Conrad Noel, SOS Chairperson
Email:  or or call or text me @ 519-359-6119.
Important Information

Posted January 21, 2021

Great news for our Sydenham Hospital.  

The Wallaceburg Rotary Club donated $143,000 towards the purchase of a new and "much needed piece of diagnostic imaging equipment for our Wallaceburg Hospital. The purchase of a portable X-ray machine will replace the current out dated X-ray machine at the hospital. This machine will allow physicians to view scans on a digital screen immediately, rather than having to send the image to Chatham. The portable nature will also allow it to be used on patients who are unable to go to the Diagnostic Imaging Dept. in Chatham due to an unstable condition or an Infection control risk.

SOS believes that Mike Zell, the Wallaceburg Rotary Charitable Trust Chair and also a member of SOS,  had an important role to play in this important decision.  Thank you Mike and thank you to the Wallaceburg Rotary Club.

SOS chair comments:   Finally, donations towards our Sydenham Hospital are staying in Wallaceburg.  This is very encouraging and hopefully other donations from the community will be forth coming.

Conrad Noel, SOS Chair
Posted October 21, 2020

CKHA CEO and Board Chair along with Monte McNaughton, the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development will make a special announcement on Friday October 23rd, 2020 from 10:00 -11:00.  The public can view this special announcement via CKHA Facebook:  

Any improvement to our Sydenham Hospital is always appreciated.

BTW SOS (Save our Sydenham) is alive and well.  We appreciate and enjoy being able to share positive news.

Conrad Noel, SOS Chairperson
Posted Oct. 29, 2019

If you read this message before Sat. Nov. 2, 2019,  I hope that you will take a few hours on Saturday to attend the OHC (Ontario Health Coalition) Rally at the Bradley Convention Centre in Chatham  beginning at 11am. If you can't get there by 11 don't worry, your presence counts no matter what time you arrive. Everyone should be concerned with the Health Care cuts the Provincial Government is proposing.  We all know that Health Care cuts means putting more citizens at risk. You may be the next person at risk because the proposed ambulance dispatch Centre to be relocated in  London couldn't  get to you on time. Health Care is our Major concern.   Please attend.  Conrad SOS Chair.
Posted October 16,2019

Save the Services that Save Us:

SOSS (Save our Sydenham Services) fully supports OHC (Ontario Health Coalition) in its campaign to build a mass "Stadium-filling" event to Save Local Health Care Services on Saturday, November 2, at the Bradley Convention Centre in Chatham .

The goal of this event is to save the local Public Health Units and Ambulance Services from closure and protect their local governance. The group is calling on the provincial government to halt their plans to close 25 out of 35 local Public Health Units and merge them down to 10. close  49 of 59 local ambulance / paramedic services  and close 12 of 22 local ambulance/ paramedic dispatch centres and merge them down to 10; eliminate two sets of funding for long-term that result in a $34 million dollar cut to these services; and cut real-dollar funding for hospitals and long-term care.  We all know the ripple effect when funding is decreased. Sydenham Hospital cannot afford to lose any services due to provincial cut-backs. 

The goal of this event  is to fill the John D. Bradley Convention Centre in Chatham on Saturday Nov. 2 at 11:00 a,m. There will be music and speakers, hotdogs, hot chocolate  and snacks. Participants are coming from Windsor to Kitchener. 

Let's show a huge outpouring of support to save our local health care services and stop the provincial government from making the cuts and closures.  

The local Chatham-Kent Health Coalition  unit is looking for volunteer to work at the Campaign Office, 117 King Street West, Chatham. If you can volunteer, please call Shirley Roebuck at 226-402-2724.

Posted April 23, 2019

Message from our Chatham-Kent Health Coalition

Hello all:
The OHC Rally for Public Healthcare at Queens Park is on Tueday, April 30 at noon.

The Chatham-Kent Health Coalition and the Sarnia Lambton Health Coalition  are sending buses to this
 important event, and we are asking you to join us!

The Ford government plans to re-structure healthcare by allowing privatization, amalgamation, movement
 of services, mega-mergers, closures and more. What services will be offered locally will be decided
 by Toronto. For-profit businesses will be allowed to apply to be the solitary provider of services in
 a particular region, eg LTC, diagnostic imaging, etc.

Local healthcare services and small rural hospitals are at risk! We believe that healthcare should 
remain public, accessible to all and local.

This Rally will make certain that our elected officials know that we do not want any privatization or
 cuts to our healthcare system!

Please grab a friend or loved one, grab a colleague, ask a church friend, take your child out of 
school to learn how democracy works, and join us!

This bus trip will be provided on a coach bus, equipped with a washroom, and is FREE! A light lunch 
will be provided. It is available to everyone.

Please call Shirley at 226-402-2724 for information and to reserve a seat on the bus;
 please share this email widely. 

I’m asking you to take a day of your life to support Public Healthcare! 

Bus from McNaughton Ave. Tim Horton, Wallaceburg on Tuesday April 30
leaving at 7:45am returning by 5:30pm

Thank you!
Warm regards,
Shirley Roebuck 

Posted Feb. 22, 2019

Infrastructure Investments Improving Health Care at Sydenham Hospital

Monte McNaughton, Minister of Infrastructure and our MPP, Lambton-Kent-Middlesex announced this morning that CKHA is receiving a $500,000 planning grant to assist in early planning work to modernize our aging Wallaceburg site.

 "The people have told us that redeveloping the Wallaceburg site is a priority, and we are listening" said McNaughton.  "This planning grant will allow us to reimagine a new Wallaceburg hospital for the future. This is great news for people in rural Southwestern Ontario."

Proper planning is part of creating a sustainable health that is centred around patients. "Today's announcement builds on the momentum of our proposed redevelopment plans for the Wallaceburg site and reaffirms our commitment to rural healthcare now and in the future."

One other comment that I heard as your SOS, chair is that Sydenham no longer has to worry about our Emergency Dept. It is here to stay for many more years.  The hard work done by SOS and former Sydenham Board members  and community members at large has  paid off.

Posted Jan. 10, 2018

To: Former SDH Corporation Members

All former SDH Corporation members are invited to join SOS (Save our Sydenham Committee) free of charge.  You simply have to send Conrad Noel an email (see above) or a txt (519-359-6119). You will kept in the loop of anything that relates to our SDHospital.

Posted December 22, 2017

Additional Information on Governance at CKHA

To:      All
From: Former SDH Board of Directors
           Sheldon Parsons, Conrad Noel, Herb John, Kris Lee, George Lung. Rex Isaac.

Our presentation to the LHIN went very well. we were well received and our input was appreciated. The LHIN Board did not pass the “strong recommendation” that was included in the staff report. The reasoning given was that the Supervisor had submitted additional materials for their consideration and after consideration, felt that no recommendations were necessary

We requested copies of these additional materials and a memo is printed below and the Policy Manual excerpt is attached.

Please note:
  • in the Board Policy Manual, both a Rural Health Advisory Committee and a Community Advisory Council are to be established.
  • throughout the Policy Manual there are multiple references to communities (plural)
  • the reference to a Community Advisory Council is incorrect. Rob meant a Patient Advisory Council and the final version of the Policy Manual should reflect that.
  • the reference to a 12 member Board is correct. There are 5 at large members.
  • all board positions will be selected on a skills basis including the First Nations representative. 

  • While we did not get what we recommended to the Supervisor in June or to the LHIN yesterday, I believe that the Supervisor heard us very clearly and has built in the DNA of CKHA, the protections that Sydenham Campus needs. It was also very clear from comments made to us during our presentation and after, that the LHIN understands the needs of the catchment area surrounding Sydenham Campus. They acknowledged that more work is needed to adequately include South Lambton in the LHIN sub District alignments.

  • I believe that the communities of Sydenham – Bkejwanong –  St. Clair are in a much better place now than when we started out 4 years ago. Sydenham Campus is being treated much better – building, staff and services.
We have done our collective job and I believe its time to hang up our SDH hospital hats.
However, we can never hang up our community hats and I ask that you consider two things:
1. consider your role in SOS as an important advocacy for healthcare in our communities. SOS must remain strong and ready to fight the battles that will occur in the future. It must now become the go-to community group for healthcare services in North Chatham-Kent and South Lambton.
2. consider your role in the new Board and its various committees – Rural Health Advisory Committee and Community Advisory Council
I want to thank each and every one of you for your efforts over these past few years. We wouldn’t be in this place if it wasn’t for each of you and your skill sets. We had the necessary skills  to get the job done the way it needed to be done.
past chair  SDH

From: Robert Devitt [


Further to our conversation I am writing to highlight the significant measures we have put in place to ensure that the focus on a health system for all of the communities across Chatham Kent both rural and urban are addressed.  As I indicated it is my belief based on 1) the governance literature I have reviewed 2 ) best practice 3) my own experience in governance and 4) models in similar organizations across Ontario, that we have a strong set of checks and balances to ensure a system view for hospital services spanning both rural and urban communities.  I have also reflected on the genesis of the issues with respect to the Wallaceburg site in developing what I suggest are a new standard for good governance and a system wide view. 


I have developed best practice policies for the Board so as to ensure a) a system wide view spanning all communities (urban and rural) and b) that the administration does not stray from the full system vision.  These measures are prevalent throughout the governance materials that we have posted on our website including the draft letters patent, by laws and Board Governance Manual.   I have included the link to the Policy manual where you will see the focus on communities is spelled out.  The term communities  appears extensively and was deliberately chosen to reflect the many communities that make up Chatham Kent rather than referring to a “community” which would treat the region in a more homogenous way and create the risk of moving to a more centralized model of service delivery.   I urge you to review the passages I have highlighted as examples in the attached and indeed suggest a review of the entire governance manual as it contains a lot of best practices.


It is my belief that the measures summarized below will provide strong, accountable governance and leadership for the hospital system in Chatham Kent and avoid the potential of a failure to respond to rural needs or of hospital leadership ignoring needs and the impact of choices on all communities in the region.  Below is a summary of these measures and how we have ensured a focus on all communities both rural and urban.


Letters Patent


The corporate objects for the integrated organization make specific reference to a rural health focus as quoted below:


“To develop and maintain a specific focus on rural health”


As you know these have to be approved by the province and changes to them also requires approval.  I have included a link to the objects as well if you want to read them all.


The objects also make specific reference to providing service through two or more sites.


I believe the incorporation of a rural focus in the corporate objects ensures that this is absolutely part of the organization’s DNA.


Board Composition


The Board will be comprised of 12 voting directors with one each drawn from the 6 municipal wards in Chatham Kent, one first nations representative and one member at large (Governance manual p31). Thus, there will be at least 5 board members from rural Chatham Kent and potentially a sixth if the first nations member selected comes from either Walpole Island or Moraviantown.  As well there is nothing precluding the members at large coming from rural communities.  In all likelihood at least 50% of the membership will be drawn from rural communities.


Board Process


Board Role and Individual Director Role


As noted above, I have attached excerpts from the policy manual that detail key elements of the Board role and the expectations with respect to individual directors.  You will notice in the highlighted passages the degree to which communities is referenced in terms of planning, understanding of needs, communications, relationships etc. 


Meeting process


In the Board policy manual we have included in-camera meetings of elected directors only at the end of each board meeting, a practice which emerged after Enron to ensure that there is appropriate Board discussion of effectiveness of staff and as a means to encourage healthy skepticism.  This best practice will help to ensure that the administration does not stray from the system vision.


Rural Health Advisory Committee


I have already created a Rural Health Advisory Committee which is up and running.  It was recruited following LHIN wide advertising and was one of the groups who we sought feedback from on the CKHA Governance structure.


This Committee appropriately reports through the CEO to the Board and is modeled after the Rural Advisory Committee at Bluewater.  Generally advisory type committees in Ontario Hospitals have this reporting relationship reflecting the appropriate division between governance and management.  The Committee we have created is co-chaired by the CEO and the Medical Head of Rural Medicine and Accessibility.  This bifurcated chair was a deliberate choice so as to provide an alternate route to surface issues to the board should there be an issue with communication through the CEO.  The Rural Medical Head reports through the Chief of Family Practice enabling a report through the MAC and the Chief of Staff if an issue emerged.  To create a separate Board level committee would be redundant and not reflective of the practice at or within the LHIN.


Medical head of Rural Medicine and Accessibility


This position was created in the past year through the medical structure reorganization that we completed.  It was a very conscious choice to elevate the profile of rural issues in decision making. 


I believe that the measures and structures summarized above reflect 1) the appropriate division of activities between governance and management, 2) best practices in Ontario hospitals, 3) existing precedent in Erie St Clair both in peer organizations and the LHIN 4) The historical genesis of the issues at CKHA with respect to rural focus.


I hope the foregoing makes clear the way that we have strongly embedded a rural focus into the proposed new organizational, starting with the corporate objects and moving it through governance policy, organizational structure and the like.  I would suggest that the activities and successes of the past year have demonstrated that the rural focus and the measures put into place to date are proof that the model is working. 


Rob Devitt

Supervisor CKHA


The Board will be 6 Members

<Policy Manual Excerpts.pdf>



Posted December 18, 2017

SOS Letter to ESC LHIN re: Public Feedback on CKHA Tri-board Voluntary Integration

Save Our Sydenham Committee (SOS)

December 13, 2017

 To: Erie St. Clair LHIN

      180 Riverview Drive

      Chatham, ON N7M 5Z8


Attention: Shannon Sasseville

                  Communication Director



This letter is sent on behalf of Save Our Sydenham committee ( SOS)  to ESC LHIN Public Feedback on CKHA Tri-board Voluntary Integration.

SOS along with the former SDH Corporation membership have been very adamant that the NEW governance model  must include an Open Board and not a Closed Board. 

Sydenham District Hospital Board has been an Open Board since its inception and continued as an open Board throughout the formation of CKHA and through the period of uncertainty until the appointment of Rob Devitt, provincially appointed Supervisor.

There has been tremendous support from the citizens and leaders of the communities within Sydenham-Bkejwanong-St.Clair region.  The proof is that 534 citizens paid for a 3 year Corporation membership in order to have voting rights for the Directors who would represent SDH on the CKHA Board.

The former SDH Corporation membership approved a Vision which included their direct  input in the selection of  SDH Directors.   The One  Governance structure proposed by Rob Devitt removes public opinion and accountability as  former Corporation members. 

Supervisor Rob Devitt provided to the ESLHIN a notice of a voluntary integration into a single corporation in respect of the Hospitals. SOS disagrees with that statement based on the fact that the decision was his and solely his as Supervisor. That is not a democratic process and should have been  implemented involving the former 534 SDH Corporation members.

Why is SOS still concerned and continues to be involved?  “Emergency department at Burg should be closed” consultant Dr. Isser Dubinsky of Hay group which was commissioned by the ESLHIN.   As a direct result of this report, SOS committee was established to Save the SDH ER from closure.  SOS was active in the organization of petitions, rallies, massive protests in Chatham and Toronto, phone call campaign to name a few.

 SOS is pleased with the announcement that  both Wallaceburg and Chatham sites are to remain strong and viable. We are very pleased that significant  progress that has been made in the last year, but SOS is  still concerned about the limited services that have been re-introduced as SDH.  At the moment we have a 24/7  Emergency Department, In-patient Medicine Unit (5 beds), Laboratory, Ambulatory Care, Expanded Respiratory Services, Diagnostic Imaging, Rehabilitation Therapy Services.

In the last three years, SOS had an open communication with the SDH Board.  Rob Devitt’s  One Board governance structure eliminates direct elections.    According to your letter and I quote: “ The proposed board will be 12 voting members and will be selected by Rob Devitt, with the assistance of an executive search firm. A committee, made up of three members of the public, one member of the Rural Health Advisory Committee, medical staff leaders, and CEO Lori Marshall will advise.”  There is no mention of the involvement of a Hospital Corporation membership.

SOS strongly believes that direct elections will ensure that the Directors governing the healthcare system in Chatham-Kent-Bkejwanong-St.Clair region will be accountable and responsible to the needs of the communities they represent.

What are our major concerns?

1)      Under the proposed governance some of us  may agree with the new Board appointed but what about 3 or 5 years when the funding for hospitals gets tight again and new Board members come in we do not agree with - we have no powers or options to oppose Board members appointed  at the time. This is a worry about the future and ending up with majority on Board who do not support SDH.


2)      Under the proposed governance we lose the  SDH veto ... the previous SDH  Board represented the community and corporation members had to agree with any changes to SDH  before those changes could be made. What protection is being offered to replace that?



3)       Would be very helpful to know the names of the new Board before commenting on governance - the proof of how it will start is only known once we know the names and how future spots will be filled in practice .


4)      With one Board how will they stop a future Board from ganging up on SDH when $$ get tight or new members are appointed?  Guaranteeing a two hospital CKHA is needed but that does not stop one hospital from bleeding the other one dry... We certainly know what that looks like. How will CKHA  guarantee fair funding and services for SDH in the future?


Before approving the CKHA plan, SOS would like to receive answers from the ESLHIN?

1.      Request from CKHA Supervisor Rob Devitt that  he addresses the four points outlined above and specifically:

A)    How can a community such as SDH oppose the appointment of specific Board members?

B)    How will  the Supervisor / CEO guarantee or protect the two hospital site in years to come?

C)    Once the new Board is in place, how will future spots be filled in practice?

D)    How will CKHA guarantee fair funding and services for SDH in the future?

E)     What other services are planned to SDH?


2.      Request that the Supervisor reinstate an  Open Board for CKHA so that communities will have a say in who represents them.


3.      Request the establishment of a CKHA  Advisory Committee to report to the  Board similar to the Rural Health Advisory Committee who reports to the CEO.

As Chair of SOS, I would like to know when the ESLHIN will consider CKHA’s request and will it be open to the public? We are also hopeful that the ESLHIN Board will modify the governance model which will include solutions.

Should the ESLHIN Board require further input, I would be most pleased to provide more information.


Submitted on behalf of SOS,


Conrad Noel, SOS Chairperson


Cell:  519-359-6119


Posted Sept. 21, 2017

People from WB and area have been asking about the status of Sydenham District Hospital.

Today, Sept. 21,2017,  I read in the Wallaceburg Courier Press the most impressive news from CKHA. (Thanks to Ellwood Shreve, Postmedia Network for this report).

1) CKHA is committed to incremental growth in the future, particularly at the Wallaceburg campus.
2) Jerome Quenneville, vice president and chief financial officer said that the hospital is working on its master program to determine what services are going to be needed in the future at both Wallaceburg and Chatham campuses.
3) While the CKHA continues to work through the ministry channels for a new power plant at the Wallaceburg campus.
4) The Ministry wants to know what the future looks like.
5) CKHA would like to see satellite dialysis service in WB with provincial support
6) Satellite dialysis services in WB would mean more ambulatory care services as well as ongoing X-ray, diagnostic imaging and physiotherapy services.
7)There is also the commitment to maintain an emergency department at both Wallaceburg and Chatham campuses.
8) When Jerome was asked if this finally satisfies concerns about the future of the ER in Wallaceburg he said: "That's a done deal from the Ministry and every signal that we're getting from the community".
9) Doctors are key to supporting the care delivery and CKHA has that commitment.

As Chair of DOS , I am  really happy to see that the tenacity/commitment  from SOS, past SDH Board members and the SDH /area community has really paid off.  Are we relaxing "Yes" but SOS will continue to monitor the development and express concerns wherever and whenever required.

Conrad Noel, SOS Chairperson

Posted April 4th, 2017

Summary of SOS meeting on Thursday, March 30th from 6:00 -7:30

SOS would like to congratulate everyone who attended CKHA's Open House and SOS's meeting.
Attendees were pleased with CKHA's meeting because they had an opportunity to meet all these new faces at the Alliance. 
The Open House worked out well because the attendance was rather low. Had we had all former SDH Corporation (539)  members at the meeting, the event may have turned out differently. Stairs and elevator were the main problems with the meeting being held at CBD.

The BEST news everyone heard was that  CKHA administration supports two hospitals: one in Wallaceburg and one in Chatham.  Hopefully, more services will be implemented.

The deficit is still a major concern. 12 million dollars will eventually  have to be trimmed to balance the budget.

Until the Supervisor releases his report to the Minister, the status of former SDH Directors and SDH Corporation members including previous agreements are considered in "limbo". 

All former SDH Directors spoke highly of Rob Devitt, CKHA Supervisor.

Eleven (11) people  put their names forward to join the SOS Committee. Thank you.

SOS will continue to monitor the situation.  Keep checking on this SOS website for regular updates. 

Conrad Noel, SOS Chair

Revised  March 29th, 2017
Agenda topics for Thursday March 30th meeting:

1) Welcome

2) Introduction of SOS Committee

3) Feedback / reaction / questions from those who attended CKHA's Open House Meeting.

4) Comments  re: CKHA Supervisor, Rob Devitt's  response to the 11 questions sent to him by SOS.  The questions and his response are available on the SOS website.

5) Question by Herb to Rob Devitt re: Services which are available at SDH.

6) Comments from former SDH Board of Directors:  Sheldon, Herb, George, Rex , Conrad,  (Kris is attending a wedding)

7) Report on  your 3-year  $10.00 membership fees?

8) Questions / comments from the audience.

9) Invitation to join SOS committee

10) Shirley Roebuck's report from local Health Coalition

8) Other business.

Posted March 26th, 2017
Response from Rob Devitt, CKHA Supervisor in regards to our question.

1)        Which of the investigator’s recommendations have you implemented and which have you not and why?  

 The Investigator’s report only made one recommendation, to appoint a Supervisor.  This was done by the Minister on August 31, 2016

2)       In the Courier Press on Jan. 19th, Ken Deane said that he would like to see what services could be located at the Wallaceburg Campus and work with the Ontario government to identify additional health-care services that are needed in the area and could be located at the site.

Question:  What factors will be considered and what public input will be sought when you are looking at locating additional services at SDH?

All our work is focused on the goal of building a strong organization ensuring quality, accessible care.  To achieve that, as part of the facility visioning process we will look to what services can appropriately be added to both sites. We continue to get public input through all of the various mechanisms we have set up for community engagement such as, community open houses, feedback to our care teams, patient feedback surveys to name a few, and will look to this to help us shape our plans.  This process will also be based on things like appropriate clinical evidence, community need as reflected in health and demographic data, provincial and LHIN policy and the like

3)      Will there be a further thorough review of the SDH structure for prolonging    the life of SDH  structure, at least in usable areas? 

As part of the facility visioning process, the SDH structure will be assessed and we will try and identify priorities to extend the life of the building.  With limited resources, we want to ensure that every dollar we spend is going to achieve the maximum public benefit for front-line care for our community.

 4)      What’s  happening to the SDH Vision which was approved by the former SDH Board and SDH Corporation members?

