpredictability and challenge," she says.

But taking on the CEO role made her realize there was also satisfaction in the big picture view.  "Health care's a big system.  When you're a frontline nurse, it's much more patient focused.  When you get into an administrative type of a role it is very systems-driven."  Deliberate or not, it's a challenge Morrow has enjoyed.  "Strategic planning really fun," she says.  "Seeing those plans actually happen is quite satisfying."

Highlights of Morrow's leadership at HGMH include the Emergency Room renovation which started when she was Chief Nursing Officer, and after that, the establishment of Diagnostic Imaging, Ultrasound, Bone Mineral Densitometry, and Pulmonary Function Testing.  More recently, the Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs, and the Post-Acute Stroke Program have been milestones for HGMH.  "That has been a great success.  But it's not my success, really.  I had the luxury of being able to take on those programs and the staff have done a great job," she says.

Future plans

Plans for retirement include joining her husband in their shared passion for sailing.  "We have a beautiful
43-foot Beneteau sailboat, so we're hoping to do some sailing on Lake Ontario this summer.  If things go well, we may try to take our boat down south."

The other plan is to spend time with her grandchildren.  In addition to three adult children in their thirties, two daughters and a son, Morrow now has two little ones to chase after, a two-year-old and an eight-month-old.

We wish you well in retirement, Linda. Good luck in your new adventures!

Hospital Annual Report highlights CEO retirement, growing medical team, cardiac rehabilitation program

Posted: Monday, 25 June 2018

Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital (HGMH) held its annual general meeting today and has released its annual report to share the year’s news and accomplishments.  Our successes include the addition of two new family physicians to the HGMH care team, trials of new technologies such as patient pagers and virtual reality headsets and the launch of our cardiac rehabilitation program. 

The AGM also saw our CEO Linda Morrow honoured on the occasion of her retirement, with presentations from North Glengarry Township, MPP Jim McDonell, MP Guy Lauzon, MP Francis Drouin, and former Stroke Rehabilitation patient Michael Cartwright.  Morrow’s career in health care spans 37 years and she has been CEO since 2006.  The entire hospital community and staff wish her well in her retirement. 

HGMH has a lot to be proud of this past year.  We grew our medical team, welcoming family physicians Dr. Sara Accardi and Dr. Joanne Lau (HGMH will also welcome a third family doctor, Dr. Eric Bilodeau this summer).  We also launched a new cardiac rehabilitation program, in partnership with the Ottawa Heart Institute - demand for spots in the program caused immediate expansion from one to three intakes in the spring. 

We launched trials of two new technologies.  In the emergency room, patient pagers now allow patients to be reached from anywhere in the hospital, so their wait is more flexible.  HGMH plans to expand the pager experiment into other clinic areas.  Our second trial with virtual reality headsets also proved successful, allowing patients to immerse themselves in calming landscapes such as beaches or forests for relaxation.  This technology is particularly helpful for post-acute stroke patients. 

The HGMH board would like to thank everyone in our community, from staff to patients, who strengthen our organization with your care and compassion.  We invite you to continue connecting with us on all our platforms, from our website (www.hgmh.on.ca) to our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/glengarrymemorial).

Linda, Chair, Council Certificate Linda, Jim McDonell Linda, Guy Lauzon Linda, Francis Drouin Linda, Michael Cartwright

Family Mental Health Peer Support at HGMH

Posted: Thursday, 31 May 2018

Cornwall & District Family Support GroupThe Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital (HGMH) in Alexandria announced today that the hospital is partnering with the Cornwall & District Family Support Group to explore the possibility of hosting a monthly peer-led meeting for family caregivers.

The group get-togethers would be intended for families with a loved one dealing with a serious mental illness. "Research has shown that support from family can make a big difference," says Ms. Quenneville. "However, it's often hard for family caregivers to know what approach works best. That's where peer support groups can make a huge difference."

The Cornwall & District Family Support Group has been holding meetings for family caregivers in Cornwall for over a decade. Over the years, their support groups and family-to-family education courses have helped hundreds of caregivers from all across the region. The key message that the organization's web site, ListenToFamilies.ca, stresses is that families are NOT alone. "A support group like ours lets caregivers unburden themselves among people who understand," says group facilitator James Joyce. "By sharing our ups and downs and taking strength from each other, we all learn how to better cope with the 'roller coaster' of mental illness.

This welcome initiative has the full support of the hospital's top management team. "By encouraging groups like this, we push back at the stigma that has surrounded mental health issues for so long," says Linda Morrow, the hospital's Chief Executive Officer. "It also helps families gain some control over what can be an otherwise chaotic life experience." In addition to providing meeting room space, the hospital is also offering participants free parking.

Family caregivers with a loved one suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar, clinical depression, borderline personality or other serious mental illnesses are asked to contact the Cornwall & District Family Support Group at 613-527-1201. If there's enough interest, a group might start as early as June.

 

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For more information, James Joyce from the Cornwall & District Family Support Group at 613-527-1201.

Reminder to Purchase HGMH Memberships 2018

Posted: Thursday, 10 May 2018

This year’s Annual Meeting, of the Corporation of Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital is scheduled on Monday, June 25, 2018 at 7:00 pm in the hospital’s Boardroom.  Individuals and corporations interested in voting at the annual meeting are reminded to purchase their membership no later than one month prior (May 25, 2018) to the annual meeting as per Article 2 of the Corporate Bylaw.

To purchase a membership an individual must be a minimum of 18 years of age and be a resident or be employed or carry on business anywhere in the County of Glengarry for at least three months prior to the annual meeting. 

