“It is through our collaboration that we are able to play off of each other’s strengths to support the health care system to continually make health care better and safer for the residents of Saskatchewan. Together we are mighty.”Dr. Susan Shaw
Saskatchewan has a long history of continuously working to improve our healthcare for the betterment of the people we serve. Our single provincial health authority has been operating for just over one year, and while there is much to be proud of, there will always be a lot more work to do. As a health care system, we are continuously learning how to work differently. This includes collaborating with one another to “think and act as one.”
While learning how to think and act as one doesn’t happen overnight, there have been many exciting early examples of our system doing just that. As the Board Chair of the Health Quality Council and the Chief Medical Officer of the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA), I have been delighted to witness the level of collaboration between our two organizations. The SHA has benefited from HQC’s analytic and measurement contributions to the development of the new Health Networks, the Prince Albert Demonstration Site, and the identification and design of new high-level measures of health system performance.
I am also invigorated by the level of collaboration with our other system partners, including—but not limited—to the Ministry of Health, Saskatchewan Medical Association, eHealth Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR), and the College of Family Physicians of Saskatchewan. It is through our collaboration that we are able to play off of each other’s strengths to support the health care system to continually make health care better and safer for the residents of Saskatchewan. Together we are mighty.
I would like to take a moment to thank our Board and leadership team for the time and energy you have put into our new strategic direction. The leadership team has worked tirelessly at creating an exciting new path forward with much passion and recognition that HQC should go “back to its roots” and look at how to utilize its core strengths to help the system move forward. While I’m excited about our new commitment to address the social determinants of health, I’d like to take a moment to appreciate the work that HQC has done in the past year to help improve health care in the province.
We need doctors acting as champions and catalysts for change and we are seeing that in our Clinical Quality Improvement Program (CQIP) alumni, who are participating on or leading improvement projects across the system. I’m also very pleased to see many of our CQIP alumni applying their learnings in new ways by accepting leadership roles across the province. The SHA is very fortunate to have several CQIP graduates step into physician leadership roles, such as Dr. Nicolette Sinclair and Dr. Kyle Moulton, who were recently appointed Saskatoon Area Leads for Medical Imaging. It’s also great seeing SHA physician leaders, such as Dr. Kevin Wasko, Dr. Shadé Onaolapo, and Dr. Randy Friesen, complete CQIP to further develop themselves as leaders. As well, the SHA’s very own Dr. Phillip Fourie, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, is sharing his passion and expertise as one of the excellent team members of the CQIP faculty. These are but a few of the CQIP connections that make me proud and grateful to have this program available.
I am also thrilled that HQC has maintained its commitment to meaningful patient engagement in its work. March 7th, 2019 was a day of much inspiration for the system as HQC and the SHA collaborated to host two screenings of Falling Through the Cracks: The Greg Price Story. I attended the morning event, where system leaders and patient and family advisors joined Greg and Teri Price in engaging dialogue to ignite positive change in our system, learning from our neighbours in Alberta. The Price family continues to keep Greg’s memory alive, creating a movement that is touching many across the country and globe. I thank them for challenging us all to work together, to think and act as one, to create a safe and seamless health care system for our patients and families. The Price family inspires us in a powerful and hopeful way while reminding us that we all share the responsibility, no matter our role, to make meaningful change.
The 2018-2019 fiscal year marked 16 years since HQC officially opened its doors. I cannot express my appreciation enough for the work that HQC has done, and will continue to do, based on our mandate to accelerate improvement in the quality of health and health care across Saskatchewan. As we step forward into new work including addressing the social determinants of health and our other strategic focus areas, I know there is no limit to what we can achieve and the lives we will touch in making both health and health care better for everyone in this province we call home.
Dr. Susan Shaw
Chair, HQC Board of Directors