 The SDH vision document has been shared with all members of the senior management team.  It will also be provided to the planning experts that we have retained to help us with the facility visioning process.  It is worth noting that many of the elements of that vision are already encompassed in the vision for the Wallaceburg campus that Rob Devitt and Ken Deane have been speaking of in recent months such as 24 hour emergency, diagnostic services, ambulatory clinics etc

5)      What is the legal status of the former SDH Board and SDH Corporation who has paid for a three year membership when Rob Devitt completes his work as Supervisor?

 The membership status of the organizations and their members will be determined as the broader question of overall corporate structure is decided.  Research is currently underway into best practices in terms of structure in Health care and specifically in southwestern rural Ontario.  We need a solution that works for Chatham Kent.  So we’re learning from other communities and determining what will be best for our community. 

6)      What is/ will be the CKHA governance structure? How will SDH be represented? Closed Board versus an Open Board?

         ** If it’s a closed board, the Directors are chosen by the Supervisor/CEO, and thus are      "beholding " to them rather than the community. The former SDH Corporation    membership believed that an Open Board concept was representative of the community.   

        That’s why 539 members paid for a three year membership so they would have a vote  in selecting the SDH Board. **

A governance structure is still to be determined. We need a solution that works for Chatham Kent.  So we’re learning from other communities and determining what will be best for our community.  The last few months have been focused on stabilizing the organization given the serious issues described by the investigator and identified over the past few months that include financial health and management, leadership culture, staff engagement, workplace safety, the need for a renewed and consistent focus on quality of care, to name a few.


7)      Why was the Rural Health Advisory Committee set up to not be part of governance and only have the CEO as an audience?    If this is not part of governance,

-           how will its feedback be used?

-          whose responsibility will it be to ensure proper reporting and accountability?

-          have the five members been selected? If yes who are they?     

 This Committee was organized following an analysis of other rural Ontario multi hospital systems and follows an approach used by a number of other organizations in the province.  The Committee will report to the Board through the CEO which is a typical model in progressive organizations.  Interviews for the citizen representatives are booked for early April.


8)      Going forward how will the members/ public at large be kept informed on what is happening on a more regular basis?

 In the last six months CKHA has introduced a number of mechanisms to keep the community informed including the website and regular 60 day updates through local media.  It is anticipated that these sorts of mechanisms will continue.


9)      On a monthly basis, CKHA is once again holding Mission & Quality Committee, Finance Committee and Board meetings. Which of these meetings are open to the public? Time and place.

 In order to re-establish governance discipline and educate the new leadership team on good governance practices monthly meetings were re-introduced in October. In the early months we are focusing these meetings on developing best practice governance processes and practices, clarifying the differences between governance and management information and setting up appropriate due diligence and project follow-up processes.  As we strengthen of governance we will document everything in a new board policy manual which is being developed and will include an open board meeting policy.

 Regrettably, regular meetings of important committees was not consistent in the prior couple of years, which was noted in the Investigator’s reportFor example, the Board Quality Committee did not meet for almost a year despite it being a required committee in law and there being a legal requirement to provide the hospital board with information about critical incidents at least twice per year. 

10)   What guarantees can you give that SDH will be rejuvenated into an acceptable functioning hospital and regardless of form of governance that the history of the past will not be repeated?

As we start to look at best practices in governance we are doing so wanting to ensure that the organization does not fall back into trouble.  Following best practices should minimize the risk that history repeats itself.  That said however, we will also explore mechanisms to provide ongoing coaching or audits to ensure that the organization remains on a positive trajectory once the governance pieces are developed.

11)    What are the lessons learned from the past and how has each one of the lessons been incorporated in your management system for corrective action to  prevent a repetition of the past?

*** Just a reminder to CKHA – if there is support and /or assistance that can be provided for SDH to help in the revitalization of SDH please do not hesitate to ask for our help. Please keep in mind that Wallaceburg and area, as part of CK, paid their share of money to the revitalization of the Chatham campuses through the donation made by CK on behalf of all taxpayers in CK. ***

There are a number of lessons that can be learned from the CKHA experience.  In particular, there is one that stands out and this is “tone at the top”. This refers to the tone that is set by the board and influences decision making, stewardship, accountability, fiduciary duty, to name a few. For example, when a board does not utilize its quality committee, or raises the organization’s line of credit on a couple of occasions to meet ongoing operating costs without any plans to pay back the debt we need to understand why once the Supervisor’s oversight is complete, a detailed written report will be prepared and submitted to the Minister.  The province in the past has made these reports public so that the whole system can learn from  the CKHA experience.


Posted March 19th, 2017
Questions / comments sent to CKHA Administration ( Rob Devitt, Ken Deane, Lori Marshall)
Re: Town Hall / Open House meeting on March 23rd at Wallaceburg CBD Club from 7-9 pm.
Hopefully, these questions will be answered prior or at the March 23rd meeting.
Conrad Noel, SOS Chair

March 18, 2017

TO: CKHA Administration

Rob Devitt, CKHA Supervisor / Ken Deane / Lori Marshall

Here is a list of questions / comments which require your attention prior to or at  the  Town Hall meeting in Wallaceburg on March 23rd.   


1)       Which of the investigator’s recommendations have you implemented and which have you not and why?  

2)       In the Courier Press on Jan. 19th, Ken Deane said that he would like to see what services could be located at the Wallaceburg Campus and work with the Ontario government to identify additional health-care services that are needed in the area and could be located at the site.

Question:  What factors will be considered and what public input will be sought when you are looking at locating additional services at SDH?

3)      Will there be a further thorough review of the SDH structure for prolonging    

the life of SDH  structure, at least in usable areas? 

4)      What’s  happening to the SDH Vision which was approved by the former SDH Board and SDH Corporation members?

5)      What is the legal status of the former SDH Board and SDH Corporation who has paid for a three year membership when Rob Devitt completes his work as Supervisor?

6)      What is/ will be the CKHA governance structure? How will SDH be represented? Closed Board versus an Open Board?

         ** If it’s a closed board, the Directors are chosen by the Supervisor/CEO, and thus are     

        "beholding " to them rather than the community. The former SDH Corporation   

         membership believed that an Open Board concept was representative of the community.   

         That’s why 539 members paid for a three year membership so they would have a vote  

         in selecting the SDH Board. **

7)      Why was the Rural Health Advisory Committee set up to not be part of governance and only have the CEO as an audience?    If this is not part of governance,

-           how will its feedback be used?

-          whose responsibility will it be to ensure proper reporting and accountability?

-          have the five members been selected? If yes who are they?

 8)      Going forward how will the members/ public at large be kept informed on what is happening on a more regular basis?

9)      On a monthly basis, CKHA is once again holding Mission & Quality Committee, Finance Committee and Board meetings. Which of these meetings are open to the public? Time and place.

10)   What guarantees can you give that SDH will be rejuvenated into an acceptable functioning hospital and regardless of form of governance that the history of the past will not be repeated?

11)    What are the lessons learned from the past and how has each one of the lessons been

incorporated in your management system for corrective action to  prevent a repetition of the past?

*** Just a reminder to CKHA – if there is support and /or assistance that can be provided for SDH to help in the revitalization of SDH please do not hesitate to ask for our help. Please keep in mind that Wallaceburg and area, as part of CK, paid their share of money to the revitalization of the Chatham campuses through the donation made by CK on behalf of all taxpayers in CK. ***

Submitted on behalf of SOS (Save Our Sydenham) and former SDH Corporation members.

Conrad Noel, SOS Chair


Cell:  519-359-6119

Posted March 18th, 2017

Email sent on March 17th, 2017 to CKHA: Fannie Vavoulis and Supervisor Rob Devitt

Your Update- CKHA News Events Happenings  on clearly states that on March 23/17: 7-9 PM Wallaceburg Town Hall / Open House Canadian Belgian Dutch Club. At a Town Hall meeting, people  would have the opportunity to openly ask questions and for CKHA staff to answer these questions so that everyone hears the same answers.

As SOS Chair,  I am objecting to the  proposed format where people would go from station to station.  This will create more frustration as we expect a large crowd to attend this meeting.  People are not going to stand around for an hour waiting to talk to someone at each station.  This Community has many questions and they are expecting answers from CKHA administration related to SDH. 

BTW CKHA's publicity to this meeting has been next to nothing.   How was the public to know that this meeting was talking place except on 

 What we have heard and read so far, is what SOS has provided to  CKXS FM Radio Station, Courier Press, Sydenham Current and emails to former SDH Corporation members and SOS website.

Please comment to this objection so that the public can be informed as to CKHA's unacceptable Open House format.

Conrad Noel, SOS Chair

Posted March15th, 2017

All former SDH Corporation members should have received an email from Conrad during the past weekend. Some emails have bounced back.  If you have changed your email, let me know.

Also, I would appreciate some feedback/comments. 

I will be posting thoughts /questions prior to CKHA's March 23rd meeting.  Unfortunately, for those who did not provide an email and you want to be on the list, please email me: or

Posted March 11, 2017
Correspondence with Fannie Vavoulis, CKHA
Re: Town Hall /Open house meeting in Wallaceburg on March 23rd  CBD Club. Dufferin Street, Wallaceburg 7-9 pm.

March 03, 2017


Hi Fannie


Could not find on CKHA website the dates and location of the CKHA  Town hall meetings.  Rob has indicated to Sheldon that Wallaceburg’s Town hall meeting would be on March 23rd and the info would be posted on CKHA website..


Would you provide the dates and locations of all proposed CKHA Town hall meetings so that I can post them on the SOS website?


What publicity format are you anticipating to inform the general public across Chatham-Kent?




Conrad Noel, chair SOS


Response from Fannie Vavoulis on  March 03, 2017

Hi Conrad,


The list of events are posted on under all the tabs of Governance, Financial Update, etc.


We are using this site as our means to communicate with the public on all things community engagement, finance and governance.


We are using social media and radio ads will be on CKXS in the coming weeks.


Thank you,



Fannie Vavoulis

Director, Communications & Medical Affairs
Chatham-Kent Health Alliance

80 Grand Avenue West, P.O. Box 2030

Chatham, ON N7M 5L9


Conrad's comments:

Except for what I found on CKHA website no other publicity has been found except what I posted on  SOS website on March 4th.  This important meeting should have received more publicity. I guess that SOS will have to do it on it's own. 


Posted March 4th, 2017  

Message from CKHA and Town Hall meeting / Open House in Wallaceburg. 

February 2017

To cultivate accessible, transparent and open communication with our community members, CKHA Leadership will be hosting a series of Community Engagement events across Chatham-Kent. These events will give citizens the opportunity to learn more about CKHA’s corporate transformation, financial plan, governance, services and programs, as well the chance to engage with local healthcare leaders one-on-one.

Town Hall / Open House in Wallaceburg on March 23rd from 7-9 pm at the Canadian Belgian Dutch Club, on Dufferin Street.
Conrad's comments:  This is the first opportunity for the general public in Wallaceburg / area serviced by SDH to ask questions and hopefully get answers. 

So far, there is only one other Town Hall/ Open House in Blenheim, St. Mary Hall on April 4th from 7-9. 
Listed on the CKHA website: are the other community Engagement Sessions in Chatham-Kent BUT at Rotary Clubs in Dresden, Chatham, Blenheim with a Media Update on March 22/17. 

Your SOS committee encourages everyone to attend the March 23rd Town Hall/ Open House from 7-9 at CBD Club.

SOS also invites the general public especially former CKHA Corporation members to a follow up meeting on Thursday March 30th at 6:00 pm at the UAW Hall.

Message from Sheldon Parsons
Posted: January 20, 2017                                                               
Presentation on Jan. 20th,2017 to Provincial Standing Finance Committee
Good Afternoon.


Thanks to the Chair and Members of the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs for this opportunity to make a presentation to you.


My name is Sheldon Parsons and I'm the former Chair of the Sydenham District Hospital Board and Corporation. I represent 5 other former directors - Conrad Noel, former Vice Chair, Kris Lee, Herb John, George Lung, former Directors elected by the 539 former members of the corporation and Rex Isaac, former Director appointed by the Walpole Island Band Council.


Our "former" status is a result of a decision by the Minister of Health and the cabinet for the Ontario Provincial Government to recommend appointment of a Hospital Supervisor under provisions of the Public Hospitals Act.


This was necessary because of governance and administrative issues at Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, an organization that included our Hospital and we do not quarrel with that decision.


It was necessary.


Why we are here?


We are here to provide you with some context and some background on the situation that arose within the Chatham Kent Health Alliance that gave cause for that decision and we are here to ask you for your consideration within the upcoming Provincial Budget to support three issues that impact healthcare services across the Province.


Those three issues are:

  • the critical need for sustainability of healthcare services in small, rural and northern communities

  • continued support for the policy that puts Patients First                   -and-

  • continued support for governance of healthcare facilities and programs across the Province by the local communities they serve

I want to begin with our story.

We have provided the Committee Clerk with electronic copies of the following.

Our Story (attached as Appendices 1 to 8)

  1. Our Story – Our Future Progress Report to the Community (May 31, 2016)
  2. Historical Timeline Update to Our Story – Our Future (January 20, 2017)
  3. VISION for healthcare in the Sydenham - Bkejwanong - St. Clair District
  4. MOHLTC Appointment of CKHA Investigator (June 8, 2016)
  5. Investigator’s Final Report (August 8, 2016)
  6. MOHLTC Appointment of CKHA Supervisor (September 1, 2016)
  7. Engage – CKHA employee newsletter (December 6, 2016)
  8. Open Letter to the Community by former Chair, SDH (December 7, 2016)

The most important document in that list is our VISION and we have provided 25 hard copies of that along with my speaking notes.

The above documents relate the story of a healthcare facility (Sydenham District Hospital) that was under-resourced by the governance bodies that were entrusted to sustain it and entrusted to sustain the services it provided. This under-resourcing was further compounded by purposeful practices by both governors and administrators over the past decade to undermine and eliminate the services that were guaranteed in the original alliance agreement. The documents also relate the very real frustration that communities go through when vital services are diminished and taken away.


The former Board continues to have serious questions about what happened at CKHA. There has been no public accounting for this and until that is provided to the public, confidence in our healthcare institutions is threatened.


Just this week, the interim CFO for CKHA has reported that CKHA has "major cash problems". He also said that "CKHA's costs are two times higher than similar sized hospitals that deliver the same services". He went on to say that the Province penalizes hospitals with deficits and the penalty looming for CKHA will be a million dollars off of revenue for next year. That's a heavy penalty for patients and communities to pay for bad governance and bad administration. This was not the communities or the patients fault.


The Investigation report on CKHA was very critical of both administration and the boards responsible. We acknowledge that the Investigator believed that all three boards were, to some degree, at fault and reported as such. We also understand that the Supervisor believes that all Boards were to blame for the circumstances in which we found ourselves. Whether the former SDH Board accepts or rejects that we were to some degree at fault is inconsequential to what needs to happen now. We put that behind us with our open letter to the community in December.


What do we want?


To be honest, some want nothing to ever change. But to be clear, many understand that programs and services need to change, and, most of the time, change is for the better. What is unacceptable to communities is change that is designed by someone who doesn't understand that community as if some cookie cutter approach to healthcare systems and services will work for every patient and every community. What is hard to accept is change that is caused by fiscal situations that are beyond the community's ability to control. What is also unacceptable is change that is brought about without any community engagement or consultation. The Local Health Integration Network has coined a phrase  No decisions about me without me. That sounds good unless it just a phrase and is never put into action.


What's happening now?


We are well into a series of changes at CKHA brought about by the Supervisor and the interim CEO. Former senior staff are long gone.  The former SDH Directors support all changes that have been made to date. The Supervisor has done what the three Hospital Boards couldn't and in some cases wouldn't. That alone has justified his appointment.


Where to from here?


Our Story continues to get written and the former Directors and the former members of SDH will continue to fight for the healthcare services our communities need. As communities and as patients, we can only do what is within our control. The Ministry of Health has to provide the framework and the funding that supports communities in their fight for sustainable healthcare, patients first and local governance. Sometimes the Ministry just needs to step back and let local communities find the solutions that will work for them.


We can point to a very good example of that.


We have provided you with a copy of our VISION for healthcare for our local community  Sydenham - Bkejwanong - St. Clair. Our VISION was developed by our local communities for our local communities and done so at very little cost - I would suggest pennies on the dollar compared to what other studies have cost. It involved local consultation with minimum consultants. It meets the Province's expectation for both Patients First and what a local health hub should look like in small and rural communities like ours. We believe it can be developed very economically.


We offer it as the solution to the healthcare needs of our communities.


With that, I conclude my comments and presentation to you and I am happy to try and answer any questions that you may have.

Link from CKHA Supervisor and Acting  CEO Memo to Staff


As chair of  SOS,  this is what we are expecting from the new CEO that the CKHA appointed Supervisor  will be hiring?

We are expecting:
  • that the individual understand the culture of CKHA which places SDH a unique situation.
  • that the new CEO will  restructure services and programs at SDH which comply with the Rural and Northern Health Care framework.
  • that  the new CEO will restore services and programs at SDH which were eliminated by the past two CEO's.
  • that the new CEO will restore an open Board for SDH as a closed Board is less effective and unacceptable to the SDH Community.
  • that  the new CEO will restore public confidence for SDH
  • that the new CEO understands that continued amalgamation with Chatham without an SDH veto is misguided?
  • that the new CEO will  re-establish  confidence to both hospital staff and medical staff which have worked in fear, intimidation and distrust in the past 17 years with the former two CEO's and COO's.
  • that the new CEO will balance the CKHA budget without slashing services that are left at SDH.
  • that the new CEO will seriously consider the SDH Vision which was approved by the SDH Board and 539 SDH Corporation members.

Conrad Noel, SOS Chairperson
N.B.  Placing SDH Directors on a CKHA minority Board will never ever work.  It hasn't worked for 17 years.  Why would the CKHA Supervisor expect it to work this time unless SDH  Directors have veto power for building, programs and services for SDH?

Posted : December 9th, 2016

An open letter to the public living and working in the communities served by the

Sydenham District Hospital 


On behalf of the former Board of Directors for the Sydenham District Hospital Corporation, I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and extend to all our very best wishes for the holiday season.


Its been a while since we have spoken publicly and that has been on purpose. Following the appointment of both the Investigator and the Supervisor for CKHA, we have done our best to work with first Bonnie Adamson and now Rob Devitt to ensure that they had all the facts and information that we could provide and that they needed to complete their jobs. Our thanks go to Bonnie Adamson for her work and her report and to Rob Devitt for the improvements that he has contributed to CKHA and to Sydenham Campus to this point in his tenure.


As a Board, we were and continue to be very proud of the professionalism that staff at both campuses had and have continued to show through very trying and challenging times.


In the effort to defend SDH we have been well served by our elected representatives both at the federal and provincial levels. Monte McNaughton helped with the call for an investigation into the affairs of CKHA and Bev Shipley has now written a letter calling on the Supervisor for CKHA to do more to inform the public about what improvements have been made to CKHA's organizational structure and about what we might expect over the coming months. We agree with Mr. Shipley that there needs to be more public information about what is happening and more public engagement around the health services that we need. We would like to remind everyone that a lot of that work has already been done with the adoption of the VISION report for the Sydenham - Bkejwanong - St. Clair healthcare planning district.

It was, in part, Mr. Devitt's response to Bev's letter and an organizational communication titled ENGAGE sent to all CKHA employees that caused us to pause and realize that a public statement from the former Board needed to be made and was long overdue. It is also, in part, a concern that has been lingering for some time with the SDH Board that we were somehow responsible for the predicament that CKHA found itself in.


Nothing is further from the truth.

First, respecting the nvestigator's Report -

 Bonnie Adamson found a lot of problems at CKHA and these problems were well documented in her final report. Much of what she found and reported on were concerns also raised by the SDH Board or by the SDH Membership over the entire time that we were an active membership and later when the current Board came into office. Very little of the Investigator's Report found the SDH Board at fault.

The part of the report that suggested


"the Boards have been complicit in administration's long pattern of decision making regarding resource allocations that have resulted in the deterioration of SDH's physical plant

 was troublesome to us but we felt that a greater good was being achieved and we decided to remain silent on that point. As a result, we took it on the chin.


Its time to set the record straight.


·    Since 2014, the SDH Board has not been complicit in under-resourcing SDH (In order to be complicit, there must be different organizations acting together to further an agenda)

  • We were actively involved in directing that solutions be found to the lack of resources for our building.
  • We uncovered the long lost letter that promised $500,000 in HIRF funding.
  • The Board and the SDH Membership has had the building's condition at the top of our agenda since 2010
  • Questions were raised from the floor as early as 2008 [1]
  • In 2015, through the efforts of the past chair, we convinced the Ministry of Health to look at alternatives and directed our staff to review options that would be acceptable to the communities that are served by SDH


To suggest that the SDH Board or any of the 539 members or any of the patients and communities served by SDH were in any way complicit in this under resourcing is just plain wrong.


The Investigator's Report went on to blame all three Boards for lack of oversight and failure to ensure a fiscal soundness within the financial structures of CKHA. It read as follows:


"All three Boards have demonstrated a lack of oversight regarding a serious financial deficit which had been accumulating over time."


This claim of fault was also troubling to us.


  • When the current SDH Board took office in 2014, CKHA staff were projecting a modest surplus in operations.

  • In 2015, staff reported that our fiscal situation was sound enough that we could guarantee a loan to ensure the completion of the new Chatham Kent Hospice

  • Also in 2015, staff recommended a routine increase in our line of credit

  • All of this came from our professional staff with no concerns raised by either our creditors or by our Audit and Finance Committee. No concern was raised by officials at the Erie St. Clair Local Heath Integration Network

  • Our fiscal situation changed dramatically in the fall of 2015 and the due diligence on the part of SDH was to report this to our membership and to advise what steps were being taken to resolve this funding issue.

  • By early 2016, it was clear that significant changes to our operations needed to be considered.

  • Chatham Boards and the administration saw a solution in the closing or radical reduction of services at SDH.

  • SDH Board saw this problem as much bigger and one that required a much more thoughtful approach and that also required an organization wide solution.

  • SDH called for an organization wide review that was denied by the other Boards and ridiculed by our administration

  • In early April of 2016, our administration and the two Chatham Boards colluded in a plan to lock out SDH from any further governance activity


Given all of this, it is difficult to imagine how the SDH Board could be faulted for lack of oversight. On a few occasions, we had to explain to the administration and the other two Boards what oversight actually was and at another point in the process, the SDH Board was individually chastised by CKHA lawyers for exercising too much oversight.


You can be certain that the SDH Board was not complicit in under-resourcing SDH nor did we exercise a lack of oversight regarding CKHA's financial situation.


Second, respecting the Supervisor's Terms of Reference and the improvements he has made to date -


As the now former SDH Board, we are encouraged to see the significant improvements made by the Supervisor to the administrative and clinical leadership at CKHA. Interim senior leadership and new senior leadership will provide critically positive direction towards solving the foundational problems that have plagued CKHA and that have undermined the Sydenham Campus for over 10 years. There is no question that covert plans were in place to eliminate the services provided by SDH to the communities within the Sydenham - Bkejwanong - St. Clair healthcare planning district. There is also no question that this covert plan was a collusion between CKHA administration and the two Chatham Boards.