The annual individual or corporation membership fee is $10.00 and can be purchased between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm seven days per week at the hospital’s Business Office.  If you purchase a life membership for $100.00, then you will never again worry about missing the deadline.

Seeking candidates for volunteer Board of Directors

Posted: Thursday, 26 April 2018

The Governance Committee of Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital is presently seeking candidates for vacant positions on the hospital's volunteer Board of Directors

The Governance Committee of Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital is presently seeking candidates for vacant positions on the hospital's volunteer Board of Directors

Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital provides primary care services and is governed by a Board of eleven elected volunteers and five ex-officio directors.  Board members are expected to attend meetings of the Board as well as regular committee meetings.  As volunteer directors of a charitable corporation, Board members are not paid for their services.

Directors will be selected according to their skill, experience, and personal qualities.  The HGMH Board seeks a balance among the skills and experience of directors, while considering the unique requirements of the corporation. 

Individuals with any questions or who wish to be considered as candidates for membership on the HGMH Board of Directors may obtain an application form by any of the following methods:

  • Online
  • Email: info@hgmh.on.ca
  • Telephone: 613.525.2222 x4104

Complete applications will include an application form, the candidate's resume, and be received no later than 4pm on May 11, 2018.

Sanctuary from Stroke

Posted: Tuesday, 20 February 2018

HGMH's stroke rehabilitation unit kick starts lifelong recovery closer to home

A stroke is an event that can blindside a person, derail a life. Probably the only ones who can truly describe the experience are survivors. They're also the authority on what it takes to recover. In a new video created for the Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital (HGMH), stroke rehab patient Bob McDuff shows how simple yet profound that experience can be when he says, "I've been here for two weeks. When I got here, I couldn't walk. I can walk now."

Established in 2010, HGMH's stroke rehab unit hosts six beds, typically at over 90 percent occupancy. The unit offers bilingual care led by hospital Chief of Staff Dr. Nadia Kucherepa, with a team that includes a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, a speech language pathologist, a rehab assistant, nursing staff, plus the other supports of the wider hospital.

Such a team can be crucial for recovery, says Dr. Kucherepa. "Having a stroke is life changing and overwhelming. The environment in which you recover and rehabilitate really matters. Patients need a routine, stability of staff and trust in those caring for them so that they can begin to process their journey to recovery," she says, adding that HGMH's rehab unit is ideally situated to serve many local communities, allowing patients to recover closer to their homes and families.

Since patients are often overcome by this traumatic event, their journey in rehab starts with a detailed assessment, goal setting, a treatment plan, a family meeting and much more that forges a pathway towards recovery. Programs are tailored to the impairments the stroke has left: for patients like McDuff, that means learning to walk. For others, it might mean learning strategies to deal with vision loss. Others may need to learn to dress themselves with one hand, or to use adaptive devices in the kitchen, or to simply transfer safely to the toilet.

Beyond the physical, other tools engage patients both socially and mentally. HGMH's therapy garden provides not only a source of organic food to the entire hospital, but a space for patients to reconnect with nature as they engage motor skills through tasks like planting and weeding. An activity room provides a space for painting, drawing, knitting and playing games. An iPad program offers not only therapeutic programs, but also a way for patients to keep in touch with their world outside the hospital, including email, news and loved ones through Skype. The unit even boasts a pet therapy program through St. John Ambulance, one of many local partners.

Rehab patient Jeff Alguire emphasizes the importance of that mental support in HGMH's new video. "The Glengarry Memorial Hospital brought me from a very low place. When I left here I was above my shoulders. I am very happy with what they've done for me. I'm very happy I came here because I now have a very positive outlook on life," he says. Connection continues even after a patient goes home, with a stroke support group that meets at the hospital and a therapy pool that offers exercise classes.

Gratitude like Alguire's is something that HGMH's stroke rehab team hears every day, not that it ever gets old. "I hear over and over from my patients that as soon as they walk into our hospital, the atmosphere is just more welcoming and personal," says Dr. Kucherepa. "We aren't a hustle and bustle kind of hospital. It's always the same doctor, the same nurses. You're not just a number here."

Chantal Mageau-Pinard, physiotherapist and manager of the rehab unit since its opening eight years ago, says that not everyone realizes that in spite of HGMH's smaller size, the rehab unit complies with the exact same standards required in a larger centre. "We've worked hard to get to where we are right now, from physician leadership to establishing benchmarks," says Mageau-Pinard.

Asked about her favourite aspects of the job, Mageau-Pinard says it's seeing patients achieve their goals. "I like to have the patients improve and move on. I love being able to be part of their successes, their challenges, to be part of a team that cares," she says. Stroke survivor Bob McDuff expresses appreciation for that team and facility on video. "It's outstanding in every way," he says.

HGMH CEO Announces Retirement

Posted: Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Dear Friends and Community Partners:

As you may be aware, Linda Morrow, our Chief Executive Officer, has announced that she will retire at the end of June 2018. 

In her 37 years as an employee of HGMH, Linda has held several roles at the hospital, from Registered Nurse to Chief Nursing Officer to CEO.  She has been an integral part of many improvements at HGMH, including the expansion of the Emergency and Ambulatory Care units, implementation of the Post-Acute Stroke Rehabilitation Program, and the addition of many new services such as ultrasound, bone densitometry, cardiac stress testing, cardiac ultrasound, and pulmonary function testing. 

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Linda for her hard work and dedication to HGMH.  Her departure will be a great loss to the organization, and she will certainly be missed. 

I am sure you will join me in wishing Linda all the best as she begins the next chapter of her life.   

Sincerely,
Bruce Starkauskas

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