Mono Council hears update on local hospital, talks land acknowledgement

October 16, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Peter Richardson

Kim Delahunt, President and CEO of Headwaters Health Care Centre outlined the facility’s new Strategic Plan at a recent meeting of Mono Council. 

She presented the outlook for the coming year and explained the impact the COVID 19 pandemic has had on the local facility and the subsequent response to it, commending the hospital’s staff, both managerial and medical for their hard work and dedication throughout the year to date. 

She mentioned that the volumes of patients coming to Orangeville’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre have more than doubled in recent weeks. The one day record had 465 people visit, with Ms. Delahunt admitting the centre has been turning away 100 cars daily in the 8 hour operating schedule. They are currently looking at extending the hours of the centre and possibly setting up an additional pop-up testing site to help hand the volume.

Headwaters saw over 41,000 emergency visits last year, 25,000 out patient visits, 2,500 oncology consultations and 1,500 chemo-therapy treatments. There were 79,600 lab tests completed, 30,000 digital imaging tests and 5,910 in-patients admitted. All this was handled by a staff of around 760 people. 

Kim went on to describe the new main lobby being built in the hospital, the removal of the old spiral staircases to the lower level, new gift shop and cafe and a new registration area and a new and improved patient waiting area. She also mentioned the renewal of the urology program for treatment of urinary diseases and treatments for men and women as well as a new spinal assessment centre and education clinic for patients with long term back pain who are considering surgery and a rapid access clinic for those considering knee replacement .

The hospital is slowly and carefully returning to a more recognizable normal degree of operations, with the return of surgeries, the welcoming of normal visitation protocols and the restarting of all other hospital programs.

Land Acknowledgement

Council also discussed the Indigenous Land Acknowledgement declarations presented by the County of Dufferin through the MOD, to be read out at the beginning of all Council and Committee meetings. 

Although supporting the concept of the document, two council members in particular had concerns. Both questioned the length of the declaration and both felt it could and should be tightened up by the commission of certain possibly redundant sections, such a the mention of the Treaty 18 of 1818. 

Their opinion was that the statement was wordy and that the same things could possibly be expressed with fewer words. One of the councillors felt that this should be considered as a good start but could be reworded to reflect a statement more specific to Town of  Mono, rather than just accept the County wording. 

Coun. Ralph Manktelow felt this could also become stale, with the constant repetition and wanted this thought to be considered by Council and possible solutions such as having different members read the statement, be considered to keep the message pertinent and fresh. 

Another contentious point raised was that so far no one from the local Indigenous community has spoken to this announcement. Ralph, in particular felt that this should be pursued and their input considered in the reworking of the statement. 

Mayor Laura Ryan explained that Dufferi County Council had reached out to the Dufferin County Cultural Resource Circle, but that no response had been forthcoming and that none of the local elders had appeared willing to speak publicly concerning the wording, so County Council decided to proceed with what they had come up with. She said this was a first draft, so to speak and that should the Indigenous community come forward to assist in rewording this statement, it could be amended in the future. 

In the end, seeing the statement  as a “living document” and open to modification, Council voted to adopt it in it’s present form and look for some further input from the Indigenous Community to modify it as required.

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