The Supervisor has much work ahead of him, including:


1.       Selection of new clinical and administrative leadership to direct the operations of CKHA into 2020 and beyond. Rob Devitt, CKHA's Supervisor and Ken Deane, the interim CEO, must select the very best people for the task at hand. These appointments will be carefully watched and evaluated so that mistakes of the past are not repeated and the confidence of the public is ensured. This is particularly important to the public in the Sydenham - Bkejwanong - St. Clair District.


2.         Re-establishing the Boards with appropriate skills and competencies, reflective of the community served by the hospitals. The membership and the communities within Sydenham - Bkejwanong - St. Clair have been very supportive of the former SDH Board and the question that lies ahead for Mr. Devitt is what skills and competencies do the members of the former SDH Board not possess?


3.         Determining the role of the SDH Membership. SDH has a robust membership that should not be overlooked when considering a new governance structure for CKHA. It is within Mr. Devitt's authority to determine what the role should be for the 539 members.


We will continue to work with the Supervisor for as long as he chooses to include us as he deals with the challenge of establishing a sustainable governance structure for CKHA and we will continue our fight to ensure that the VISION that we have created and the District that we have championed gets full consideration by CKHA, our LHIN and the Ministry of Health.


It is our hope that Mr. Devitt will agree to attend an SDH members' meeting in the very near future to discuss all of this with you. As soon as we know that a date for this information meeting has been selected we will make the appropriate arrangements and forward that information to you.


On behalf of the former SDH Board


Sheldon Parsons, former Chair

Conrad Noel, former Vice Chair

Herb John, former Director,

Kris Lee, former Director,

George Lung, former Director,

Rex Isaac, former Director,

Sydenham District Hospital Board Corporation Membership

 cc -

Rob Devitt, CKHA Supervisor

Ken Deane, Interim CKHA President and CEO

Dr. Eric Hoskins, MPP, Minister of Health and Long Term Care

Bev Shipley, MP

Monte McNaughton, MPP

SDH Corporate Members


[1] prior years dates are based on recollections of the Board of Directors and have not been verified by a reference to the minutes of the Corporation's Annual Minutes

________   ____________________________________________________________                                                 

Posted : December 4, 2016

November 28th, 2016
MP says lack of action at SDH is 'disappointing'

Letter from Bev Shipley, MP to Rob Devitt, CKHA Supervisor

I am writing to you today on behalf of my constituents who fall within the hospital care catchment area of the Sydenham District Hospital (SDH). In particular, I have been approached by a number of concerned citizens relative to what they see as a somewhat pedestrian pace in terms of change and any improvements at Sydenham District Hospital since the Investigator's Report this past August.

As you are aware, the report noted conditions imposed by management and officers at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) which put SDH communities and families at some risk:

The Boards have been complicit in administration's long pattern of decision- making regarding resource allocations that have resulted in the deterioration of SDH's physical plant and related ability to provide the program and services to its community in accordance with the Rural and Northern Healthcare Framework principles clearly set out in the Alliance Agreement.

After more than three months, I am certain a status report would be welcomed by the communities, the volunteers and the staff of Sydenham District Hospital. It is essential to keep them informed on the specific actions you have taken to date which address the issues referenced in the report, in addition to the issues arising after the report's publication regarding equipment, supplies, services and therapies available through the Emergency Department.

I have been advised by SDH staff members that there have been no changes, investments or improvements whatsoever since the Supervisor's report. If this is accurate, it is extremely disappointing to those who saw the Investigator's Report as a ray of sunshine in a decade and a half of darkness. The complexities of dealing with the long-term governance issues should not be a barrier to addressing the acute needs of SDH now.

The constituents in my riding certainly understand and appreciate the enormity of the task before you, in terms of remedying the years of systematic abuse suffered by the Sydenham District Hospital at the hands of the CKHA. They will continue to be patient; but they have been clear to me - that in the absence of real and immediate action to address the acute needs at SDH, patience and good will are apt to dissipate quickly.
Further, they accept that developing a governance model and addressing the current projected deficit are important issues. However, they are seeking assurances that patient and staff care is your first priority and not part of some grand, down-the-road consultant's report. And I must tell you, they are very concerned with the language they have heard to date, and in particular your comments in a November 8th Chatham Voice which were remarkably similar in tone and content to what they have been hearing for the past 16 years.
This needs to change. They want and deserve straight talk.

I hope you will receive this in the spirit it is intended. As a Member of Parliament, it is my duty to be the voice of my constituents on the issues which concern them most. This is the issue which concerns them most.
I would encourage you to provide an update, not through representatives, but directly to the communities and staff most affected in Wallaceburg. I would encourage you to do it without delay. "Soon", in my estimation, will not be a helpful response.

Bev Shipley
MP, Lambton-Kent-Middlesex

Posted Nov. 5th, 2016
Sheldon Parsons named Citizen of the Year
Report from Sydenham Current

A leading advocate for Wallaceburg’s hospital took home the top honours on Thursday at the Wallaceburg and District Chamber of Commerce’s 19th annual Business Excellence Awards.

Despite not currently having an active role within the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance’s governance structure, Sheldon Parsons told the crowd at the Clubhouse at Baldoon he has not given up the fight.

“I am not done,” said the former chair of the Sydenham District Hospital board.

“This is not a swan song moment or a ‘get on your horse and ride into the sunset’ moment. There are challenges on our road ahead and I intend to be a part of the solution to meet those challenges head on.”

Parsons led the Wallaceburg hospital board during this past tumultuous year, which included: an investigator being appointed by the Province to look into the CKHA, a “damning” report released from the investigator, a supervisor being appointed to the CKHA, the CEO and COO leaving the organization, and a re-building effort started by the interim leadership.

Parsons credited his fellow board members while accepting his award.

“If I’m being recognized for my work with the hospital board, then many others need to share in that honour because the job is not a one-man show,” he said, mentioning former vice chair Conrad Noel, past chair Jeff Wesley, and former board members Kris Lee, George Lung, Herb John and Rex Isaac, and the “faithful and very supportive” 539 members of the Sydenham District Hospital Corporation.

Parsons has been committed to the community over the years: serving on municipal administration, Chatham-Kent council and volunteering with multiple groups, including the Wallaceburg Kinsmen, Wallaceburg Museum, Wallaceburg Minor Lacrosse and St. James Anglican Church.


Posted Nov. 5th

The Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) is faced with an uphill battle to balance their books.

Ken Deane

Ken Deane, the interim CEO with the CKHA, said they are looking at a “ball park” $2 million deficit this year.

“There is no question and it will come as no surprise that we have a deficit and deficits in and of themselves create significant challenges for hospitals,” Deane said, during a special meeting on Wednesday with the media.

“We need an on-going program to replenish equipment. There are only two sources of money for that. One is through the Foundation (of the CKHA) and the other is by generating a surplus each year. When you are running a deficit, obviously you don’t have money to buy equipment. We need to make sure that we have on-going mechanisms to identify, prioritize and re-invest in our organization as it relates to ensuring that we have equipment in place.”

Deane said the final deficit number may swing a bit between now and year-end, but it is a marker they’re projecting.

“So we need to have a mechanism in place for the next fiscal year to make sure that we address that,” he said.

“So our financial planning now will focus on what we need to do next year in the budget to make sure that we achieve a balanced budget. So we are bench-marking our performance against other hospitals to identify where there are opportunities to do things differently, better and more economically. That’s the process that we’re going in.”

Deane said himself, staff and the provincially-appointed supervisor for the CKHA Rob Devitt are working on fixing this shortfall.

“Underscoring that will be a process of ensuring that we have as much inclusivity of people within the organization to ensure that we have as many ideas as possible of how we can operate more efficiently and effectively,” Deane said.

Both Deane and Devitt held the special meting in Chatham this week to update the community about the work they have completed in the 60-plus days they have been on the job.

Watch for more coverage from the meeting on the Sydenham Current


Posted on Nov. 5

Article posted on Nov. 2 on Sydenham Current

CKHA Leadership Provides Update

The interim leadership of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance provided an update about their progress to date at a special meeting held with the media.

Rob Devitt, the provincially appointed supervisor for the CKHA, and Ken Deane, the interim CEO, led an open-dialogue discussion and fielded questions at the meeting, which comes approximately 60 days after both started working at the CKHA.

Visits to Wallaceburg

Devitt said they have both visited the Sydenham Campus in Wallaceburg a number of times in the past two months.

“We’ve met with a number of people there. Our call of action to our Quality Committee and our Medical Advisory Committee has been we need to make sure we continue to provide safe, good quality, cost effective care everywhere we deliver care. Until something says otherwise, that is what our focus is on… continuous improvement,” Devitt said.

“When we go through the planning process we’ll figure out. The Wallaceburg site offers some complexity in terms of what are the mix of programs, what are the services, is it that site, that’s a big question. But we can’t just jump to that. We’ve got to start with what is the right process to come up with a vision to answer those questions.”

Devitt said many people want to know what the end result will be.

“If you’re at a stop sign idling and you pop the car into sixth (gear) and you try to start, you know what happens,” he said.

“And yet for many people, the way they frame their thinking, is ‘what does it look like when you’re in sixth’, but you have to go first, second, third, fourth, fifth (gear) before you go to sixth.”

Working on new vision

Devitt said he has been working on creating a governance structure for the CKHA, but has been wrapping his head around the myriad of plans and reports created for both CKHA campuses.

“I’ve now gone back and reviewed the plans that were submitted in the spring time,” he said.

“I’ve reviewed the Imagine plans, which were developed back in 2012. I’ve reviewed engineering reports. So now I’ve got all that stuff in my head and I’m now trying to figure out what is the best path forward to come up with an exciting vision that is not only going to meet the need of the entire Chatham-Kent community, but one that is going to be inspiring and exciting and one that everyone wants to be a part of.”

Devitt said they are working with architects, and engineers to help them work towards their vision.

“We’re now looking at how to we get the right expertise to work with us to develop that,” he said.

“Not throw everything out because a lot of resource has been invested, time and money with all of the studies over the years, but how do we come up with something to go forward and something that is going to be affordable. If we develop plans that are not affordable for the local community and the Province of Ontario, then we might as well not have a plan, because if it’s not affordable than it’s not going to move ahead. We’re now starting discussions with architects, engineers to get proposals from them, not on the vision, but on what process would go through with us to develop that vision.”

Both Deane and Devitt spoke extensively about their search for a full-time CEO, the transition with a new CEO, their work-to-date on a new governance structure, capital planning and the financial situation at the CKHA.

Watch for follow-up stories focused on these topics on the Sydenham Current..


Posted Oct. 24th.

Email from Jim Hasson, Wallaceburg

Object: RE: Organization memo

Thanks for sharing, Conrad.

Posting on the SOS website  keeps the community informed and an informed community is an engaged community.  It is hard to believe that the SOS website has been around for over seven years but it has been a key source of information and I tip my hat to you for what you have continued to do for all these years.

We have approached so many cross-roads along this journey and with significant governance decisions to be made in the weeks and months ahead we must continue to make our voices heard.  Continued amalgamation with Chatham without an SDH veto is misguided.  We have witnessed first-hand the shortcomings of unaccountable closed hospital boards will no longer accept the trust shortcoming when an entire region is ignored for decades.

This is an historic moment in time for the continued existence of the Sydenham District Hospital.  We as a community continue to have the right people in the right place at the right time – so let us be even more vigilant in ensuring access to quality local healthcare remains.

Posted Oct. 24
Email from former SDH Corporation member - Don Kennedy

Hi Conrad:

 I read about a survey being done by the Wallaceburg - Walpole First Island Health Coalition.

 I picked up one at Rona and have submitted one to them.

 One of their questions asked about any ideas/thoughts we would like relayed to the Supervisor or interim CEO.

Just thought you might be interested in what I wrote:

Wallaceburg - Walpole First Island Health Coalition

RE: Question # 7 from survey

 1)        Looking at other smaller or comparable communities, their population and catchment area, how is they can have a functioning hospital that provides a lot of services that Sydenham Hospital does not.

 2)        Wallaceburg and surrounding area has an aging population and lot of retirees (not only from the people here), but people relocating from bigger cities to enjoy a quieter and less stressful life style. Older people cannot always depend on others or no longer drive themselves to a hospital that is excess of 25 and more kilometers away.

 3)        Inclement weather conditions on Highway 40 and rural areas, particularly in winter, makes this even more dangerous not only for the patient but the EMS personnel if the patient is not assessed and stabilized prior to having to go to Chatham.

 4)        Having a fully functioning 24 hour Emergency Department is absolutely essential for Wallaceburg, Walpole First Nation Island and some of the surrounding communities. The closure of the Sydenham ER (and hospital) will be detrimental to the health ours and surrounding communities and many will end up becoming a ghost town.

 5)        I am sure this has been mentioned previously but in case the appointed Supervisor and others need to be reminded that the Wallaceburg Hospital was funded and built by this community and operating as full service hospital prior to any amalgamations and mergers.

6)        I don't think anyone believes the Hospital will return to all the previous services it provided but there is no reason why we cannot have services such as Medicine, Surgery, Day Surgery, Laboratory & Diagnostic Imaging, Outpatient clinics and some critical care beds (until the patient is stabilized for transfer by ambulance or taken by helicopter to another facility. Whenever the helicopter is required the patient is NOT taken to Chatham but rather Windsor, London, Toronto etc. In our own personal case a family member had to be flown from Wallaceburg Hospital to the burn unit at Hamilton General. If there had not been an Emergency Department at Sydenham where she was assessed and treated the Doctors said she would have died!!!

7)        The return of services to the Hospital will attract more Physicians and employ many people.

8)        The area is still big for farming and if we were to get back some of the industry we lost in the past it is even more essential that we have a 24 hour ER for any potential accidents that need immediate assessment and treatment.

 9)        I have always wondered why St. Joseph's Hospital in Chatham has a lot of say in governance issues when they do not offer any acute care services.

 10)      Wallaceburg has the space (and the support of the community) to build a newer facility but need to be allocated its share of services.

 11)      In these times of financial constraint and with the departure of Colin Patey and Sarah Padfield I would like to know what kind of severance package was required/offered? With hiring replacements this will only add to the debt by "double paying." For example in Toronto at one of the hospitals I worked in we had one CEO but were paying for three as the previous two were given substantial compensation/severance packages - Perhaps this was due to written contacts/agreements made but it resulted in a lot of wages being paid for only one person in charge.

PS: Are our memberships still valid for the three years or will there be a new requirement once the Supervisor finalizes his duties here?


Don Kennedy

Conrad's comments: Re membership / fees

SDH Corporation membership was dissolved with the take over of the Ministry's appointed Supervisor.  We will be told where the balance of the funds will be distributed.

Posted Oct. 22

Chatham-Kent Health Alliance         MEMORANDUM


DATE: October 17, 2016


TO:        Staff, Physicians and Volunteers


FROM: Ken Deane, President and CEO (Interim)


RE:        Executive Leadership Restructuring


In reviewing the hospital's organization structure and the needs of the Chatham-Kent

Health Aliiance going forward, it is necessary to achieve a more balanced focus across

three important and inter-related priorities;


     delivering programs and services effectively and efficiently:

     supporting staff and a renewed emphasis on a healthy workplace; and

     improving operating performance.


Achieving a more balanced focus requires a new executive leadership structure. This

means we are moving away from having a Chief Operating Officer position. As a result

of this restructuring Sarah Padfield has left the organization On behalf of the

organization I thank Sarah for her service and contribution to CKHA.


Willi Kirenko continues in her Vice President and Chief Nursing Executive role with

responsibility for clinical programs and services including pharmacy, laboratory

services, and diagnostic imaging,


Debbie Ancocik has been appointed Vice President with responsibility for human

resources, occupational health and safety, partnerships and system integration.


We will also recruit a Vice President who will be responsible for finance, decision

support, hospital information management, and operations.


Posted Oct. 21
Copy of Memorandum from Rob Devitt, Supervisor and Ken Deane, President & CEO (interim) to staff, physicians and volunteers (October 19th, 2016)

CHATHAM-KENT Health Alliance




To:                        Staff, Physicians and Volunteers


From:                   Rob Devitt, Supervisor & Ken Deane, President & CEO (Interim)

Date:                    Octiber 19, 2016


Re:                       Update to Organization


Last montii we shared with you two l<ey areas of focus (a) understand the organization and the

pressures it faces and (b) to ensure a strong focus on workplace culture and wellness. Today,

we'll build on that update but first we once again wanted to remark on the warm and patient

centred staff we have met. Thank you to everyone who continues to stop us to say hello or

share their experiences with us. This has been a welcomed and valued experience for us both.


From these interactions, we recognize that people are anxious to understand the process

underway and to see outcomes. This comes as no surprise to us. We know that during times of

uncertainty, this is'a normal reaction and we want to be sensitive to the needs of our internal

community. At the same time, this is not a process that should be rushed. Change takes time if

it is-to be done properly. To support your interest in activities and changes underway, we will

continue to bring updates in this format and by video on a fairly regular basis. Our thinking is

that general updates will be issued every 6-8 weeks with additional communication as needed,


Understanding the Organization and its Pressures:

A big priority was to put back in place governance structures that aliow us to execute the duties

of the boards and help to guide the operations of the hospital. We have now held our first

Quality and Finance Committee meetings as well as another meeting of the Medical Advisory

Committ meetings were opportunities for us to continue to build an understanding of

the Hospitals' performance, challenges and opportunities and Introduce new reporting

mechanisms and models to bring stronger governance to the hospitals. Board meetings and

structures drive interna! systems and processes. The board's role is to ask questions and make

requests of administration to bring forward options and recommendations to better serve the

organization and our patients through the quality of care we deliver. When the consistency and

oversight of the beard is lacking, it affects other internal mechanism so it was critically important

for me to get things back on track as soon as possible.


We are pleased to announce that we have just secured a search firm to begin recruiting a new

CEO and we expect to see the process fully underway by the end of October. Incidentally, this

same firm is also going to be available to us when we are ready to recruit board members.


This approach reflects the view that board recruitment is as important as executive recruitment

and requires a comprehensive and rigorous process to ensure successful candidates are

entrusted with thej power and authority that the hospital boards hold. Of course the overall

Board and Governance structure has still to be determined but getting this piece in place will

expedite things once the structure has been determined.


In terms of internal structures and supports, there have been a few announcements about

changes to the organization's structure over the past few days. Operationally we have moved

away from a Chief Operating Officer position to a new model with three Vice President

portfolios. This better balances the organizational priorities with respective leadership positions.

From a medical leadership perspective, we also received notification from Dr. Ranjith

Chandrasena that he is stepping down from his position of Chief of Medical Staff. This and

other factors allowed us to make the decision to transition to Program Management for our

Medical Leadership Model. As an initial step the change requires updated position descriptions

for Chiefs and Medical Directors, followed by a transparent and open recruitment process. We

look fonward to sharing updates with you as the organizational structure evolves and solidifies

over the coming months.

We have some gdod news on our year-to-date financial position. We are trending favorably to

budget so we are a bit ahead compared to expectations. We've also gone out to market to

secure third party benchmarking. Having an unbiased external perspective to compare our

current operations will be critical as we look ahead to 2017/18.


We continue to learn more about the Hospital Information System project and to assess options

available to us to ensure appropriate tools for clinicians and meet our financial obligations. It's

still early in our analysis but we are on track to meet our decision deadline in early December.


Workplace Culture & Wellness:

We now have a Workplace Violence Committee and new Vice President to support this work on

a long-term basis. Just last week, the organization benefits from a joint presentation by the

Ontario Nurses Association and Michael Garron Hospital (formerly Toronto East General

Hospital) on their �ward-winning approach to violence in the workplace.


The staff and physician engagement process is underway with the survey launch currently

planned for mid-November. We are pleased to be using a comprehensive, confidential third

party tool provided by NRC, the same company that supports our patient engagement process.

We cannot stress pnough the importance of your participation in this survey. The results will

provide us with a t|)aseline and inform the actions that together we will need to take to improve

our culture and work environment. This is your opportunity to share your experiences with us

and to help shape our future.


On a separate note, as a result of a meeting with the former Sydenham Board, we were asked

to develop a Q&A |document for former members and the community. For those interested, it's

also . available here


Posted Oct. 20th
Follow up comments from Jeff Wesley Re: Fundraising

Thanks Conrad. I just finished reading it all. One thing that struck me and I hope he knows this is the fundraising capacity of the community. It is not just the F/R capacity of Wallaceburg and area BUT also all of CK. When the CKHA campus was built all of CK contributed and the Municipality of CK made a sizable donation that was on behalf of all taxpayers in CK and paid for by all taxpayers of CK. I expect all of CK to share in the costs for Wallaceburg just like we did for them. Therefore the F/R capacity of CK, not just Wallaceburg and area needs to be evaluated.

 Please share this thought with Mr. Devitt.



Conrad's comments:  I emailed Jeff comments to Rob Devitt


Posted Oct. 20th
Comments from Doug Babitt  RE: SDH former Board members' meeting with Rob Devitt, CKHA Supervisor

Hi Conrad.

I may be a bit jaded after almost 2 decades of self identifying administrative experts out right despising both our open board and our Sydenham Campus so I only say this with limited information about our current Supervisor. In the second last paragraph he refers to the new CEO to be hired, not knowing the BOARD he will be working with. We also know this process is likely to be challenging given that the individual will not have the traditional advantage of knowing the board they will be working with when they assume their new position.”  Is he insinuating he no longer see’s there being a tri board in our future by referring that the new CEO will only have one board to report to?

 My other concern is his discussion on funding. First he talks about years of limited capital expenditure on the Sydenham Campus. As much as I hate to say that some of our previous boards should have done more years ago to fight for the Sydenham Campus the facts still support that on the whole our Campus was the target of senior administration for termination and they had a direction to see that it happened by default through a lack of maintenance to the facility. Administration made us victims of their plans and I would hope that Mr. Devitt does not intend to victimize us further by saying, through financial analysis, that our community can only afford to pay this much towards a new or revitalized campus therefore this is what we can have. IF the CKHA Senior Administration along with previous boards had maintained the facility as they should have we would not have this extra ground to make up financially to support the Sydenham Campus thus allowing any monies we raise to be spent on maintaining/expanded services rather than having to raise funds to make up for the injustice of deliberate limited capital expenditures. Is our community expected to pay to correct the wrong doings of the past two consecutive CEO’s?

 Having said this, I am still appreciative of what Supervisor Devitt and Interim CEO Dean are doing and am optimistic that in the end we will have a more robust Campus in Wallaceburg, hopefully with more than just minimal support of our Provincial Government.

 Doug Babbitt


Posted Oct. 19th

Follow up to meeting on Oct. 11 /16 with former SDH Board members and Rob Devitt, CHKA Supervisor

Questions & Answers with Rob Devitt, Supervisor, CKHA 
From: Zoja Holman [] 
What observations can you share with the community at this stage in your process?

