Headwaters Health Care Centre CEO stresses importance of Board of Directors during recruitment process

February 15, 2024   ·   0 Comments

By Zachary Roman, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

An interesting volunteer opportunity is available for residents of Dufferin and Caledon.

On February 5, Headwaters Health Care Centre (HHCC) announced it was seeking applicants for its Board of Directors.

HHCC President and CEO Kim Delahunt shared in a February 8 interview that there are many reasons board members play an important role in shaping the future of the hospital. She also said there’s many reasons it’s beneficial to be an HHCC Board member.

“First and foremost, it’s a way to give back to the local community and fulfil a sense of civic duty… that’s most often what I hear from our Board members is that they really just wanted to give back and support the community and their own community hospital,” said Delahunt.

She said being a Board member is an opportunity to use one’s skills and knowledge for good, and an opportunity to take on a leadership role. Board members can also influence policy at the hospital, explained Delahunt.

“We spend a lot of time discussing quality of care and patient experience,” said Delahunt. “There’s a lot of valuable experience (Board members) can share… which forms a better experience for their neighbours, friends and family.”

Board members often feel a sense of personal satisfaction, said Delahunt, for personally contributing to the health and wellbeing of others in their community.

Delahunt said the HHCC generally recruits new board members once a year, as it looks to fill any vacancies on its up-to-15-person board. 

“It’s a very robust process… this year we are recruiting for a few new Board directors… we have a skills-based board approach,” she said. 

HHCC Board members bring a wide variety of skills and lived experience to the table, with representation from finance, legal, clinical, and health system backgrounds, for example. The HHCC also seeks to represent the diversity of the Dufferin-Caledon community in its Board.

The HHCC Board meets monthly, except in July and August. Each board meeting begins with a patient story, which Delahunt said grounds everyone and reminds them why they’re there: to help the patients the HHCC serves.

“Following the patient story at every board meeting, there’s a board education topic that is covered,” explained Delahunt. “We try to keep it relevant to something that’s happening in the industry or in the sector or within the hospitals… we’re always trying to support ongoing board education.”

After that, meetings shift towards strategic discussion, where reports on how the hospital is advancing its strategic plan are shared and discussed. Board members are able to learn the inner workings of the hospital and discuss ways to improve service with their colleagues.

Board meetings also include typical board work, such as governance items and discussion of reports from committees. Each board member is responsible for joining at least one committee — committees meet bi-monthly, separate from the main board. 

Delahunt shared there are currently three committees: a finance and audit committee, a governance committee, and a quality committee.

“We set and create a Board work plan each and every year,” said Delahunt, adding that this helps everyone know what is required and what’s coming each year.

Delahunt said recruiting Board members is always exciting because the HHCC gets to tap into their expertise and experience. In return, the HHCC offers Board members various learning opportunities.

“There are many amazing free board education opportunities… we always provide a board calendar and a list of upcoming events,” said Delahunt. “It’s up to each individual board member… how much ongoing education they’d like to do.”

Some HHCC Board members are retired, while others still work full-time jobs.

“We’ve got a diversity of ages, diversity of backgrounds, diversity of cultures, diversity of skill sets,” said Delahunt. “At the end of the day, we are always very cognizant that their volunteers are volunteering their time… we like to make things optional whenever possible… if there’s anything that’s a requirement, we try to incorporate it into existing committee or board meetings.”

As CEO, Delahunt said she often taps into and relies on the HHCC Board of Directors. She said in a post-pandemic world with an aging population, more and more people are realizing the importance of health care.

Those interested in becoming a board member can submit an expression of interest via email to by March 29.

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