The story of a private family foundation acting as an “outside social intervener” in a community healthcare system
As is the case in many areas around the world, our healthcare system is currently experiencing serious difficulties in meeting the needs of our communities. Since our family has long spent weekends at our family country home in the small community of des Sommets, we decided to make a contribution to the local hospital and the community healthcare centres that make up the Centre de santé et service sociaux (CSSS) des Sommets.
When we approached the CSSS des Sommets with our desire to make a contribution, we inquired as to how our money would be used. We found out that the healthcare services in our area had significant organizational issues, most of which were related to human resources. Having had similar experiences in our business, we offered to focus our efforts in this area.
Our goals were to:
- help make the healthcare centre a destination of choice for patients and medical personnel;
- contribute to making the healthcare centre a unit of excellence (where everything that is done is done well); and
- assist in reshaping the centre’s approach by putting patients at the heart of the system and emphasizing the human resources dimension.
These were difficult concepts for staff members to accept in a system that measured performance by the number of beds in use. Nevertheless, we felt that this was exactly what the CSSS needed to better meet the needs of the community.