I continue to believe that the organization is full of deeply committed and caring individuals. However, the Investigator’s report has rung true in many areas and there a number of issues that requires our focused attention. Two are of particular interest to me: the role of governance and organizational culture.

Why are these two areas of concern for you and how do you aim to address them?

Overall, there appears to have been a lack of clarity about the role of governance. When this happens, roles between governors and administrators become gray and no one can execute their duties effectively.  Notwithstanding the commitment of the previous board members, it is unclear the extent of oversight the boards provided to ensure appropriate plans and contingencies were in place on a number of critically important issues.  So we are working to implement processes and systems that would support stronger governance, things like multi-year capital plans and revenue-based budget processes, as well as a clearer and simplified scorecard to measure and monitor our quality and performance targets.
The investigator’s report spoke to both governance and organizational culture.  The linkage between governance and culture to me is important. As stewards within the healthcare system, I think it’s fair to assume that Boards should lead by example.  In my opinion, the focus, processes and behaviours at the governance level get replicated throughout the organization.  Ken and I have been working with the senior team to initiate a number of projects that will allow us to begin to transition and “re-set” the culture. Our goal is to shape a new culture that is grounded in a commitment to a healthy and safe workplace for our staff and physicians.  

The Terms of Reference of your appointment speak to your role in creating a sustainable governance model. What progress are you making relative to the corporations and their governance model?

It’s really too early in the process to provide any indication of a potential governance model. What we know is that we need to consider an organizational design that removes unnecessary complexity. This  will allow us to focus more of our time and effort on addressing issues of patient care and improving the patient experience, while also addressing the needs of the community at large and remaining fiscally responsible.  There’s no easy answer to this situation. I need more time to analyze before I can begin to really contemplate options for the corporate structure let alone arrive at a solution.

Do you have any sense of what will happen to the physical structures and, in particular, the Sydenham Campus?

My assessment is that the Sydenham Campus has suffered from slow erosion, a path that likely started well over a decade ago through limited capital investment. So the challenge is to consider what opportunities are available to get back on track, can we define a purpose for the facility in the short term and to manage through the limitations of the physical plant as we do that. We also need to ensure we really understand the issues with the building and the feasibility of needed investments that would be required to manage the building’s deficiencies if it was to remain over the long term. 

 At the same time, I’m looking ahead and considering an unconventional strategy to support the long term plans for facility planning and investment in Wallaceburg. My thinking today is that we might start with an analysis of the financial capacity of the community to actually support a redevelopment project. Ontario has a long standing capital cost sharing policy that requires local communities to share in the cost of hospital construction projects so we must understand local fundraising capacity in order to size a project that is affordable to the community.  It’s a tricky proposition because we can’t provide a clear vision without understanding what we could actually afford. However, the advantage of this approach is that we would have a better indication of affordability of possible models, which is likely to be a greater limitation than our ability to land on a model that aligns to provincial policy and community need.

Can’t you simply build on the vision proposed by the previous Sydenham Board?

The proposed vision offers lots of elements that are of value and consistent with emerging provincial policy direction of a hub. However, I don’t think the area meets the definition of a sub-LHIN region nor do I think it needs to. I believe that there are many good examples of how other regions have managed through these processes much better than the experience in Chatham-Kent. For me, clarity in vision and in the roles for sites, boards and administrators is a better recipe for long-term viability and securing Ministry support. Fundamentally, the community support will rest in our ability to deliver results.

You’ve been clear that you have assumed the role of the board; does this also apply to corporate members?

In keeping with the Order in Council appointment and the terms of reference provided by the Ministry the Supervisor shall exercise all of the powers of the Boards, the corporations and the members of the corporations.
What about the upcoming Members meeting and the membership funds paid?
I appreciate that there’s a desire for me to connect with former members and I look forward to doing so at a future date but I cannot accommodate the previously scheduled meeting in October. 

The former Sydenham Board has asked about the corporate membership fund. I have confirmed that those funds sit on our accounts. We do not have any concrete plans at this time but do hope to use the money to support something within the Sydenham Campus or community of Wallaceburg. I am continuing to meet with the former board members so will likely bring back some ideas to them to help guide our final decision.

What else have you been working on as Supervisor?

A big priority was to put back in place governance structures that allow me to execute my duties as the boards and help to guide the operations of the hospital.  We recently held our first Quality Committee  and Finance Committee meetings. These meetings were opportunities for me to continue to build my understanding of our performance, challenges and opportunities. It also allowed me to introduce new reporting mechanisms and models to bring stronger governance to the hospitals.  Board meetings and structures drive internal systems and processes. The board’s role is to ask questions and make requests of administration to bring forward options and recommendations to better serve the organization and our patients through the quality of care we deliver.

 Other activities include issuing an RFP for an executive search firm for the permanent CEO position. Ken Deane has committed to a six month term so we need to initiate the recruitment process quickly. We also know this process is likely to be challenging given that the individual will not have the traditional advantage of knowing the board they will be working with when they assume their new position. As a former CEO, I also think it’s a great opportunity.

What will happen at the end of your term?

One of the benefits of having been a supervisor previously is that you have the opportunity to learn from past experiences. This time around I will invest more time and energy in strengthening the transition process for the new leadership – both the board and the CEO. The reality is that whoever is put in place after Ken and I leave will need to be truly transformational leaders. We aim to put supports in, such as coaching to manage the change, rather than just hire someone and then discharge ourselves of any responsibility for the organization’s long-term success.  

Posted Oct.19/16
From Sydenham Current

The Chief Operating Officer position has been eliminated at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance and Sarah Padfield is no longer with the organization.

Ken Deane, CKHA Interim president and CEO, announced the changes to the senior team, including Padfield’s departure, in a press release sent on Tuesday.

“On behalf of the organization I thank Sarah for her service and contribution to the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance,” Deane stated.

CKHA officials say the new operating structure “better aligns leadership portfolios with CKHA’s key priorities”, including:

– Delivering programs and services effectively and efficiently

– Supporting staff and a renewed emphasis on a healthy workplace

– Improving operating performance.

Willi Kirenko continues in her Vice President and Chief Nursing Executive role with responsibility for clinical programs and services including pharmacy, laboratory services, and diagnostic imaging, CKHA officials said.

Debbie Ancocik has been appointed Vice President with responsibility for human resources, occupational health and safety, partnerships and system integration.

Ancocik has worked in local healthcare for over 40 years, most recently as director, employee services and Labour Relations, CKHA.

“I have always loved what I do and this incredible organization,” Ancocik stated.

“I am humbled to have the opportunity to serve CKHA as Vice President and look forward to taking on this exciting new role.”

The organization will begin recruiting for a Vice President with responsibility for finance, decision support, hospital information management, and operations.

Posted Sept. 26,2016

As your SOS chair person, I have been asked as to what is happening with SDH.  So far, all I have  heard is that the interim CEO had a town hall meeting with staff at SDH.  I was told that the meeting was positive.  The former SDH BOARD has a meeting with the Supervisor on October 11th.  I will post the results of this meeting with him.

Conrad Noel, SOS Chair

Posted Sept.14, 2016
FROM:  Conrad Noel, SOS Chair
Re:    ESLHIN possible sub LHIN’s
Please log on to the ESLHIN link and complete their survey.  It is important for our area to have a sub LHIN designation as the Sydenham Walpole St. Clair District.  Survey takes a little more than 7 minutes.



Posted Sept. 14, 2016

LHIN looking into possible ‘sub-regions’
By  A on September 13, 2016 Current News, Featured Stories

The Erie St. Clair LHIN (LHIN) will be identifying planning areas, or sub-regions, within the LHIN as a means to improve health system planning, coordination, and evaluation, and ultimately to ensure that the residents improve their health status.

Looking to improve local health care

LHIN officials say this work will be done with the input of residents, patients, and health care providers to ensure that the system is responsive to the unique local communities within Erie St. Clair (ESC).

“While ESC residents can continue to receive health care wherever they need it, focusing on smaller areas to plan health service delivery makes sense: our region is large, diverse, and is a unique mix of urban and rural areas,” LHIN officials stated in a press release.

“We know that health care needs and the way we access health care services vary among people living in different parts of our region.”

With the goal of improved patient and client health outcomes, LHIN officials say sub-regions will help them to:

– Effectively plan, evaluate, and improve our local health care system

– Focus on delivering and providing access-to-care based on community needs

– Improve care coordination and support easier transitions for patients between acute, primary, home and community, and long-term care settings

– Improve population health and equity in health outcomes

“It is important to note that the sub-regions are not service boundaries and will continue to allow for patient choice,” LHIN officials stated.

Similar concept brought up in Wallaceburg

A similar concept was brought up by the former Sydenham District Hospital board back in April at a members meeting.

The former board outlined details of their new vision for Wallaceburg’s hospital during the spring meeting, which packed over 450 people in the UAW Hall.

George Lung, a former board member, said the board was going to request that Sydenham Campus be ‘reclassified’ as a small, rural hospital and that Wallaceburg, Walpole Island and St. Clair Township be formed into a new district of the Erie-St. Clair LHIN, which would have worked jointly with other healthcare organizations

LHIN seeking input

The LHIN will be hosting webinars to share more details on the possible sub-region areas and seeking input from the public on the concept of sub-regions.

The webinar dates are

– Thursday, Sept 15 at 6:30 pm

– Monday, Sept 19 at 10:00 am

For details on how to join the webinar visit Additionally, an online survey has been launched to collect further input. You can access the survey at

Sept. 7


Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Leadership Changes

CHATHAM-KENT: September 7, 2016 -- 
Rob Devitt, Supervisor of the Hospitals that together have formed the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, announced leadership changes this afternoon in the organization. Effective today, Colin Patey is no longer with the organization. Mr. Devitt would like to thank Mr. Patey for his service to the Alliance, Hospitals and Community. 

In addition, effective immediately, Ken Deane has been appointed Interim Chief Executive Officer. Ken brings to the organization significant experience in healthcare leadership including roles in the Erie St Clair Region. He has held the position of Chief Executive Officer at the Hotel Dieu Grace in Windsor and St. Joseph's Health Centre in Toronto. Most recently Ken served as Interim Chief Executive Officer at the Leamington District Memorial Hospital. Ken has a large breadth of leadership experience with a particular focus on transformational change having previously served as an Assistant Deputy Minister at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and as a Hospital Supervisor under the Public Hospitals Act. 



Zoja Holman, Director, Communications & Organizational Development
Chatham-Kent Health Alliance
519.352.6401 ext. 6065 


Sept. 1, 2016

Supervisor appointed for CKHA              
By          A Hall   on August 31, 2016 Current News, Featured Stories
Home > Current News > Supervisor appointed for CKHA
Rob Devitt

Robert Devitt

The new provincially-appointed supervisor has been named for the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.

Robert Devitt, who served as interim CEO to help turn around a struggling eHealth Ontario back in 2009, will now be handed the keys to the CKHA.

Conrad Noel, the vice chair of the Sydenham District Hospital board, confirmed that Devitt has been appointed. Noel said the veteran healthcare leader has also already spoken with Sheldon Parsons, the chair of the SDH board.

Devitt recently retired after serving 11 years as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto East General Hospital.

Devitt has also served as President CEO of the Peterborough Regional Health Centre and Queensway-Carleton Hospital, a community hospital serving western Ottawa and the Upper Ottawa Valley, along with the eHealth appointment.

He served as a board member of Plexxus and as a director of Toronto East General Hospital Inc.

Devitt has a Bachelors degree from Queen’s University and a Masters degree from the University of Ottawa.

According to his biography on the University of Toronto website, Devitt is a father and husband who enjoys a wide range of activities and sports.

He is an adventure traveler having spent time trekking in many countries.

He also plays recreational hockey, runs, cycles, scuba dives, skis and is an amateur photographer.

Devitt has been appointed to assist a number of other hospitals in Ontario including serving as a Supervisor and Peer Reviewer.

Devitt will now be tasked with restoring “robust governance and administrative/clinical leadership to ensure sustainable and appropriate oversight of patient care and financial management” at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.

This task stems from a recommendation from an investigator’s report by Bonnie Adamson, who was assigned to investigate the CKHA back in June.

Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, notified the CKHA hospitals of the province’s intent to appoint a hospital supervisor for The Public General Hospital Society of Chatham, St. Joseph’s Health Services Association of Chatham and Sydenham District Hospital.

Watch for more on this story.

– Photo credit:


August 18th, 2016


The Chair’s Message to Members

Investigator files Final Report

Hospital Supervisor to be named


WALLACEBURG, August 18th, 2016

After a number of months of no news on Hospital issues, we now have so much to talk about. It’s difficult to find a place to begin.


Ms. Bonnie Adamson has completed her investigation and has filed her final report with the Ministry. Among her 15 highlights,  there are  three important statements in her report:

  • SDH Emergency Department and our Hospital is providing excellent care
  • Chatham Boards and CKHA administration acted in breach of the Alliance Agreement
  • Chatham Boards and CKHA Administration failed to act in good faith and failed to use best efforts to resolve governance differences

For anyone with a need to know more, go to any of the media outlets and you can read the report word for word. There is also a  link on the SOS website for the report.


In response to the Investigator's Report, The Minister has given notice that he will act under Section 9 of the Public Hospitals’ Act to appoint a Supervisor. According to the Act, the Supervisor will have exclusive control over the powers of the Board(s) and the powers of the Corporation(s) that controls the Board(s).

That may happen as early as next Thursday.

These are the serious consequences that I spoke of at our April 19th Members' Meeting. The Investigator made reference in her report to current "best practices" for Hospitals to be administered by closed and not open boards. We do  not believe that this is justified in our circumstance.


·      We support the Minister's decision to appoint a Supervisor

·         We will offer to work in support of the Supervisor to ensure that Chatham-Kent and Sydenham - Walpole - St. Clair gets the healthcare it needs and that our patients are well served.

·         We understand our fiduciary duty to balance the books and will do everything in our power to bring the deficit that we collectively face at CKHA under control.

·         We will defend the rationale for an open board and resist any significant change to our structure

·         We will encourage the Supervisor to re-instate the types of service that can be provided under the small, rural and northern healthcare framework


Sheldon Parsons,  SDH Chair, 519- 359- 1969,  email

August 17th, 2016

The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care  released on Aug. 17th, the Investigation Report submitted by Bonnie Adamson to The Honourable Dr. Eric Hoskins in regards to Chatham-Kent-Health Alliance.

 Here's is the link, through Sydenham Current, for  the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Supervisor's Investigation Final Report:  

Thanks to Aaron Hall for hosting this report on his website.

SDH large documents:
Thanks to Aaron Hall, from Sydenham Current , our local online newspaper (  for donating space and creating links on his server for our larger SDH documents.

Posted July 1,

Message from Sheldon Parsons, SDH Chair

Wallaceburg, July 1st, 2016


An organizational meeting following the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Sydenham District Hospital Corporation was held on June 30th, 2016. Presiding Chair Fraser Burgess, Chair of the Sydenham District Hospital Foundation supervised elections for the position of Chair and Vice Chair for SDH.


Re-elected were Sheldon Parsons as Chair and Conrad Noel as Vice Chair.


In other business, appointments to various committees were made.


Directors Herb John, Rex Isaac and Kris Lee were appointed to the CKHA Mission and Quality Committee. Conrad Noel was appointed to the CKHA Finance and Audit Committee. George Lung was appointed to the CKHA Medical Advisory Committee.


George Lung continues as Chair of the SDH By-Law Committee and is joined by Herb John and Kris Lee. Conrad Noel continues as the Chair of the SDH Membership Committee and is joined by Rex Isaac. Both SDH Committees are able to nominate other non-directors to their committees for 2016- 2017.


Also in other business, the SDH Board approved a recruitment of an (Interim) lead Physician to serve the needs of the Sydenham Campus. Recruitment for this important position will begin immediately.




Sydenham District Hospital was built in 1955. It was managed by a Hospital Board until 1997 when it joined an Alliance of three Boards - Public General Hospital (PGH) and St. Josephs Hospital (SJH) in Chatham and Sydenham District Hospital (SDH) in Wallaceburg. All three Boards maintain their individual corporate statuses but have agreed to manage a shared administration and an integrated hospital services system.


Media enquiries - Sheldon Parsons, Chair, SDH Board         519 359-1969

Posted July 1,2016



Internal Recruitment Notice




The Sydenham District Hospital Board requires a (Interim) Lead Physician to manage and coordinate physician staff, services and programs at the Sydenham Campus of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.


The successful candidate must be a practicing physician in Ontario, have worked in a team environment and have knowledge and experience of both family and emergency medicine.


The (Interim) Lead Physician will report to the Sydenham District Hospital Board and coordinate with Chatham-Kent Health Alliance's Chief of Medical Staff and Medical Advisory Committee on all clinical matters relating to staff and services at Sydenham Campus including quality of care and patient safety.


The successful candidate will be expected to report and recommend on services and programs within the Sydenham - Walpole - St. Clair District that are required to serve the needs of patients and residents within the communities that the campus serves and that constitute expected services within the Small, Rural and Northern Hospital framework.


Interested applicants are asked to submit an expression of interest on or before July 15th, 2016 to:


Sheldon Parsons, Board Chair

Sydenham District Hospital Board

259 Margaret Avenue

Wallaceburg ON N8A 2A4


Posted July 1, 2016

Provincial probe a massive job

Chatham Voice  Jim Blake

July 1, 2016

The provincial health ministry’s examination into the governance of the Chatham­ Kent Health Alliance has the potential to not only resolve the issues of the past and present but re­establish public confidence in how the CKHA is being operated.

To do so, however, it will need to examine not only the friction between the boards but also how the differencing levels of support for CKHA administration led to an unparalleled split which has rendered the organization an alliance in name only.

The relationship between the two Chatham boards and administration seems to be one based not so much on governance as it is devout reverence.

The relationship between the SDH board and administration has become one of distrust and a nearly total lack of communication.

The resulting fallout has seen administration introduce questionable medical rationale for its plans, publicly create an “us vs. them” attitude about staff, withhold information which

doesn’t back its perceived vision and leave unanswered allegations of a million dollars in funding which didn’t reach this community.

The SDH board publicly remains committed to working things out with the Chatham boards, something the Chatham board has called virtually impossible.

In a bizarre move, the CKHA recently spent nearly $10,000 on a post­card telling the community what a wonderful job it is doing. Most of the information had already been made public in the media, however, not apparently to the liking of CKHA top officials.

It was a vanity exercise reminiscent of CEO Colin Patey’s public assertion that he’s doing a “damn fine job” except it came with a hefty (to most of us) price tag.

At a time when health care funds are supposedly difficult to come by and the Alliance remains above average in administration costs, (although numbers have reduced) the CKHA also announced it had hired a nationally known polling firm to conduct a survey on Alliance perception in the community.

Given its well­ established reputation for promoting information it believes improves its image, and burying information to the contrary, the poll would be virtually useless without full disclosure.

If the CKHA is concerned about public perception, it needs to address some level of transparency.

Board members elected in secret meetings, the use of information as a weapon, an obsession with image, closed door lobbying, questionable appointments, a refusal to give staff credit for outstanding performances and more have led us to the situation we’re in.

Where is the will to lead us out?


SDH Directors selected their own term appointment as Directors on the Board:

  • Herb John selected 1 year
  • Kris Lee selected 2 years
  • George Lung selected 2 years
  • Conrad Noel selected 3 years
  • Sheldon Parsons selected 3 years
  • Rex Isaac:  1 year
Election of 2016-2017 executive
  • Sheldon Parsons, SDH Chair
  • Conrad Noel, SDH Vice Chair

SDH Board Committee appointment:

Standing Committees
  • Membership: Conrad Noel- chair along with Rex Isaac+ other members from the community
  • By-laws: George Lung -chair, Herb John, Chris Lee + other members from the community
CKHA Committee appointments:
  • Medical Advisory Committee :   George Lung
  • Finance and Audit Committee:  Conrad Noel
  • Mission and Quality Committee:  Herb John, Kris Lee, Rex Isaac
*** Sheldon Parsons:  Ex-officio member on all committees

   SDH sails on without Alliance

Posted June 30, 2016

Community Living OPPOSES ER Closure:

We are writing to express our opposition to the potential closing of the Sydenham Campus of the Chatham Kent Health Alliance, in particular, losing access to our 24-hour emergency department and supporting services.

We believe the elimination of our local emergency department to be a grievous mistake that may cost the people we support, our employees and our community their health and well-being.

Throughout our history, Community Living Wallaceburg has relied upon the Sydenham hospital and its 24-hour emergency medical service in our mission to assist the people we support to participate proudly in an inclusive community.

Access to these local health care services has ensured that the people we support receive excellent care; preserving their health, well-being and quality of life. Our Wallaceburg based organization, through our caring employees, provides an extensive range of services around the clock to a medically vulnerable population.

This population, along with the entire community of Wallaceburg, will suffer immediate and damaging impacts should we lose this essential service.

For our community, your proposal is the culmination of the systematic erosion of medical services in our area that we have endured for more than a decade.

It is our position that the people we support, our valued employees and the people of Wallaceburg, Dresden, Walpole Island First Nation and surrounding areas will be forced to travel additional distance to access emergency care should our ER be closed.

Your plan to increase the distance to access emergency services, in an area already disadvantaged by health inequities, puts our community in jeopardy.

Without a plan that ensures that a fully functional 24-hour emergency department is available within Wallaceburg, lives will be at risk. The current proposal to remove these essential services from Wallaceburg presents an unacceptable reduction in necessary health services and places little value on our residents need for access to vital healthcare.

The individuals that we support, our dedicated employees and our broader community deserve a fully functional, local, and independent 24-hour emergency department.

Thank-you for your attention to this matter and we trust you will revise your current plan in favour of an alternative that includes a full-service 24-hour emergency department in Wallaceburg.

Derek McGiven
President, Board of Directors
Community Living Wallaceburg

* This letter was addressed to Ralph Ganter, Acting Chief Executive Officer. Erie St.Clair LHIN, and also sent out to the media.


POSTED June 30, 2016

Posted June 27, 2016
Message from Sheldon Parsons, SDH Board Chair


The Chair’s Message to Members

AGM well attended



Between 250 and 300 persons attended the Sydenham District Hospital Corporation AGM on June 23rd, 2016. Held at the UAW Hall in Wallaceburg, members and public guests heard reports and voted on motions that approved the varied business of the corporation.


Members voted to endorse a recommendation for a by-law amendment to provide for a director position to be appointed by Walpole Island Band Council. "Keeping communication lines open with the Walpole Island Band Council and the Bkejwanong community is important and we are pleased that the membership agreed." said Sheldon Parsons, Board Chair.  At the meeting, members learned that Rex Isaac had been appointed by the Walpole Island Band Council.


As an open Board, the Sydenham District Hospital Corporation elects its directors. Eight (8) members of the corporation submitted their expressions of interest this year to be considered for election to the SDH Board for 2016 - 2017. Congratulations to Herb John, Kris Lee, George Lung, Conrad Noel and Sheldon Parsons on their re-election. Earlier this year, members approved a system of 1, 2 and 3-year staggered terms so that directors up for re-election in any future year will not exceed two (2). There are five (5) elected directors.


Sydenham District Hospital (SDH) Corporation Members gave their unanimous approval to a VISION and DISTRICT proposal presented by the Board. SHORE Consulting was contracted to undertake a review of the proposal and a consultation with prospective partners. Shore's report was presented to the annual meeting on June 23rd. The Board will now begin the process of advocating for approval of partners and health authorities and discussing various options for funding of the project. "CKHA had earlier prepared a report for a similar project and it is the Board's intention to use as much of that study and report as is possible." said PARSONS. "The message from our membership and from our communities is loud and clear. The project must include a fully functioning 24/7 emergency department and have the capacity to accommodate future expansions as we repair the damage done by years of cuts and restore the services that a small and rural hospital should be providing to its patients and  its communities." he said.


Elected and Appointed Directors will meet on Thursday, June 30th at 5:30 pm in the 2W Boardroom at SDH to elect officers for the next year. Other appointments will also be considered.

You can access the agenda for the June 30th Board meeting by going to the S.O.S. website We want to thank the webmaster at for their help in getting our message out to our Members.

Sheldon Parsons,  SDH Chair, 519 359 1969,

Posted June 27, 2016

From Chatham Voice:

Posted June 24, 2016

The SDH Chair’s Message to Members

Health Hub concept approved by SDH



Following a meeting on April 19th of the Sydenham District Hospital (SDH) Corporation Members and their unanimous approval to a VISION and DISTRICT proposal presented by the Board, SDH contracted with SHORE Consulting to undertake a review of the proposal and a consultation with prospective partners. Shore's report was presented to the annual meeting on June 23rd and was approved in principle by all in attendance.

The Board will now begin further consultations with additional partners, with other members of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) and with the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) to determine the proposal's feasibility and fundability.


The report recommends a single site from which compatible healthcare services could be offered. "Site location would be a future evaluation and consideration" said Sheldon Parsons, Board Chair. The SDH Board owns the land and buildings at the current Hospital site at 325 Margaret in Wallaceburg. "It’s an underutilized and under resourced facility but it might not be suitable for a longer term capital investment" said Parsons. "The Board is open to all options." he said.


The consultant's report recommends that SDH begin the process toward approval and implementation by providing the initial leadership. "We have the backing of our membership and the communities we serve to bring the partners together to start the planning process" said Parsons. "We know that an early effort towards this same goal was undertaken by staff at CKHA and we will draw from that effort as much as we can so that we do not duplicate what has already been done. Our membership and the public have been very clear that any project or proposal must include a 24/7 fully functioning emergency department" he said.


The recommended service delivery model for Healthcare in the Sydenham - Walpole - St. Clair District is consistent and compatible with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care's "Patients First" policy framework and the priorities established by the local LHIN. "We know that this is the approach that the Ministry prefers for the delivery of healthcare services in a small and rural community. It’s the way that we keep our healthcare services local and close to home" said Parsons.

You can read the whole report by going to the S.O.S. website We want to thank the webmaster at for their help in getting our message out to Members.

Sheldon Parsons

SDH Chair

519 359 1969

Posted June 17th, 2016

Elected board will direct SDH
by David Gough, Postmedia Network / Courier Press

Members of the Sydenham District Hospital will get a chance to elect the five people that will guide the SDH board of directors in turbulent waters over the next year.

The SDH members annual general meeting will be held at the UAW Hall on June 23 at 5 p.m.

The SDH board has been at odds with the two Chatham hospital boards about the vision of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance. That rift forced the two Chatham boards (Public General Hospital and St. Joseph's Hospital) to cease their working relationship with the Sydenham District Hospital board, as there has been differences of opinion on how the health-care system should operate locally.

The Chatham boards have also requested the Alliance agreement between the three hospital boards be dissolved.

Eight people have put their name up for nomination to become part of the SDH board of directors.

All five of the current SDH board directors are running for re-election, including—chair Sheldon Parsons, Kris Lee, Herb John, Conrad Noel and George Lung.

The other three who are running for election include; Douglas Cameron, John Cryderman and William Steep.

Voting will be at the beginning of the meeting. There are 539 SDH corporation members who can vote at the AGM. Members have to be present to vote. The general public, who are not SDH members, are welcome to attend as observers.

SHORE consultants, who were hired by the SDH board, will make a presentation on a vision for health-care in the Wallaceburg area.

There will be a question and answer open microphone session at the AGM as well.

At the AGM, the board will present their Progress Report to members to give them an update on all that has transpired over the last couple of months, as well as highlight their vision for moving forward and their vision for the future of health-care in Wallaceburg.

In the Progress Report the SDH board put together a compilation of comments and questions presented to them at their April 19 members meeting and to give that some context, they added their comments. Members should receive a copy by email. Hard copies of this report should be available at the Wallaceburg library.

The Courier Press hopes to have a link to the report on its website later this week.


Posted June 16th, 2016

2015-2016 CHKA / SDH Budget

As soon as I figure how to insert it, it will make it available.

Posted June 11,2016

LHIN appoints investigator to look into CKHA

Sydenham Current, Aaron Hall

June 10,2016

The Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, has appointed Bonnie Adamson as an Investigator to work with the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA).  Bonnie Adamson, former President and CEO for London Health Sciences Centre, North York General, the Huron Perth Hospitals Partnership, has accepted the appointment and will be working with the three CKHA hospital Boards.

“We are confident that the hospital Boards will be assisted by the work of Ms. Adamson and that they will work towards mutually agreeable solutions. Ensuring quality patient care is our first priority; we have full belief that the CKHA boards will work with the Investigator to begin to rebuild public confidence,” stated Ralph Ganter, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Erie St. Clair LHIN.

The recommendation for the Investigator was initiated by the Erie St. Clair LHIN in order to ensure public confidence in the governance model for hospital services in Chatham-Kent.

Bonnie Adamson will investigate, evaluate and make recommendations to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care on the proposed changes in governance and services at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.

More details from 1 p.m. press conference:

– The Minister of Health, Dr. Eric Hoskins, has appointed an Investigator to Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA)

– Letters were transmitted to each of the board chairs of the alliance approximately 75 minutes ago notifying them of the appointment

– At this time, the ESC LHIN and MOHLTC do not support the request to dissolve the current governance relationship of the Alliance

– All possible avenues for reconciliation need to be explored; in the best interest of patients and the community

– The recommendation for the Investigator was provided by the Erie St. Clair LHIN to the Minister of Health and= Long-Term Care, in regards to community concerns around the future of health care at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance’s sites

– In order to obtain an objective and independent third party review, an Investigator was proposed as the most appropriate recommendation at this time

– Following the recommendation from the Erie St. Clair LHIN to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, an Investigator has been appointed to work with the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance

– This action will ensure sound management and governance at the Hospitals, and ensure there’s no impact on patient care quality for the community

-Appointing an Investigator will ultimately strengthen the Hospitals’ governance, accountability, and ability to deliver the best possible care to their patients

– According to the Terms of Reference provided, “The Investigator” will examine and report on issues related to the governance and management of Public General Hospital Society of Chatham (PGH), St. Joseph’s Health Services Association of Chatham (SJH), and Sydenham District Hospital (SDH) [known collectively as the “Chatham-Kent Health Alliance” (CKHA)].”

– The Investigator does not assume the authority of the current Hospital Boards or senior management of the Hospitals

– As noted in the Terms of Reference, the Investigator will: Identify new strategies and/or next steps to respond to issues identified in the investigation including a governance model or models for hospital services in Chatham-Kent

– And investigate, evaluate and make recommendations on the quality of service, the service protocols and the capabilities of the PGH and SDH Emergency Departments and the support relationship required of the SDH Emergency Department with the PGH Emergency Department

Next steps:

– Timelines with key milestones to be developed by the Investigator

– The Minister will receive advice from the Investigator

– Appropriate action will be determined following the review

– Information, if available, will be found at:

More information:

– Here is a copy of the Terms of Reference for this investigation

– Here is a copy of the media briefing notes from the press conference held on Friday

– Here is a link to the full biography of Adamson

Posted June 6th

Message from Sheldon Parsons, Chair SDH Board

Wallaceburg, June 6th, 2016


Sydenham District Hospital (SDH) Chair Sheldon Parsons today announced receipt of a copy of a letter from Dr. Bob Bell, Deputy Minister of Health for the Province of Ontario, addressed to the Public General Hospital Society (PGH) and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Services of Chatham (SJH) rejecting their application to dissolve the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance. The letter further requested "all parties to continue to act in good faith and use best efforts to explore go forward options that do not involve the unwinding of the Alliance and termination of the Agreement."


"Welcome news" Parsons said. "We have been advocating that agenda from the day that the two Chatham Boards announced publicly that they were suspending all Alliance Governance Activities and privately that they were seeking to dissolve the Alliance." he noted.


"We were not informed by PGH and SJH of their application to the Ministry so it came as a surprise to us when we received the letter." "Not the first surprise from them" he said, "but it should be the last, if the two Chatham Boards follow the advice of the Ministry."


SDH will communicate with the Deputy Minister accepting his direction. "We agree that the interest of patients, residents and visitors of both Chatham-Kent and Sydenham - Walpole - St. Clair are best served by the boards responsible for the governance of their healthcare services, when they cooperate with each other."




Sydenham District Hospital was built in 1955. It was managed by a Hospital Board until 1997 when it joined an Alliance of three Boards - Public General Hospital (PGH) and St. Josephs Hospital (SJH) in Chatham and Sydenham District Hospital (SDH) in Wallaceburg. All three Boards maintain their individual corporate statuses but have agreed to manage a shared administration and an integrated hospital services system.


Media enquiries - Sheldon Parsons, Chair, SDH Board         519 359-1969

Posted June 3rd


SDH Board Chair’s Message to Members

Save the Date – 5pm – June 23rd  – UAW Hall



Many things have happened since our last meeting and we will have a lot to update you on at the AGM. Please plan to attend and bring your friends and neighbours. It is an open meeting.


Well it seems that when you wake up each day there is a new surprise awaiting. On Thursday, June 2nd PGH and SJH Boards announced that they have given a proposal to SDH Board to dissolve the Alliance. Your Board has been aware of this proposal and has been preparing a response to it. It was presented to us in confidence and we assumed that it would remain confidential throughout the negotiation process. We were honouring their request. Unbeknownst to our Board, they now want the public to know of their proposal. We are in the process of preparing a response and hope to be in a position to share much more about their proposal and our response to it with you at the AGM. Dissolution is a very serious step to take and a very complex process. It has never been our Plan "A".


Your Board has undertaken a consultation with ER Physicians to get their input on the proposed changes to the delivery of emergency services at SDH and throughout Chatham-Kent. Our VISION which you unanimously supported on April 19th proposes something much different and importantly includes a physician managed 24/7 ER. We wanted to find out what the physicians who work and rely on the ER here at SDH, think. We learned a lot from these consultations. Two significant issues that came out were that ER Physicians were not consulted as the senior clinical leadership claimed and that our communities continue to enjoy a good working relationship between the Wallaceburg site and the Chatham site. That is important to the delivery of quality healthcare services to our communities. You can read the whole report by going to the S.O.S. website We want to thank the webmaster at for their help in getting our message out to Members.

OUR STORY - OUR FUTURE (a progress report)

As promised at the last meeting, we have put together a compilation of your comments and questions presented to us at the April 19th meeting and to give that some context, we have added text regarding our story and our future.  This is an important read and is being sent separately to Members. Hard copies of this report will become available at local libraries by next week.

Your Board continues to be committed to a safe, quality, reliable and professional healthcare service delivered where possible as a local service and well connected to the specialty services available at adjacent and larger hospital sites. That's what we think you want. See you on the 23rd.

Sheldon Parsons

SDH Chair

519 359 1969


Posted June 3rd

To:  SDH Corporation 2016-2019 members
&  SDH catchment community
Attached is a very important SDH Progress Report which  is being released to the Press today, June 3rd.  The SDH Board thought that members should be aware of its content and  impact on SDH.  Also, could  you share this report with other Corporation members who do not have emails. 
You can also tell them that copies will be made available in libraries starting on Monday.
Conrad Noel, SDH Board Vice Chair

Posted June  3

CK Hospital Boards Look To Terminate Alliance Agreement

By Kirk Dickinson June 2, 2016 6:35pm@KDickinsonNews

Two Chatham-Kent Health Alliance hospital  boards have notified the third of their intention to disband their current tri-board system, citing an inability to govern collectively.

In May, the Public General Hospital board (PGH) and the St. Joseph’s Hospital board (SJH) informed the board that governs the Sydenham District Hospital (SDH) in Wallaceburg that they intend to terminate their shared “Alliance Agreement.”

The Ministry of Health and the Erie St. Clair LHIN have also notified, and the terms of the agreement have been provided to all parties.

PGH Acting Chair Jane Havens says they are putting a plan forward that provides SDH with the autonomy it desires, to serve the Wallaceburg community.

“They are bringing the three boards to a stand-still by their refusal to move on anything,” she says. “It’s a difficult decision to get to, but there’s no way you can negotiate, or mediate, or resolve things that are just fundamentally different. [The SDH board is] not on the same page as us any more, and this was the result.”

Governance operations between the three hospital boards were suspended following their tri-board meeting on March 31, when the SDH board vetoed the 2016 Operational Capital Plan that required unanimous support to move forward.

The cuts to services in Wallaceburg were brought about due to a $1.8-million projected deficit for the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance in 2015/2016 as a result of revenue shortfalls.

Chatham-Kent Health Alliance’s deficit is projected to reach $3.5-million in the next fiscal year.

A key sticking point for the Sydenham board that was outlined in the capital plan, was the intention to eliminate the 24-hour emergency department at the Wallaceburg hospital.

On May 18, the SDH board held an in-camera meeting to gain input on the board’s health care “vision” with other local health care providers.

The board’s vision at the Wallaceburg hospital includes continuing to utilize a 24/7 emergency department, diagnostic and laboratory service, as well as a new facility to replace an aging building. The SDH Board Corporation voted to adopt the vision during a special members meeting on April 19.

The PGH and SJH boards say the termination agreement will allow the SDH to pursue its own vision and independence as a hospital.  The two boards also say there are too many irreconcilable differences within the tri-board that make it impossible to function.

The termination agreement will require approval from the Erie St. Clair LHIN and Ministry of Health before it can proceed.

“This new approach brings closure to this divisive and unproductive dialogue. It’s a new way forward for Chatham-Kent,” says Havens. “We’ve proposed a plan that will continue to support the operational needs of the Wallaceburg community through this transition. We have informed the LHIN and Ministry of our terms and are waiting to hear back.”

The Alliance Agreement was entered into by the PGH and SJH boards in 1998 and joined by SDH in 2002.


Posted June 2

Confidential Consultation with ER and Family Physicians

on the proposed re-design of

Emergency Department services across Chatham-Kent




Preliminary Report


In response to a public media conference held by the senior clinical leadership and the Medical Advisory Committee for the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, the Sydenham District Hospital Board authorized a confidential consultation with ER Physicians and with Family Physicians serving the Sydenham - Walpole - St. Clair Health Planning District within the north Chatham-Kent and south Sarnia-Lambton regions.


The media conference referenced various data and statistics prepared by CKHA's senior administrative leadership proposing a re-design of the delivery of Emergency Department services across Chatham-Kent. The Sydenham District Hospital Board raised questions regarding the data and statistics referenced at the media conference, which remained unanswered by CKHA leadership. 


In addition, the senior physician team present at the media conference suggested that they had a “robust” conversation with physicians impacted by these proposed changes and that they had heard from physicians who believed the Sydenham ER service was an unsafe place to work. The SDH Board was concerned that the views of physicians being relied upon to give legitimacy to the proposed re-design were not representative of the views of ER Physicians at Sydenham and Family Physicians whose patients rely on the ER services at Sydenham. No information was provided about the nature of the “robust” conversation with physicians or the number of physicians consulted.


In an effort to better inform itself and its members about the delivery of ER services across Chatham-Kent and to meaningfully respond to the proposed re-design, the SDH Board decided to consult directly with ER Physicians that work shifts at Sydenham and with the Family Physicians whose patients rely on the ER at Sydenham. This decision was also made in order to ensure that the views of physicians are properly taken into account before significant changes are made to the delivery of ER services in our region.


The SDH Board’s consultation process is outlined at Appendix "A". The topics and questions asked of each physician are outlined at Appendix "B". The consultations were made over a three week period in May of 2016.


Results of the consultations are inconclusive.


Feedback from physicians indicated that some were fearful for their job security and reprisals should they participate in the consultation. In addition, the SDH Board made a request for assistance from CKHA staff in reaching out to ER Physicians, which was not accommodated. Moreover, CKHA staff (other than physicians) were not permitted to participate in the consultation. As a result, the SDH Board was unable to consult with a statistically significant number of physicians and any information cannot be relied upon as representative of the Physician groups.


Consultations and Anonymous Feedback raises many concerns.


In spite of the small number of consultations, those that were held included very senior and influential members of the ER physician group. An anonymous letter from a number of staff at Sydenham was also received and given due consideration. From this anecdotal information, the following concerns emerged:


  • ER Physicians consulted reported that they were not consulted prior to the media conference where it was reported that robust” consultations had been held.
  • ER Physicians consulted feel that the views of  these physicians was not accurately presented.
  • ER Physicians consulted expressed concern that the CKHA Chief of Emergency Medicine, who was newly appointed on March 1st, 2016, has spent insufficient time in his role, and specifically has spent insufficient time working, or observing work being done, at the Emergency Department at Sydenham Campus, which calls into question his legitimacy to make such far-reaching determinations that would transform the delivery of ER services across Chatham-Kent.
  • ER Physicians consulted support maintaining a 24/7 Emergency Department at Sydenham.


Consultation confirms good working relationships at the staff level between the two CKHA campuses.


As a result of the consultations, the SDH Board is aware of and pleased that, in spite of unresolved governance issues, staff at Sydenham campus are able to rely upon a good and professional working relationship between the Sydenham and Chatham sites.


  • ER Physicians report a good working relationship with departments and specialists at the Chatham Campus and that this working relationship should be maintained.
  • Sydenham ER has the capacity to operate independently as an ER service in some respects, but relies upon other, larger hospitals to provide tertiary care. Many patients are referred to Chatham, Windsor and London for care after being stabilized at Sydenham ER.
  • Many local physicians refer patients to specialists in Chatham, Sarnia, Windsor and London.


SDH position on redesign of emergency services across Chatham-Kent.


The Sydenham District Hospital Board believes that the data and the statistics used to support the proposed re-design of emergency services across Chatham-Kent were inadequate and inconclusive. It was inappropriate for the CKHA administrative and clinical leadership to have drawn the conclusions that they drew, and to purport to represent the views of ER Physicians, without demonstrating that their information was verifiable and representative. SDH is concerned that any consultation that may have occurred with ER Physicians prior to announcing the re-design was not adequate and certainly not representative, which casts doubt on the decision by CKHA’s senior clinical leadership to move forward with its plans.


SDH is calling for an independent review of Emergency Services across Chatham-Kent by an expert panel, before any changes are made to the delivery of Emergency Services across Chatham-Kent and to patients within the Sydenham - Walpole - St. Clair healthcare planning district.

Posted May 25

CKHA hiding  'Burg good news'
The Chatham Voice
Jim Blake

Sydenham District Hospital board officials are questioning why a provincial congratulatory letter praising the “outstanding emergency department performance” at the Sydenham campus was never made public.

The SDH board and Chatham boards are divided on emergency care in Wallaceburg with the Chatham boards favouring a part-time walk in clinic with no doctors on site and SDH wanting a 24-hour service with doctors.

Dr. Indraneel Ghosh, chief of emergency medicine, said last month physicians are concerned about safety at the Wallaceburg site and questioned quality of care at the facility.

Last November, the CKHA began raising issues about the viability of the Wallaceburg location.

However, a letter to Alliance CEO Colin Patey last June 28 from Melissa Farrell, executive director of health system funding and quality for the Ministry of Health and Long Term care noted:

We are pleased to recognize the outstanding Emergency Department (ED) performance that has been achieved at Chatham-Kent Health Alliance – Sydenham Campus,” Farrell wrote.

“Your hospital has shown the greatest improvement in the 90th percentile ED Length of Stay (LOS) for all patients within the Very-Low Volume Community Hospital Group in 2014 compared to the previous year.

As part of the Minister’s Action Plan for Health Care, putting patients first is at the core of health system transformation. In alignment with the principles of Health System Funding Reform, we are looking to build on successes and further improve the quality of care for the patient.”

Full text of the letter can be found here.

Parsons said during an SDH board meeting last week, “this letter has never been mentioned to this board, this letter has never been mentioned by the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance despite the fact that the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance raves about awards that it gets.”

He said he found a paper copy of the letter in a mailbox he hadn’t previously known existed at the Sydenham Campus.

“I’m kind of in shock that this wasn’t publicized,” said Herb John, SDH board member.

“Every other achievement that the hospital gets, every recognition it receives, it is mentioned at the mission and quality meetings, everybody gets credits and compliments. This is a huge accolade for this hospital and the service provided in emergency here and nothing is mentioned and we found out by chance.”

Board member Kris Lee said “how can the atmosphere change so drastically from July to November, when we started to hear about potential changes,” she said.

“So within six months, how come everything went upside down in that short period of time?”

Parsons said the letter is a form of vindication for the medical professionals from Wallaceburg and Chatham who work at SDH.

“I think the professionals, the nursing staff, the physicians… all the staff that work here, I think have taken a hit in recent weeks by statements from the medical leadership at Chatham-Kent Health Alliance,” he said.

Parsons said workers in the Emergency Department were “tickled pink” when he posted a copy of the letter there the day after the meeting.

Requests for comment from the CKHA and Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) weren’t acknowledged.

Posted May 25
Message from Sheldon Parsons, SDH Board Chair

Wallaceburg, Tuesday, May 24th, 2016


Sydenham District Hospital (SDH) Chair Sheldon Parsons today announced that the planned meeting with Public General Hospital (PGH) and St. Joseph's Hospital (SJH) Boards on Thursday, May 26th, 2016 is being cancelled.


The meeting was called by the SDH Board, pursuant to its authority under the Alliance Agreement. The purpose of the meeting was to conduct routine Alliance business, following two months of cancelled meetings and inactivity of the Tri Board. Unfortunately, the boards of PGH and SJH refused to meet at that time, leaving

the SDH Board with no choice but to cancel the meeting, since quorum would not be met.


While PGH and SJH had earlier given notice that they were, unilaterally, suspending Alliance Governance activity, Parsons noted “there is no authority in the Alliance Agreement for such an action”.


In light of the unwillingness of PGH and SJH to meet in person, the SDH Board will do everything in its power to ensure that Alliance business is carried out by each member of the Tri Board meeting separately. The SDH Board assures the public “There will be no impact on the services that are offered from either Hospital site as all three Boards have a collective responsibility to provide quality, timely, professional and effective healthcare services to the residents and to the patients of Chatham-Kent and Sydenham - Walpole - St Clair regions.”


The SDH Board is proud of the physicians, nurses and staff at both sites who provide such an important service to our communities and it issues the following statement:

“The dedication of our staff to the emergent and medical care needs of our communities is very much appreciated.”



Sydenham District Hospital was built in 1955. It was managed by a Hospital Board until 1997 when it joined an Alliance of three Boards - Public General Hospital (PGH) and St. Josephs Hospital (SJH) in Chatham and Sydenham District Hospital (SDH) in Wallaceburg. All three Boards maintain their individual corporate statuses but have agreed to manage a shared administration and an integrated hospital services system.

 Media enquiries - Sheldon Parsons, Chair, SDH Board         519-359-1969


Posted May 25th

Indigenous health strategy a first for Toronto

New report offers suggestions for improving access to healthcare for Toronto's growing indigenous population


Share Torstar News Service file

An eagle feather and smudge pot at the Aboriginal Health Centre in Hamilton, Ont. The centre integrates traditional indigenous health practices with modern medicine.

By: May Warren Metro Published on Wed May 25 2016 06:45:00

Two years ago, 19-year-old Sam Mukwa Kloetstra moved from Mattagami First Nation, near Timmins, to Toronto, one of the growing number of indigenous people coming to the city in search of new opportunities.

“A lot of people don’t realize that Toronto has a massive indigenous population,” he said. “I see this every day, more and more people coming.”

The growing influx is one of the reasons Kloetstra is working with the Toronto Indigenous Health Advisory Circle to develop Toronto’s first indigenous health strategy.

The group has spent the past year crafting the 35-page document. It includes a host of recommendations, from making healthcare spaces more welcoming for indigenous people to calling for landlord racism against indigenous communities to be addressed.

“It’s built for indigenous people by indigenous people, but it’s accessible to anybody,” said Kloetstra, who called the strategy “a reclamation of wellbeing” for his community.

The strategy goes to the board of health for endorsement May 30. After that, it’s a matter of “working with the city on how we can implement this vision,” Kloestra said.

The report addresses many of the social issues that impact health, such as poverty and food security, both of which disproportionately affect indigenous people.

“We carry the health burden,” said Joe Hester, executive director of Anishnawbe Health Toronto, who helped author the strategy. “The health of our people is way below that of the general population.”

Hester said his organization has had “great success” working with traditional indigenous healers and other cultural healthcare practices.

“There are many ways of healing and helping with health issues, and ours shouldn’t be discounted just because it’s non-western,” he said.


Posted May 18,2016
Letter from Jeff Wesley

Dear Communities of Chatham-Kent:

The recent letter to the editor from Jane Havens criticizing one of our passionate and informed community members, Doug Babbitt, is a further reflection of the arrogance and lack of understanding by the Chair of the Public General Hospital. While Jane calls for logic, reason and facts in the discussion about the future of SDH she is in fact the one who voted to cut off any debate or discussion with the SDH Board on this very topic. Come on Jane you cannot have it both ways.

Jane – you want facts and logic well here is a tidbit for you as a start:

It was the other two Boards that have refused to meet with the SDH Board to discuss the facts with the SDH Board. If you are so concerned about the health care conversation taking place then do your job and get back to the table and meet with our properly elected and community supported SDH Board (a claim that the other two Boards cannot make).

2.       The fine staff, nurses and doctors who actually operate our SDH ER have not been properly consulted with, listened to and are afraid to publicly speak out – I know because I have been listening to them just like you should be.

3.       There are three studies that I have reviewed and all three have concluded that there is a positive correlation between mortality and EMS transport time. In general for the most serious cases every additional 10 km that it takes EMS to get you to a doctor increases mortality by 1%. Not to mention several times every winter the roads to Chatham are completely shut down. I know this because I work in Chatham. Which patients would you care to designate for increased mortality- those from Wallaceburg? Walpole Island? North Kent? Do you have any studies showing no correlation between transport time and mortality?

4.       If the SDH ER is closed it will be impossible for the CKHA to meet the CTAS 1 and CTAS 2 (the most serious cases) guidelines for the time it should take to see a doctor.

5.       From 2010 – 11 to 2014-15 the SDH ER has handled in total over 90,000 emergency cases (of all types) which represents about 30% of all of the emergency cases (also all types) that the CKHA deals with. An amount that cannot be handled by the Chatham hospital or our current EMS. What about those in our community who have mobility issues. These numbers were supplied by the CKHA by the way.

6.       Nowhere in your comments have you talked about the increased costs for ambulance services at $1.0 million per each additional ambulance per year that would be required and downloaded to CK taxpayers (which effectively wipes out your cost savings).

7.       In the recent report on the Chatham Kent Fire and Emergency Services our present ambulance and EMS service is under stress to meet the ever growing demand for EMS. Code 0 calls where there is only 0 to 3 ambulances covering all of CK are going up. This decreases in ambulance coverage happens on average 50 to 70 times every month for approx. 30 minutes on average each time. Hospital off load delays in Chatham (where an ambulance arrives but there is no bed for the patient) continue to be an issue. Our population is aging and about 60% of all EMS calls are for citizens that are 61 and older. A demographic that will continue to grow and continue to challenge our EMS service.

8.       The Emergency Access Centre (doctor less and not 24 hour coverage) that was offered to our community to replace a doctor and nurse staffed 24 hour SDH ER is, in my opinion, a complete joke unworthy of any serious consideration. A system that has failed elsewhere.

9.       Finally, I would suggest a geography lesson so you can understand the travel distances between the SDH catchment area and the other locations you mentioned. Sorry, not the same.

  Jane – you asked for facts and logic – would you like some more as I have a lot more. If only you and the two Chatham Hospital Boards would be professional and meet with the SDH Board, as per the requirement under the Alliance Agreement,  they could discuss all of the facts above and much more with you.

  Thank you to Doug for sharing his thoughts, feelings and knowledge. This is more than Jane and others have done to date.

   It is interesting that Jane can find time to write letters criticizing fine people like Doug Babbitt and Jim Blake but she cannot find time to do her Board duties and meet with the SDH Board.

 Jeff Wesley

Councillor - Wallaceburg

Past Chair – SDH Board

Past Chair - SOS

Posted May 16, 2016
Press release from Sheldon Parsons, SDH Board Chair

Wallaceburg, May 16th, 2016


At a special members' meeting held on April 19th, members of the Sydenham District Hospital Corporation unanimously approved a VISION for the future of Healthcare to the Sydenham - Walpole - St. Clair District. Following a report by the SDH Board and, recognizing the need for a new facility to replace an aging building and the directions taken by the Ministry of Health in recent years, members agreed that a co-location and integration of Hospital services with other healthcare provider services was the right approach to take.


The SDH Board has begun the process of consultation with other healthcare providers. An independent firm has been engaged to review the proposed VISION and to begin direct consultation with other providers who also see an advantage to working together for the benefit of our shared patients.


An invitation was sent to potential partners to attend a meeting May 18, 2016 for input and discussion on the Sydenham Walpole St. Clair vision. Four of five potential partners have accepted the invitation and will attend an in-camera meeting to be held at Sydenham Campus. SDH received a letter from one prospective partner indicating that they would not be attending.


Although disappointed with the response of the single prospective partner, Sheldon Parsons, Chair of SDH said "We are open to dialogue at any time. The meeting we have called is a beginning and a start to discussions about what is best for the patients that we all serve. We hope that all prospective partners will eventually come to the table because the health of our shared patients is too important not to do so."




Sydenham District Hospital was built in 1959. It was managed by a Hospital Board until 1997 when it joined an Alliance of three Boards - Public General Hospital and St. Josephs Hospital in Chatham and Sydenham District Hospital in Wallaceburg. All three Boards maintain their individual corporate statuses but have agreed to manage a shared administration and an integrated hospital services system.


Media enquiries - Sheldon Parsons, Chair, SDH Board         519 359-1969


NDP leader pledges to investigate why Sydenham Hospital lost small rural designation

By Vicki Gough, Chatham Daily News

The apparent 'they-said-they-said' battle brewing among the tri-board governance of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance has now drawn interest of Andrea Horwath.

The leader of the Ontario NDP came to Chatham Sunday to sit down with advocates of Sydenham hospital who are actively trying to keep 24-hour ER services.

The future of the emergency department at Sydenham Campus has caused great friction, of late, among the amalgamated hospital boards' vision for the Health Alliance going forward.

The NDP leader is gathering anecdotal information across the province on how the Ontario government's health-care funding is affecting health-care services.

"This really is a silent crisis of the Wynne government," Horwath said.

On Sunday alone, the NDP leader visited London, Chatham and Windsor to hear the voice of those "who are experiencing the erosion of the health-care system," she said.

"Having her (Horwath) here is major," Wallaceburg councillor Jeff Wesley told The Chatham Daily News following a media briefing after the closed-door meeting with the NDP leader.

"We have a fight on our hands trying to save our ER," added Wallaceburg councillor Carmen McGregor.

"She's willing to look into our small rural designation that's been lost, which would help us access extra funding to save our ER in our community," McGregor said.

The two municipal councillors attended the small gathering with Horwath and health-care advocates held at the W.I.S.H. Centre in Chatham.

Horwath emerged from the meeting to tell local media she will seek answers to some of their concerns.

"We need to have a basic level of health care regardless of whether you live in a big city or a small town because you are paying equal health taxes and you deserve equal access to health care," Horwath said.

Wesley said the small rural designation means a hospital could tap into additionally funding, which in Wallaceburg could mean the difference in keeping the ER operational 24/7.

Wesley said Horwath told the group she was responsible for asking the government for more money for small rural communities in Northern Ontario, which lead to a further allocation of $20 million.

"We have two boards right now who will not meet with Sydenham Hospital Board," Wesley said.

"We're not even positive that's even legal for them to suspend governance," McGregor added.

"We don't have money for this fight. It's all our own resources, unlike the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance who have paid staff who can issue news releases daily if they want, so we're always looking for voices to carry our message," Wesley said.

Horwath pledged to hold the Ontario Minister of Health and Long Term Care and Premier Wynne accountable to their recent public statements that there are no plans to close the ER in Wallaceburg.

Wesley said if the Public General and St. Joseph's hospital boards came back to the table to "compromise and work out our differences" the Sydenham Hospital Board would participate in those discussions.

"That's all they need to do," Wesley said.

"If you took both visions and looked at them there are a lot of similarities there, but what is really the only thing lacking for us is 24-hour emergency services, which we see as no alternative there," McGregor said.

The Health Alliance had no funding increase in the last four years.

The province recently announced $1.5 million in additional funding during this fiscal year.

With that, the Health Alliance is now predicting a $1 million deficit.

On Wednesday, the Sydenham Hospital Board has plans to host a meeting with area health-care stakeholders, including EMS staff, at the hospital at 7 p.m. to discuss the current situation.


Posted May 11,2016

Statement from the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network (ESC LHIN) Board  
May 11, 2016  
Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network (ESC LHIN) Board of Directors released the following statement today:   

“We are writing to let you know that Gary Switzer is no longer with the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network. 
Gary has been with the ESC LHIN since its inception and has held the role of Chief Executive Officer since that time. 
Gary was instrumental in the development of the ESC LHIN during its preliminary stages, as well as PAN LHIN initiatives. 
The Board of Directors of the ESC LHIN thanks Gary for his service to the LHIN and wishes Gary well in his future endeavours.” 

Posted May 10th, 2016

Letter to the Editor:

Sir: Jim Blake is to be commended for the stories in the April 28 Voice. The unadulterated truth expertly exposes CKHA’s treatment of Sydenham District Hospital (SDH)!

Something that can’t be said of page 7, “Voice editorial just verbal junk, reader says,” letter by Jane Havens, acting chair of the Public General Hospital board.

On page 18, the CryptoQuote is just perfect! There is nothing so powerful as truth – and often nothing so strong – Daniel Webster.

Some of Ms. Havens “truth” follows:

It’s okay for Chatham people to meet in Chatham, but it’s inappropriate for Wallaceburg people to meet in Wallaceburg, especially 450 of them.

She obviously doesn’t know about the 1,000-plus attendees at the LHIN meeting in the Wallaceburg High School auditorium, sometimes referred to as Clickergate.

Thanks for pointing out that Wallaceburg accounts for only five per cent of the services and program activity of the CKHA. This is about to change, thanks to the SDH Board and members of the community.

As per the Alliance agreement, the percentage of interest is PGH 50 per cent, SJH 33.3 per cent, and SDH 16.7 per cent. Therefore, CKHA you owe us big time – an additional 11.7% of the Ministry of Health revenue allocation this year, and then retroactively for years!

CKHA is the only Alliance dealing treacherously with its smaller partner. The Middlesex Alliance, the HuronPerth Alliance with four partners, and Bluewater Health Alliance with Petrolia are working fine.

So, take the high ground, CKHA, as per your letter. I, on the other hand, will take the low ground as a non-expert, uneducated, uninformed, armchair critic with a paid-up SDH membership while proudly supporting the SDH Board, and the Sydenham-Walpole-St.Clair Region district.

By the way, fictitious this district is not. I attended the Walpole Island First Nation council meeting at the invitation of a great lady, Jean Wrightman, when this group was formed. Good going, Jean!

Anne Stewart


Posted May 9th, 2016

Community members angry at CKHA plans for Sydenham Campus

By Louis Pin, The Daily News

Monday, May 9, 2016

It's been a rough week for Natalie Mehra.

As the executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition, Mehra was in North Bay a day before coming to Wallaceburg, a more-than 600-kilometre drive.

At each stop she's faced with cuts, disgruntled communities and difficult situations.

And yet the relationship the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance has with the Sydenham Campus ER is, according to Mehra, perhaps the most dysfunctional she's ever seen.

“It's immoral and irresponsible,” Mehra said. “I've never seen hospital leadership say a hospital is unsafe … I've been extremely disturbed to see what the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance has done.”

Mehra was at a Wallaceburg general meeting Monday to discuss the possible redistribution of resources and responsibility between the Sydenham Campus ER and the Health Alliance, in the Chatham-Kent Health System Capital Plan. It would mean Wallaceburg and surrounding communities would be without a 24-hour emergency facility.

Mehra says she's never experienced a coordinated public campaign to shut down a hospital.

“The Premier and the Health Minister even said there was no intention to close the emergency services,” Mehra said.

Wallaceburg residents at the meeting were clearly frustrated – with the Ontario government, the news media, the LHIN, the Health Alliance, amalgamation, and Chatham proper.

Some were more blunt than others.

“A lot of people in Chatham, they don't know, don't care,” said Keith Southern. “We're killing people with this stupidity. And who goes to shit? … Wallaceburg.”

The meeting and decision comes after the Sydenham Campus ER was reportedly unsafe. Municipal councillor Carmen McGregor, at the meeting, said she wanted to firmly express that the centre is still functional and not unsafe.

Posted May 7, 2016

SDH Corporation membership for 2016-2019 is 538 + 1 Honorary membership.

Breakdown:  Chatham 4; Dover 5; Dresden 12; Florence 1; Port Lambton 27; Sombra 6; Tupperville 13;  WIFN 3+ 1 Honorary; Wallaceburg 467= 539

Posted May 5th, 2016



The Chair’s Message to Members


Save the Date – 5pm – June 23rd  – UAW Hall


That's the date for our annual meeting. A lot of new members will join with us that day to stand up to the corporate bullying that we have experienced and, importantly, to save the services delivered from our hospital - services that we have come to rely on. Please plan to be there.

 On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to thank you for your support at our members' meeting on the 19th of April. A great night culminating with a unanimous support of our Vision for the future of Healthcare in the Sydenham - Walpole - St. Clair District. We are appreciative of the support we received from Walpole Island Band Council with their resolution to maintain an ER at Wallaceburg. We have the support of our MPP and our municipal councillors. We have also received support from the NDP Health Critic and the messages delivered in the legislature by the Premier and the Minister of Health are very encouraging.

 We have begun the process of meeting with partners to share our Vision. Prospective partners have been invited to an "in camera" meeting on May 18th. We will share our VISION with them at that time and begin the consultations that should lead to an integration of all healthcare services from a single location. We will work to ensure that the services that are provided now and in the future includes a 24/7 ER. To assist us, we have engaged a governance advisor to further refine the development, promotion and implementation of our VISION. We will update you on our efforts at the AGM in June.

 You should know that the road to our success will be filled with obstacles. As you know, the other boards have acted, "suspending all Alliance activities" until further notice explaining that they need time to put together a plan for the future relationships between our boards. That action to suspend is without any credibility and is not authorized by the terms of our Alliance Agreement. All three boards need to meet and approve a number of routine matters including the approval of Financial Statements prior to our respective annual meetings.

 At our Board meeting on May 4th, we passed a resolution directing our Secretary and CEO to convene a meeting of the Alliance to consider regular and routine matters and to set a date for a special meeting to consider options for new relationships within our Alliance partners. We don't intend to wait any longer. This is authorized by our Alliance Agreement and that meeting will be called for May 26th at 4pm in Chatham. We hope that our Alliance Partners will attend. If they don't, then more serious actions will have to be taken.

 At our meeting on May 4th, we also heard that our membership for 2016 -2017 is over 535 members. Congratulations to Conrad and his Membership Committee for a job very well done. The Board also approved a Nominating Committee to report on nominations to be considered by the Membership at the Annual Meeting. No applications were received following our advertisements in local media. If you are interested in serving on the Board or on Committees that we name, please advise any member of the Board.

 Also considered at the May 4th meeting was a motion to include an additional director position to be named by Walpole Island Band Council. We believe that this will strengthen our relationship with the First Nations Community that we share so much with.

 A few days ago, the Chief of Staff for CKHA and the Medical Advisory Committee held a news conference to promote the downgrading of our ER with the transfer of all CTAS 1 and 2 cases (most acute) to the Chatham Campus bypassing our ER in Wallaceburg. They are beginning to make the case that our ER staff is not as capable of managing these types of cases. We have issued a media release expressing our confidence in the physicians, nurses and the staff that provide these services and all the services we need. We will do everything that we can to provide the facilities and the resources for a safe and professional ER service. We are beginning the process of contacting ER and local physicians to find out what their thoughts are on the continuation of ER services at Sydenham. We don't believe that their valued opinions have been considered by CKHA staff or the Medical Advisory Committee.

 CKHA staff are continuing with their clear actions in support of the plan to eliminate our ER. This was the plan that was not approved by CKHA, but forwarded to the LHIN by the other two boards in spite of that. This was contrary to the spirit and the intent of the Alliance Agreement, something that they have accused us of. We have always and will continue to abide by the letter and the spirit of the Alliance Agreement and believe fully that a strong board representing SDH at the Alliance table can and will protect the services that need to be provided to and within our catchment area.

 Much has happened and much needs to happen before we can celebrate any successes. We need your support as we move forward with our plans and your participation at the Annual General Meeting at the UAW Hall on June 23rd is important. We hope to see you there.

 Sheldon Parsons

SDH Chair

519 359 1969

Posted: May 4th, 2016

Last week’s media conference to place a medical stamp of approval on Colin Patey’s plan to close the Sydenham District Hospital emergency department raised as many questions as it answered. Doctors showed up and took their turn supporting their bosses’ plan on a “clinical facts” only...

From Sydenham Current:

  • Sydenham District Hospital Board Set to Meet

 From Wallaceburg Courier Press:

  • Column: Not hard to become an organ donor

 From CKXS:

  • SDH Responds to Open Letter


Posted April 30th, 2016

FINAL count for the SDH Corporation membership for 2016-2019 is  535.  Congrats to the SDH Membership team.  We have done extremely well. Thanks to all of you for signing up.  Our annual meeting is on June 23rd at 5:00 pm UAW Hall.  We need your presence.  You will have the opportunity to elect for your SDH Board Directors, receive the auditor's report, appoint the auditor for 2016-2017 and confirm, reject or amend by-law amendments.

Posted April 27th

Email sent to the   SDH membership committee:
Tomorrow,  Friday is the last day for the public to submit their Corporation membership application for 2016-2019.  As of 7:00 pm today,   we have 472 applications.  That’s a first for us.  With the help of the Membership Committee, their teams, stores, businesses , CKXS and individuals who distributed  applications to  family and friends , we surpassed our initial goal of 300.    We can all be proud of our accomplishment.  On behalf of the SDH Board, I thank each one of you.  We may get more on Friday.......maybe enough to reach 500.  CKXS will encourage people to apply.  Special thanks to Cathy Patterson for her hard work.  As I keep telling her, “Your pay is nil but the satisfaction is worth a lot more.”  Her help has been invaluable.
Rick made a great suggestion. “Let’s get a SDH Membership team picture and have the Press publish this great accomplishment.”  That’s a fantastic idea and I totally agree  with him. That’s a positive publicity for our community.  These large numbers of SDH Corporation members  will speak loudly to CKHA, LHIN and the Ministry and the public at large. 
There is an SDH Board meeting on Wednesday May 4th and the press will be there. Great time to have the team picture.  Meeting starts at 4:00 at SDH 2W (second floor). I will check with the Press and see if we can have the group picture at 3:45.  Afterwards, you’re all welcome to stay for the Board meeting.
Also,  to prevent confusion, I would ask each member of the team to collect all the blank forms wherever you left them by Friday or  Monday at the latest.  I wouldn’t want anyone to be upset because their application didn’t meet the deadline.

Posted April 25, 2016

Letter from Doug Babbitt, Wallaceburg

17 years of systematic reductions at Sydenham Campus

I want to thank Acting board chair Jane Havens of the Public General Hospital Society of Chatham and Gail Rumble, board chair for St. Joseph’s Health Services Association of Chatham Inc. for setting the record straight in their recent letter to the citizens of Chatham-Kent.

You have now jointly confirmed what the Wallaceburg and surrounding communities have been saying for 17 years, which is your only vision was seeing the closure of the Sydenham Campus of the CKHA.

One only needs to read in between your well scripted lines to see what has been happening to the Sydenham Campus.

Your two boards comprise 66% of the vote and have been using that voting imbalance for 17 years to systematically reduce the services at the Sydenham Campus often against the wishes of the SDH board.

Your two boards, along with the senior leadership of the CKHA are responsible for the Sydenham Campus now only representing 5% of the hospital based activities within the CKHA by outvoting the SDH board and then stripping services at the Sydenham Campus in the name of fiscal responsibility.

Keeping the Sydenham Campus open was never a part of the PGH and SJH boards’ vision and now that you are within 5% of having your vision of healthcare reached, you suddenly want to blame the SDH board and their 33% voting allotment as the reason for this current situation.

Spin doctor away all you want, your actions over the past 17 years speak the truth of what your goal has been all along for the Sydenham Campus.

We are not stuck in the past as you suggest in your letter.

Your boards just have a very self-serving, narrow vision of the future.

Doug Babbitt


Posted April 25th, 2016

  Planning Meeting Set For Wallaceburg-WIFN Health Coalition

From Blackburn News: ‘Irreconcilable’ Difference Cause Friction Between CKHA Boards



{Posted April 23rd, 2016

Letter from MPP Monte McNaughton to Minister of Health and Long Term Care

Posted April 22, 2016

SDH Corporation membership:

Great news. As of Friday, April 22nd,  we have 375 registered SDH Corporation members for 2016-2019. The SDH Membership Committee is hopeful that we will reach an all time high of 400 members.  Deadline to hand in your form is Friday, April 29th.
If you have questions, please call Cathy @ 519-365-1508 or Conrad @ 519-359-6119.

Posted April 20th, 2016

Two different options

SDH Board approves its NEW VISION for the development of the future of Health Care in the Sydenham-Walpole-St. Clair District:
  • An integrated health care delivery system
  • Co-location with other health service providers
  • 24/7 Emergency Department
  • Professional staffing including Physicians, Nurse, Nurse Practitioners
  • All necessary ancillary services for the ED (eg. Diagnostic & Laboratory)
  • Helipad
  • Combination of medicine and observation beds
  • Maintain ability to accommodate Sarnia/Chatham overflow
  • Governance under the SDH Board (continued Corporate Membership)
  • A facility that will allow for future expansion in a site to be determined

Public General Hospital (PGH) Board  & St. Joseph's Hospital Board (SJB)  Vision for SDH's future:
  • Community "Hub" - Integration & Co-location with service providers
  • No Emergency Department
  • 16 hours from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
  • Staffing - No ER Physician(s)
  • Limited Laboratory Services ("point of care" only)
  • X-Ray service only
  • Acute cases taken directly to Chatham
  • Governance under CKCHC Board ( NO Corporation Membership)

From Chatham Daily News:

·         Plan unanimously supported for packed membership

SDH Approves A New Vision For Wallaceburg’s Hospital

·         ‘This is the Beginning of a New Era’

·         Wallaceburg’s Hospital Discussed At Queen’s Park

·         Overflow Crowd Expected At ‘Important’ SDH Meeting

 From CKXS:

·         Legal Fight For Hospital Considered

 From Chatham Voice:

·         Is the CKHA efficient with its spending?

 From Blackburn News:

·         Sydenham Hospital Members Unite Against Potential Cuts


Posted April 12, 2016

April 19th 5 pm UAW Hall a crucial meeting for 2015-2016 SDH Corporation members.  We expect a full house from the catchment area of SDH and all the 2015-2016 Corporate members.  We also expect to see everyone who has signed up to become a SDH Corporation members for 2016-2019.  Plus, we expect to see as many citizens from the general public which includes Wallaceburg, WIP, Dresden, Port Lambton, Tupperville and Chatham.   It's your hospital. Come early as the hall will fill up rapidly.

As of April 12th, we have only 212 members who have paid their $10.00 for a 3-year membership.  When CKHA & ESLHIN tried to close us some years ago, we ended up with a petition of over 11,500 signatures.  SOS had your support then.  Your SDH Board of Directors and SOS  need your participation and presence at this CRUCIAL meeting.  Action must be taken  now before its too late.   

So please..... please  get an application form and sign up. You can also fill one out at the meeting on the 19th. Deadline is April 30th.

Forms are available to SDH Hospital, WB Municipal Centre, CKXS radio, Taylor's Variety, Your Hometown Deli, Foster's Meats, Homeward Realty, Family Health Team offices, numerous stores on James Street, stores in Dresden and Port Lambton, Cathy @ 519-365-1508; Conrad 519-359-6119.
Posted April 11, 2016

SDH Board moratorium motion on April 11, 2016 as part of official SDH By-Laws

 Moved by Conrad Noel, seconded by George Lung. Motion carried


Whereas the PGH and SJH boards “feel it is necessary to suspend all Alliance activities until further notice”; and


Whereas decisions that affect the operation of the Hospitals and the services provided are the direct responsibility of the Tri-Board; and


Whereas in the absence of a meeting of the Tri-Board such decisions are not possible;


Therefore be it resolved:


That the SDH Board imposes an immediate and permanent (subject only to a further motion by the SDH Board to overturn it) moratorium on any changes to service delivery at Sydenham District Hospital which includes, but is not limited to, any changes to the availability and service delivery of emergency services located at Sydenham District Hospital.


Staff and the SDH community must be reassured that their SDH Board of Directors continue their hard work in relationship to the ER and Services at SDH. 


Listed below are the current services available at SDH which must be protected.

Sydenham Hospital / ER :

        - Emergency  24/7 covered by local doctors and out of town doctors

        - Ambulatory Care Services open 0800 -1200 on Tuesdays

        - ER Point of Care testing

        - Diagnostic imaging -X-Ray available seven days/week from 0800-2100.

          Ultra sound services available Monday - Friday 0800 - 1600.

        - Laboratory (1 MLT on site from 0700 - 1500 seven days a week. 1 on call from 1500 - 0700 expected to arrive within 30 minutes).

        - Rehabilitation Therapy services - Physiotherapy 3 days per week, Occupational  Therapy and Speech and Language Pathology consultation by phone or face to face as required.

        - 5 in-patient medicine beds

        - Pharmacy (2 mornings a week)

        - Dietician on site two days/week with one hour scheduled inpatient time between   0900- 1700.

        - Respiratory Services: The Pulmonary function lab is open Wed/Thurs/Fri one week  with Thursday / Friday the next week, Hours are 0730 -1530.

        - Registration covered on two shifts that run 0700 -1500 and 1500 -2400, seven days per week.

        - Security 2300 -0700 seven days /week.

        - Housekeeping -0700 -2300, 7 days/week

        - Engineering - 0800 - 1600 Monday - Friday. on call 24/7.

        - Materials management - one staff member on site 0900-1400.

        - Volunteers  - Gift Shop M-F 1000-1530, Information Desk 0800-1200 M-Thursday



The Chair’s Message to Members

Thanks to everyone who attended our member's meeting on the 23rd of March. From the information that was shared at that meeting and because of some speculation around healthcare services at SDH including the emergency department, your SDH Board felt that it is our responsibility to post an update on the latest developments.


We will provide a fuller report to you at our planned meeting to be held at the UAW Hall on April 19th beginning at 5pm.


While April 19th is an SDH Corporate Members' meeting, all of the public are welcome and are encouraged to attend, so please pass the word and help to ensure a good turnout.


On the issue of Healthcare Services at SDH and particularly regarding the Emergency Department that we all rely on so much, the SDH Board, as a part of CKHA, received a report on a proposal to change the manner in which healthcare services would be delivered to the North Kent, Sydenham, Walpole, St. Clair and South Lambton Regions. These proposed changes, presented in camera at an Alliance Board Meeting, do not meet our minimum expectations. We expect to be able to share the detail of this report with you on the 19th of April.

As an interim measure, the SDH Board has developed a number of principles that would guide our consideration of any proposed changes. We would like to share these principles with you.

SDH Directors are in unanimous agreement:

  • we need a new facility to replace the current building
  • we need a 24/7 emergency department with ancillary services such as lab and diagnostics
  • we could and should co-locate with other healthcare providers
  • we could and should offer a one-stop-shop for as many of our communities healthcare needs as possible - one door leading to many services - integrated to be as efficient as possible
  • we need a heliport facility

We have met a number of times, separately and jointly with the PGH and St Josephs boards within the Alliance. We have consistently promoted the above principles. We attended a number of key meetings over the last two months dealing with the building condition at SDH and the budget deficit issues that we face across CKHA, but we have yet to achieve any sort of agreement with the Boards for PGH or St Josephs Hospitals on how to move forward with either issue.

We will continue to represent you and our communities and work with our healthcare partners, the LHIN and with the Ministry of Health to ensure that a proposal is developed that will meet with our principles and your expectations.


Media Enquiries - Sheldon Parsons, Chair SDH (519 359-1969)

April 7th, 2016


Posted March 31, 2016  Revised April 3rd, 2016

People are asking about the (1) Sydenham Hospital / ER, the difference between SDH ER, a (2) Campus of Care facility vis- à - vis an (3) Urgent Care Facility, a (4)  Community HUB and (5) Primary Care.

Here's an overview to the questions.

  1. Sydenham Hospital / ER :
        - Emergency  24/7 covered by local doctors and out of town doctors
        - Ambulatory Care Services open 0800 -1200 on Tuesdays
        - ER Point of Care testing
        - Diagnostic imaging -X-Ray available seven days/week from 0800-2100.
          Ultra sound services available Monday - Friday 0800 - 1600.
        - Laboratory (1 MLT on site from 0700 - 1500 seven days a week. 1 on call from 1500 -             0700 expected to arrive within 30 minutes).
        - Rehabilitation Therapy services - Physiotherapy 3 days per week, Occupational                     Therapy and Speech and Language Pathology consultation by phone or face to                     face as required.
        - 5 in-patient medicine beds
        - Pharmacy (2 mornings a week)
        - Dietician on site two days/week with one hour scheduled inpatient time between                 0900- 1700.
        - Respiratory Services: The Pulmonary function lab is open Wed/Thurs/Fri one                     week  with Thursday / Friday the next week, Hours are 0730 -1530.
        - Registration covered on two shifts that run 0700 -1500 and 1500 -2400, seven days             per week.
        - Security 2300 -0700 seven days /week.
        - Housekeeping -0700 -2300, 7 days/week
        - Engineering - 0800 - 1600 Monday - Friday. on call 24/7.
        - Materials management - one staff member on site 0900-1400.
        - Volunteers  - Gift Shop M-F 1000-1530, Information Desk 0800-1200 M-Thursday.

     2.  Campus of Care facility
        - provides  a cluster of complementary healthcare services that draws people primarily for ambulatory and primary care (local doctors). This facility accommodates emergency services, ambulatory and primary care, and diagnostics services in a new building. Impatient care required is to be accommodated at the Chatham Campus.
        - the "Campus of Care" for this type of model might also include a broad range of services provided by community-based partners like Community Health Centre (CHC) , Family Health team (FHT), Pharmacy (private), VON, physiotherapy (private), gym (private), CCAC, optometrists (private) podiatrist (private) and other community and social service agencies.
Source: Option B Wallaceburg: Primary Care / Community Care Model report (2011).

    3. Urgent Care facility
  • Urgent care is a category of walk-in clinic focused on the delivery of ambulatory  care in a dedicated medical facility outside of the traditional emergency room. Urgent care centers primarily treat injuries or illnesses requiring immediate care, but not serious enough to require an ER visit. Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • This facility is set up to assist patients with an illness or injury that does not appear to be life-threatening, but can also wait until the next day, or for primary care doctor to see them. 
  •  Urgent medical conditions are ones that are not considered emergencies  but still require care within 24 hours.  Some examples of such conditions include:
- accidents and falls
- sprains and strains
-moderate back problems
- breathing difficulties (i.e. mild to moderate asthma)
- bleeding /cuts - not bleeding a lot but requiring stitches
- Diagnostic services including X-rays and laboratory tests
- Eye irritation and redness
- Fever or flu
-Vomiting, diarrhea or dehydration
-Severe sore throat or cough
-Minor broken bones and fractures (i.e. fingers, toes)
-Skin rashes and infections
-Urinary tract infections

Addendum:  What is considered an Emergency?

Urgent Care is not a substitute for emergency care. In general, an emergency condition is one that can permanently impair or endanger the life of an individual.  Some examples of conditions that require emergency medical care include:
  •         Severe chest pain or difficulty breathing\
    • Compound fracture (bone protrudes through skin)
    • Convulsions, seizures or loss of consciousness
    • Fever in new born (less than three months old)
    • Heavy, uncontrollable bleeding
    • Deep knife wounds or gunshot wounds
    • Moderate to severe burns
    • Poisoning
    • Serious head, neck or back injury
    • Pregnancy-related problems
    • Severe abdominal pain
    • *Signs of) Heart attack (i.e... chest pain lasting longer than two minutes)
    • *Signs of) Stroke ( e.g. loss of vision, sudden numbness, weakness, slurred speech or confusion)
    •  Suicidal or homicidal feelings

  • Source:  Mount Sinai Hospital.
*** Dial 911 immediately for any Medical Problem that Appears to be Life-Threatening.

 4. Community HUB:

" A conveniently located public place that is recognized and valued in the community as a gathering place for people and access point for a wide range of community programs and services." A community HUB is specifically designed around primary care and urgent care access to services.  Coverage is usually about 16 hours per day.

There is no "H" on the roof therefore it cannot be a hospital with an  "ER".  That  means that there are no emergency physicians, nor ambulance drop off to stabilize any CTAS patients. The goal of the HUB strategy is to consolidate High Acuity services at the Emergency Department in Chatham.  Wait times will be ?????.

5. Primary Care

Family health team physicians along with Nurse Practitioner in a Family Health team building.  Depending on your family physician, your appointment time varies from one physician to another.

Conclusion:  It's up to you to decide what you're willing to fight for and what you are willing to support. Loud and vocal voices usually get the deserved attention.

Posted March 27th, 2016

1. Join  SDH Corporation by completing the form  before April 30th.
Your SDH Board needs your support and voice to protect our SDH Hospital ER.

Forms are available at SDH Hospital, Wallaceburg Municipal Centre, CKXS Radio, Taylor’s Variety, Foster’s Meats, most stores on James Street, Cathy at 519-365-1508, Conrad 519-359-6119.   You can also Google CKHA/SDH Corporation Application and download your form.
We  can’t emphasize enough the importance of being an active member of the SDH Corporation.  Large numbers speak volume. Your SDH Board needs your support now and in the very near future.
We will soon need you to contact the Ministry, ESLHIN, MPP, CKHA etc... Please be ready support your SDH Board to Save our Sydenham Hospital ER.

Our next SDH Corporation meeting  will take place on Tuesday, April 19th at 5pm at the UAW Hall in Wallaceburg.  This meeting is open to the public  as well.  Your attendance is crucial.

2.  Your SDH Board is accepting applications from interested SDH supporters who would like to be considered as a candidate for the SDH Board of Directors. Form must be completed on or before April 15th.  Forms are available from the CKHA website:  If you have questions, please contact Sheldon Parsons, SDH Board Chair @  519-359-1969  or Conrad Noel, SDH Board Vice-Chair @ 519-359-6119.


Posted Feb. 23rd, 2016



Applications will only be considered if received on or before midnight on April 30

with the application fee of $10.00 at:

-          the Secretary’s office at P.O. Box 2030, 80 Grand Ave West, Chatham N7M 5L9; or

-          the Wallaceburg Municipal Service Centre at 786 Dufferin Ave, Wallaceburg; or

-          the SDH Corporation at 325 Margaret Ave, Wallaceburg.

Cheques should be made payable to Sydenham District Hospital.

To:                          The Board of Directors






City                                                                        Prov: Ontario                                        Postal Code


Telephone: (Home)                                                             (Work)




I, the undersigned, submit my application for admission as a member of the SDH Corporation for three years.


I understand that membership in the SDH Corporation shall be limited to persons interested in furthering the SDH Corporation's objects and purpose as described in the by-laws of the SDH Corporation (see attached). I understand that this application for admission as a Member will require the approval of the Board of Directors, by resolution.


I confirm that I meet the membership qualifications; namely, that, at the time of my application, I:

1.        am not an employee of Chatham Kent Health Alliance or any of the hospitals that form the Chatham Kent Health Alliance (being, the SDH Corporation, The Public General Hospital Society of Chatham and St. Joseph’s Health Services Association of Chatham, Incorporated);

2.        am not a member of the Professional Staff of Chatham Kent Health Alliance or any of the hospitals that form the Chatham Kent Health Alliance (being, the SDH Corporation, The Public General Hospital Society of Chatham and St. Joseph’s Health Services Association of Chatham, Incorporated); and

3.        reside or work within the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, South Lambton County or Walpole Island.


I have enclosed my application fee of $10.00 for a three year membership.


I understand that if my application is approved by a SDH Board of Director’s resolution, I shall be a voting member of the SDH Corporation from the day of the annual general meeting which follows that payment until the day preceding the fourth successive annual general meeting.


If my application is approved by the SDH Board of Directors:


  1. I will, at all times, support the objects of the SDH Corporation and abide by the SDH Corporation's By-Law.


2.        My rights as a Member will be to:

a.        elect Directors at the Annual or Special Meetings of the SDH Corporation;

b.        receive the auditors’ report, financial statements and management reports;

c.        appoint auditors for the SDH Corporation pursuant to the By-Law;

d.        confirm, reject or amend by-law amendments pursuant to the Corporations Act and the By-Law;

e.        attend Members’ meetings; a

f.         request Special Meetings for specific agenda items, pursuant to the By-Law; and

g.        seek nomination and stand for an elected position on the SDH Board.


Date                                                                                   __________________________________________

                                                                                                   Signature of Applicant


February 23, 2016


The objects for which the SDH Corporation is incorporated are:

(a)                to operate a hospital and other community health agencies, where applicable;

(b)               to prevent disease and promote wellness in the Sydenham District;

(c)                to give care to the sick and injured; and

(d)               to promote medical research.


The purpose of the SDH Corporation is also:

(a)                to provide the best possible service relative to quality, cost, timeliness, accessibility and comprehensiveness;

(b)               to co-ordinate services with the other community agencies;

(c)                to provide education and maintain high educational standards; and

(d)               to perform such lawful acts as are deemed necessary to promote the attainment of these objects.


Posting February 18th, 2016

Sydenham District Hospital Board is recruiting membership for the

SDH Corporation for the next three years.

As a SDH Corporation member, you will :

·         elect Directors at the Annual  (June 23rd, 2016) or Special Meetings of the SDH Corporation (2-3 times per year);

·         receive the auditors’ report, financial statement and management reports;

·         appoint auditors for the SDH Corporation pursuant to the By-Law;

·         attend Members meetings; and

·         request Special Meetings for specific agenda items, pursuant to the By-Law.

What are the benefits of becoming a SDH Corporation member?

·         as a member you have the right to vote for or against any changes to the By-Laws of the SDH Corporation (By-Laws which can have a huge impact on SDH);

·         as a member you have the right to attend all member meetings, ask questions and seek accountability from the SDH Board and the management staff of both SDH and the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA);

·         as a member you have the right to make your voice heard in the decision making process for SDH;

·         as a member you have the right to protect what services are left of Sydenham District Hospital i.e. the emergency room at SDH;

·         As a member you have the right to seek a position on the SDH Board of Directors.

 To become a member of the SDH Corporation:

·         you must complete the Membership Application form before April 30th;

·         Pay $10.00 for a three year membership.

Where can I get can application form?

·         Text or call Conrad Noel, Vice Chair SDH Board   @ 519-359-6119 or email;

·         Call Cathy Patterson @519-365-1508 or email

·         Wallaceburg Municipal Centre

·         SOS website:

·         Sydenham District Hospital  (Registration desk)

·         CKXS Radio Station

·         Wallaceburg’s  Family Health Team office

·         Foster’s Meats

·         Taylor’s Convenience Store

February 2016  

Revised posting Jan. 18, 2016

Message from Sheldon Parsons, Chair SDH Directors

SDH Corporation members meeting , scheduled for Jan. 20th has been cancelled until more information from CKHA is available.

March 23rd meeting will be VERY important to SDH Corporation members and SDH supporters. 

The Chair’s Message to Members

The Sydenham District Hospital Board has decided to cancel the SDH Corporate Members meeting scheduled for January 20, 2016 until more information is available. 

We hope that as an alternative to a meeting, this memo will provide you with an update on progress to date and the importance the March 23, 2016 meeting.  

A lot has happened since we last communicated with you. Your Board has met twice and participated in some key meetings with the Alliance and attended committee meetings where a lot of information about the !magine project and  budget deficit issues were discussed.  

On the 18th of November we met and dealt with some very important issues:

  •  received a credentialing report from Dr Ranjith Chandrasena, our Chief of Medical Staff at CKHA 
  • further considered the !magine project and discussed what a smaller,  more efficient SDH operation would mean for our communities in advance of an !magine Committee meeting 
  • determined that we would not object to the merger of PGH and SJH Boards, would agree to necessary amendments to the Alliance agreement to accommodate that merger and advised that SDH was not prepared to enter into the merger at this time. 
  • considered a report from the By-law committee and approved terms of reference permitting the  appointment of non-director members to sit on the committee.
  • On the 23rd of November members of the !magine Task Force met to receive an update on the status of various projects being planned and proposed to improve access to healthcare across Chatham-Kent, South Lambton and Walpole Island. This included an update on plans to replace the existing building at SDH with a smaller and more efficient facility that would be co-located with other healthcare partners.

  • On the 26th of November we meet as an Alliance Board and dealt with some significant issues. 
  • received reports from both the Mission and Quality and Finance and Audit Committees 
  • were made aware of significant budget deficit projection following final confirmation by the Ministry of Health that Hospital funding would be less than the previous year and less than the assumptions built into the 2015/16 budget.  CKHA is therefore projecting a significant deficit this year and subsequent years based on no hospital funding growth or annualized cost increases. 
  • received a financial statement to September 30th that projects a $1.7m deficit for 2015-16 
  •       o received a  report that identified the need to look for opportunities within all  of CKHA’s programs as the LHIN requires the Alliance to develop and submit a balanced budget plan 
  • Many of the areas where these changes could be made may have a significant impact on SDH and our ability to continue providing healthcare services to the level that we are currently providing. This caused much concern amongst the SDH Board of Directors. 
  • advised our sister Boards that SDH would be meeting separately to further consider that report 
  • On the 30th of November, SDH Board met in caucus to review the report of the !magine Task Force and administration’s report on Health System Funding Reform. We spent three hours reviewing the report and prepared questions for administration for a response.

  • On the 13th of January, the SDH Board met to consider  t
  • he Health System Funding Reform report and the responses provided by administration to our earlier questions on the content of the report and the apparent direction that was being proposed in order to deal with the budget deficit that CKHA was facing in the current and future fiscal years.
  • a  report by administration setting out the process by which the Alliance Board would identify the areas of operations that would require further analysis . 
  • determined that there was insufficient information to share with the members about either the options for a building to replace the existing hospital or how the budget is likely to impact on services across CKHA and here at SDH. 
  • received a report from the By-Law Committee and referred it to our lawyers for comment
  •         o   proposed changes include establishing By-Law and Membership Committees, authorizing non-directors to serve on committees, setting out a nomination process, and proposing staggered terms for Directors 
  • considered a report from the Membership Committee and approved terms of reference permitting the appointment of non-director members to sit on the committee. 
  • received a recommendation from the Membership Committee and referred it to our lawyers for comment 
  •             o changes include a new 3 year term for membership and a later application date 
  • Governance Renewal – we continue to work towards modernizing our by-laws and streamlining our governance. We will bring forward to the membership in March, the bylaw amendments that are being proposed by both the By-Law Committee and the Membership Committee.

  • Membership -
    Our Membership Committee will be active over the next few weeks and months to promote membership in the SDH Corporation.

  • Building Condition
    - Your Board continues to believe that the top priority for us is to resolve building condition issues. We learned that the Fire Code does not currently require Hospitals to be sprinkled. This will save considerable funds when any building renovation takes place in any Hospital across the Province. We thank past chair Jeff Wesley for intervening with CK Fire department on this issue and expediting the response from the Province.

  • We will be attending a number of key meetings over the next two weeks and Alliance senior leadership  will be busy with discussions with partners and stakeholders over the next few months as we deal with both the building condition at SDH and the budget deficit issues that we face across CKHA.

  • We look forward to the member’s meeting on the 23rd of March, 2016 and encourage you to attend. We encourage you to bring  friends and family and anyone you think is interested in the healthcare system that serves our communities. It should be a very informative meeting.

Posted Jan. 9th,  2016

From: shirley roebuck <>
Subject: call out for help
Date: 9 January, 2016 9:44:05 AM EST
Do you or someone in your family or circle of friends have a story to tell us about your recent hospital care? 

For example: 
  • Did you spend hours on a stretcher in a hallway, waiting for a hospital bed? 
  • Were you discharged too frail or sick and ended up back in emergency? 
  • Did you have a procedure cancelled or delayed because the funding or space was not available? 
  • Or do you have another experience you'd like to share?

The Standing Committee of the Ontario Legislature on Finance and Economic Affairs is holding public Pre-Budget hearings and we are in need of people who are willing to speak to this committee about their recent hospital experience. We are entering the 9th year of hospital cuts; services are privatized or moved far from out homes.

Every year the Ontario Health Coalition and local coalitions (CKHC, SLHC) have presented at the hearings. We have presented evidence that Ontario has cut more beds and services than any other province in the country; that we have among the lower nurse staffing levels; that we force people out of hospital when they are too frail; that the cuts have gone too far. But the government is ignoring all reason.

We need patients who are willing to share their stories to illuminate how bad these cuts are and to build public pressure to stop them.

Can you help? 

If you know of a patient or a family member who would be willing to speak to us (i.e., me), please give them my home phone: 519 677 4460 and my email:

Thank you so much, I sincerely appreciate your help.

Conrad's comments:  Shirley is referring specifically  to Wallaceburg, Chatham, Sarnia and Petrolia.
Posted Jan. 9, 2016
Members of Provincial Parliament Coming to Windsor for Pre-Budget Hearings 

The Ontario Provincial Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs has chosen Windsor to hold a pre-budget consultation. 

We are now entering the 9th consecutive year of hospital cuts – the longest stretch of hospital cuts in Ontario’s history. Every service cut is privatized, subject to user fees or moved far from our home towns.

Every year, the Ontario Health Coalition and local coalitions across the province have presented at the hearings.We have presented evidence that Ontario has cut more beds and services than any other province in the country; that we have among the lowest nurse staffing levels; that we force patients out of hospitals when they are too frail; that the cuts have gone too far. But the government is ignoring all reason. This year, we are doing things differently.  

At each of the hearings, we will hold rallies to ratchet up the pressure on the provincial government. The cuts have gone on far too long, vital patient services are threatened, and entire hospitals are at risk. We are inviting the MPPs to join. Together we can stop the cuts.

In Windsor, the threat of losing thoracic cancer surgery was stopped after a hugely successful local fight back!

86,000 hours/year of hands-on nursing care slashed between 2013/14. Windsor’s hospitals are full to overflowing.

Cuts across the entire region threaten to put more pressure on Windsor’s already overstretched hospitals. 

Rally to STOP
Devastating Hospital Cuts in Windsor

Tuesday January 19. 12 noon. Caesar's Windsor. 377 Riverside Dr. E.

For more information: contact Ken 519-819-0830.

We are organizing the rallies in partnership with the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Ontario Common Front. 

~ Protecting Public Medicare for All ~

Ontario Health Coalition
15 Gervais Drive, Suite 604
Toronto, ON M3C 1Y8

We can attend and rally with Windsor, but also have signs supporting our communities. Please let me know if you would like to attend.

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Ontario Health Coalition <>
> Subject: [Board-list] Email 3 of 7: Call-Out for Windsor Rally
> Date: 6 January, 2016 3:39:12 PM EST
> To: "" <>
> Please circulate widely.
> Members of Provincial Parliament Coming to Windsor for Pre-Budget Hearings
> The Ontario Provincial Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs has chosen Windsor to hold a pre-budget consultation.
> We are now entering the 9th consecutive year of hospital cuts – the longest stretch of hospital cuts in Ontario’s history. Every service cut is privatized, subject to user fees or moved far from our home towns.
> Every year, the Ontario Health Coalition and local coalitions across the province have presented at the hearings.We have presented evidence that Ontario has cut more beds and services than any other province in the country; that we have among the lowest nurse staffing levels; that we force patients out of hospitals when they are too frail; that the cuts have gone too far. But the government is ignoring all reason. This year, we are doing things differently. 
> At each of the hearings, we will hold rallies to ratchet up the pressure on the provincial government. The cuts have gone on far too long, vital patient services are threatened, and entire hospitals are at risk. We are inviting the MPPs to join. Together we can stop the cuts.
> In Windsor, the threat of losing thoracic cancer surgery was stopped after a hugely successful local fight back!
> 86,000 hours/year of hands-on nursing care slashed between 2013/14. Windsor’s hospitals are full to overflowing.
> Cuts across the entire region threaten to put more pressure on Windsor’s already overstretched hospitals.
> Rally to STOP
> Devastating Hospital Cuts in Windsor
> Tuesday January 19. 12 noon. Caesar's Windsor. 377 Riverside Dr. E.
> For more information: contact Ken 519-819-0830.
> We are organizing the rallies in partnership with the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Ontario Common Front.
> ~ Protecting Public Medicare for All ~
> Ontario Health Coalition
> 15 Gervais Drive, Suite 604
> Toronto, ON M3C 1Y8
> 416-441-2502

Posted Dec. 21st, 2015

On behalf of SOS, I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year. 

Just a reminder that the SDH Corporation members meeting will take place from 5-7 on Wednesday, January 20th,  2016 at the UAW Hall. 

This will be an important meeting.
Paid members only can vote but the meeting is open to the public. An agenda will be available in January.

Conrad, SOS Chair

Posted Dec. 14th, 2015

Join Us for the 26th Annual Christmas Wish Tree Lighting Ceremony

 CHATHAM, ON (Monday, December 14, 2015): Over the years, the Foundation of Chatham-Kent Health Alliance’s (CKHA) Annual Christmas Wish Tree Appeal has become a cherished tradition in our community. Through this appeal, residents of Chatham-Kent are able to publicly honour a family member, friend, colleague and/or business by making a donation to illuminate a blue, silver or gold Christmas Wish Tree light in support of local healthcare.

 To date, over $87,000 has been raised through this year’s appeal in support of the CKHA Diagnostic Imaging Equipment Renewal Campaign. 

 Donations to the 26th Annual Christmas Wish Tree Appeal can be made via, 519.436.2538 or in-person at the Foundation of CKHA office at 9 Ursuline Ave., in Chatham.

 The Christmas Wish Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place simultaneously on Thursday night at CKHA’s Chatham and Sydenham Campuses:

 Date: Thursday, December 17, 2015

 Time:  6:30 p.m.

Location: Chatham-Kent Health Alliance

                 Chatham Campus: Memorial Healing Gardens, 80 Grand Ave. West, Chatham

                 Sydenham Campus: Front Grounds, 325 Margaret Ave., Wallaceburg

 Photo opportunities:

  • Representatives from Foundation of CKHA and CKHA as well as members of the community will be present to light the Christmas Wish Tree
  • Chatham Campus:  interview and photo opportunities with Dr. Cassie Harnarine, Chair, Board of Directors, Foundation of CKHA
  • Sydenham Campus:  interview and photo opportunities with Michele Grzebien-Huckson, Executive Director, Foundation of CKHA
  • For more information, please contact:
    Barbara Noorenberghe, Development Officer – Special Events   

Foundation of Chatham-Kent Health Alliance           / 519-436-2538


Posted Nov. 21, 2015

Invitation to supporters of SDH

Christmas Wish Tree Lighting Ceremony
Dec. 17th @ 6h30
Sydenham Campus
Front Grounds

See you there.

Posted Nov. 21, 2015
To: SDH Corporation members
To: SDH Community

From: Sheldon Parsons, Chair SDH Board

October 28, 2015

SDH Corporate Member Meeting Highlights


The following reports were made by staff to the Members Meeting held on October 28th



Facility Assessment

The members received a report on the SDH Facility Assessment and Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) site visit conducted in August 2015.


Despite over $3.3M in investments to maintain the building and support patient and staff safety since 2012, the building requires an additional $2M - $10M in renovations to sustain its current state. The presentation affirmed that the Board and Administration agree that there are some incurable problems with the hospital facility and it needs to be replaced not repaired. 


While the $77M !magine project has been considered by the MOHLTC and is supported by the LHIN, after four years there remains no definitive timelines to move to the next stage. It has been suggested that consideration be given to bring forward options that do not exceed $10M, as this funding level has a different approval process, which is both less complex and is expected to move faster.   Administration is in the process of working through a feasibility study and will bring forward options within a $10M funding envelope for the Board’s consideration in early 2016. It should be noted that as with all capital projects, a community share of 20-25% would still be required to support any MOHLTC approved capital project. 


Review of Services at SDH


W. Kirenko provided a presentation on the services available at the Sydenham Campus and the implementation of point of care testing. A list of services at the Campus is available on CKHA’s website:


Governance Renewal


The PGH and SJH hospital boards plan to merge and asked SDH to endorse that merger.  The SDH Board is obtaining legal advice in this regard.


New Board Committees


  1. By-law Committee

    G. Lung reported that the board approved a bylaw amendment to allow non-directors to sit on Board Committees and the board will appoint those members.


  2. Membership Committee

C. Noel reported that he is Chair of the Membership Committee and he plans to increase the membership.  The SOS members have been asked to join the Membership Committee.



For more information on these and other matters relating to SDH Membership, please contact Sheldon Parsons, SDH Board Chair at 519 359-1969 or Conrad Noel, SDH Membership Chair at 519 359-6119..

Posted Oct. 27, 2015

Reminder of SDH Corporation meeting on Wednesday, October 28th at 5 pm at the UAW Hall.  Meeting is also open to the general public.
Issues discussed will be: Sydenham District Hospital -- Options to consider
                                       : Services available at SDH
                                       : Update on PGH / SJH Hospitals merger
                                       : Report on two new SDH Board committees

Next meeting is January 20, 2016  UAW Hall.   Hold the date.

Chatham-Kent Health Coalition's General meeting on Monday, November 2nd, 2015 @ 6:00 pm .  Place: Unifor Local 127, 280 Merritt Avenue, Chatham  Small Board Room.
Agenda: General Business and Planning our next move.
Posted Sept. 29th, 2015
Message from Sheldon Parsons, Chair SDH Board

The Chair’s Message to Members of SDH Corporation

Save the Date – 5pm – October 28th – UAW Hall

 A lot has happened since we last communicated with you. Your Board has met twice. 
On the 16rd of September we met and dealt with some very important issues: 
  •  A top to bottom building tour and discussion with key maintenance and engineering staff 
  •  Formed a By-Laws Committee and considered draft terms of reference with a goal to modernizing our by-laws and allowing non-directors to serve as members of SDH committees  
  •  Approved the formation of a Membership Committee 
  • Received a comprehensive report on services and staffing at SDH 
  •  Received first hand reports of a tour of SDH by the Ministry of Health and reps from our board 
  • Learned that PGH and SJH have agreed to merge into one board
  • On the 23rd of September we met with the Chair, Vice Chair and Executive Director of the LHIN to discuss, at their request, the following:
  •          Matters discussed at a CKHA meeting in May of this year relating to governance renewal  
  •           The outcome of the tour of the building by the Ministry of Health in August 
  •           SDH’s response to the proposed merger of our partner hospital boards.
Governance Renewal – we continue to work towards modernizing our by-laws and streamlining our governance. Our consultant has recommended staggered terms of office for directors. At their recommendation, we have reduced the size of our board to 5 from 7. We have not proceeded with the recommendation of the consultant to merge with PGH and SJH into one board for a number of reasons but we have not ruled it out in the future. We’ve made it clear that some conditions need to be met and the concurrence of the membership is required.
Building Condition - Your Board has discussed the condition of our building in the context of the !magine project, in the context of building legislation that will require our compliance by 2025 and in the context of other applications that are also in the queue from our LHIN area. We want to share all of this information with you and receive your input before we proceed any further. 
Merger of PGH and SJH – we were informed of this earlier this year and by a press release in June, learned that both Boards approved a merger at their AGMs. We recently received a letter from the other boards announcing their intention to merge and requesting our endorsement and inviting us to join the merger. These types of things don’t happen without legal advice, so your Board is in the process of retaining legal counsel and a full report to the membership will follow.
We look forward to the member’s meeting on the 28th and encourage you to attend. We encourage you to bring friends and family and anyone you think is interested in the healthcare system that serves our communities. It should be a very informative meeting. We will receive a report from staff on services at SDH and we will have a wholesome discussion on the condition of the building and options that are available to us. 


Posted Sept. 3, 2015

Sydenham District Hospital Corporation Message to Members: 

After our annual meeting, your elected directors (Sheldon Parsons, Conrad Noel, Kris Lee, George Lung, Herb John) met and chose the following executive:
Chair - Sheldon Parsons
Vice Chair - Conrad Noel
By-Law Committee Chair - George Lung
Membership Committee Chair - Conrad Noel Director -
Director Kris Lee
 Director - Herb John 

We decided to meet as a Board on Wednesdays at SDH in the Board Room on 2 West or at the UAW Hall as follows:

Date Time Location

September 16, 2015 4:00 – 6:00 PM 2 West Boardroom,

SDH Campus October 28, 2015 3:00 – 5:00 PM  (member meeting to follow at 5PM) UAW Hall, Wallaceburg

November 18, 2015 4:00 – 6:00 PM 2 West Boardroom,

SDH Campus January 20, 2016 3:00 – 5:00 PM  (member meeting to follow at 5PM) UAW Hall, Wallaceburg

March 23, 2016 3:00 – 5:00 PM  (member meeting to follow at 5PM) UAW Hall, Wallaceburg

May 18, 2016 4:00 – 6:00 PM  2 West Boardroom, SDH Campus 

All of the open portion of our meetings are open to the public and to members and you are welcome to attend - just let us know that you are coming so we can have chairs available. 

We will be hosting Members Meetings on the following dates with the following topics of interest:        Date Time / Location Topic

October 28, 2015 5:00 PM – UAW Hall Building Issues and update report on !magine

January 20, 2016 5:00 PM – UAW Hall By-Law issues and membership renewals

March 23, 2016 5:00 PM – UAW Hall Proposed By-Law changes and late memberships

June 23, 2016 5:00 PM – UAW Hall Annual General Meeting and Election of Directors 

We, as your elected Board, welcome your input and suggestions. Our contact information is set out above and we ask that you communicate directly with us about any issues that you have concerns about. Anything brought to our attention will be discussed at our next Board meeting. 

Sheldon Parsons, Board Chair 
Comments by Conrad Noel  
All of the meetings are open to the general public but you do not have the right to vote.
Posted Aug.17th, 2015

A) On Monday Aug. 8th, George Lung and Conrad Noel participated in the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care Sydenham Campus Review and Tour.   Sarah Padfield, Chief Operating Officer, CKHA  presented  a Functional Overview / Review of Sydenham Campus which included:1) Review of program/service changes at Sydenham Campus
                         2) Review Operational Challenges.

The following attendees had a comprehensive tour of SDH: 4 from Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, 3 from CKHA, 3 from ESLHIN, Chair of the Imagine Steering Committee, 2 SDH Directors and 3 from the Dialog Design Team.

On Sept. 16th, at its next meeting, the SDH Board will have an opportunity to discuss the the SDH Review/Tour.  More information will be posted after the meeting.

B)  Our first SDH Corporation meeting will take place at the UAW Hall, on October 28th from 5-7.  Only 2015-2016 Corporation members can vote. The meeting is also open to the public.

C) Others meeting dates to mark on your calendar:
  • Wednesday, Jan. 20th from 5-7 @ UAW Hall for the 2nd SDH Corporation members.
  • Wednesday, March 23, 2016 5-7 @ UAW Hall for the 3rd SDH Corporation members.
  • Thursday, June 23rd, 2016 from 5-7 @ UAW Hall 2016 AGM.
  • ____________________________________________________________________

Posted July 8th:

SDH Corporation officers for 2015-2016

Chair:                      Sheldon Parsons
Vice-chair:              Conrad Noel
Director                   Herb John
Director                   Kris Lee
Director                   George Lung

Secretary:               Colin Patey
Posted July 3rd

SDH Directors to elect Chair and Vice Chair on Wednesday, July 8th.

Posted July 3rd, 2015

Follow up to Jeff's meting with Ministry of Health and Long Term Care

From: "Hylton, Michelle-Ann (MOHLTC)" <>
Date: June 26, 2015 at 3:50:16 PM EDT
To: "Wesley, Jeff" <>
Subject: RE: Thank You for the Meeting with Michelle-Ann Hylton Re: Sydenham District Hospital

Hi Jeff,

It was a pleasure meeting you last month. I wanted to follow up given our discussion re Sydenham's capital proposal.

The Ministry is keen on assessing the state of the facility and getting a better sense of the Alliance's overall capital plans. As such, officials from the capital branch will visit the area over the course of the summer.

While this does not change the status of the hospital's application, it will serve to provide the Ministry with a clear understanding of the overall capital plans put forward by the Alliance and a sense of the more immediate needs.

We look forward to continued progress on this file.

Posted June 26, 2015

  • SDH Corporation members elected at their AGM on Thursday June 25th, the following 5 Directors to represent SDH on the CKHA :  Herb John, Kris Lee, George Lung, Conrad Noel, Sheldon Parsons.
  • Special thanks to Jeff Wesley who truly represented SDH as Chair of SDH Directors on CKHA for the past year.  Jeff decided not to put his name forward for another term but we all know that Jeff is totally committed to a resolution for a new Hospital in Wallaceburg.  Jeff also continues to sit as an SOS member.  We all appreciate his honestly and devotion to our community.
  • People have asked how to join SOS.  All you have to do is to email Conrad will contact you with pertinent details.

Posted: June 21
Subject: SDH Corporation Annual Meeting Thursday, June 25th at 5:00 pm UAW Hall.
To:        SDH Corporation members
From:    Conrad Noel, SOS Chairperson
Hopefully,  you  have received, through email, the SDH Corporation  AGM Agenda.  If you haven’t received it, please email me right away  (
This email is a reminder that our Sydenham Hospital Corporation meeting takes  place on Thursday, June 25th at 5:00 pm at the UAW Hall on Elm Street.  You paid your $10.00 membership fees and it is crucial that you attend the Annual General Meeting. Your paid membership gives you the right to vote but also have a say as to what happens to our SDH Hospital.  We have lost so much because we did not have SDH Directors who truly represented SDH interests. For the second year, we have committed members.
Your presence is really important for various reasons:
  • Your legal right to elect 5 SDH Directors who will represent us at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Tri-Board.
  • This year there are 7 candidates for 5 positions... Herb John, Kristine Lee, George Lung, Gary Martin, Conrad Noel, Sheldon Parsons, William Steep.
  • Chatham-Kent Health Alliance cannot change anything written in the SDH By-Laws unless the SDH Corporation members approve the changes. Public General Hospital Corporation membership was dissolved in 2014. The  Alliance will  try to do the same to SDH Corporation  unless we keep our stand, participate in Corporation meetings, increase our membership and refuse to be dissolved.
If you have questions, please do not hesitate to call or text Conrad (519-359-6119) or email
SOS and the SDH Hospital community is counting on you.

General public is invited to the AGM except that  you will not be able to vote

Posted: June 10,2015
  1. 2015-2016 SDH Corporation members will vote at the Annual General meeting on June 25th for  5 SDH Directors.  Those who applied are as follows: Herb John, Kris Lee, George Lung, Gary Martin, Conrad Noel, Sheldon Parsons, William (Bill) Steep.
  2. The AGM to be held at the UAW Hall, will begin at 5 pm.  Only the 165 who paid their $10.00  SDH Corporation membership  will be allowed to vote.
  3. It is  REALLY important for these 165 members to attend and vote.  Your presence is vital and crucial.
  4.  Meeting is also open to the general public.
Message from Shirley Roebuck
June 14th, 2015

Dear Friends,

  I just added the petition: Prime Minister Harper should re-sign the Canada Health Accord.

  It would mean a lot to me if you took a moment to add your name because:
  If the Canada Health Accord is not re-signed, then more and more health care services will be privatized, and moved out of local communities and into larger regional centres.

  Real change happens when everyday people like you and I come together and stand up for what we believe in.  Together we can reach heaps of people and help create change around this important issue.

  After you've signed the petition please also take a moment to share it with others.  It's super easy – all you need to do is forward this email.

  Thank you!
From: Wesley, Jeff
Sent: June-10-15 11:43 AM
Subject: Thank You for the Meeting with Michelle-Ann Hylton Re: Sydenham District Hospital

Dear Hon. Minister of Health and Long - Term Care Dr. Eric Hoskins:

On May 26th it was an honour to attend a meeting with Michelle - Ann Hylton to discuss Sydenham District Hospital in Wallaceburg. This meeting was set up through Michael Ferguson of your office and I found both Michelle and Michael to be very professional, interested and well informed on our local issue.

The immediate and long term future of Sydenham District Hospital ("SDH") has been a concern for many years and as a long time member of Council, a former Mayor and current Chairperson of the SDH Board I have taken on, with the full support of the SDH Board and Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Board, the task of searching for answers that would give the SDH catchment area some comfort in what the future holds. As it currently sits the community remains concerned and fearful about what may lay around the next corner. 

We all know that health care continues to evolve and that finances, at all levels of government, remain a challenge but we respectfully request a response to two questions of concern:

First Question of Concern

1. Where does the project to replace SDH ( as part of the larger Imagine project for CKHA) sit in the capital queue and what can we do or what information can we provide to move the project along in the process?

Second Question of Concern

2. Parts of SDH are in poor condition and there is a concern that at some point someone will say the current hospital is unfit or unsafe and if this happens before a decision is made on the project to replace SDH our hospital will be lost forever. Our communities need an answer on the Ministry's evaluation of the current condition of SDH and what needs to be done to insure it will remain open until a project to replace SDH is approved and completed.

Answers to these two questions of concern, whatever those answers may be, will provide some comfort and certainty to the various communities served by SDH. On their behalf I respectfully request a substantive response to both. The Annual General Meeting for SDH is on June 25th starting at 5:00 pm - a response by this date would allow the full membership and interested communities to be updated. Thank you for your consideration of this request.