News: Windsor-Essex

Annual General Meeting - Letter from the VON Erie St. Clair District Executive Director, Andrew Ward

As we reflect on the past year we have much to be thankful for, as we have succeeded in achieving outstanding results in many of our programs and services, while delivering a balanced budget.  All of this has been achieved with our Core Values of respect, participation, responsiveness and courage at the forefront in everything that we do.

Of particular note, we worked very hard to obtain bold strong partnerships with other organizations, embarked upon a LEAN improvement journey and established a relationship management framework with funders and customers.

All of this means that as an organization we have harnessed the skills, expertise, dedication and energy of our Windsor Essex Board, our regulated and non regulated staff, and amazing army of volunteers to touch the lives of huge numbers of people in their hour of need.

Some of the highlights of the past year include:

  • Around 36,000 Nursing visits (most often to the patients home)
  • Over 42,000 meals delivered via our meals on Wheels program
  • 464 clients receiving much needed Home Help services
  • The Ontario Student Nutrition Program ensured that 24,000 students received nutritious breakfasts and snacks in Windsor Essex
  • VON provided a safe and supportive home to 25 individuals through our Supportive Housing units and the dedication of our team of personal support Workers
  • The DETOUR program provided much needed respite and care for 78 seniors in crisis who were diverted from hospital to our program located at Dolce Vita Rest and Retirement home on Erie Street Windsor
  • 479 clients were provided assessment and support via our Chronic Pain Program

Looking forward, healthcare in our communities stands on the edge of a comprehensive and systemic change. Recent reports on healthcare describe a “broken” system where new solutions are sought with emphasis on community care, increased efficiency in service coordination, delivery of services through partnership and integration, and increased patient choice for service. VON ESC is well positioned to serve in this capacity and we look forward to being a prominent voice and willing partner in these changes.

In March of this year, an expert panel created by the Ministry of Health and Long term Care reported on the current state of health care in Ontario. Drawing from consultations with patients, caregivers and health care providers, the group provided 16 recommendations to improve our health care system.

Amongst these system improvements we expect to see the following:

  • Better connected services for acute care patients that are discharged from hospital
  • More accountability from lead agencies that direct the care of those with chronic disease and limiting health conditions
  • More patient control of the services provided for those with complex health and social issues
  • A greater emphasis on rehabilitation and respite services in community settings.

VON strongly supports the renewed emphasis on home and community care, and as a Not for Profit Charity, is uniquely positioned to play a leading role in developing new programs and services while bridging the gap between the dollars available and the rapidly escalating demand for services.

As a Charity we are able to leverage the philanthropy of the community to support improvement and change on behalf of the Site. I offer a heartfelt THANK YOU to our staff and volunteers for your support of our services through your selfless dedication to your work, your generous gift of your time and your support for our fundraising efforts.

For VON our tag line Health Starts at Home has never been more relevant, and we look forward to working with patients, caregivers, health care partners and funders to shape a community health care model of which we can all be proud. 

Yours in service,

Andrew Ward, District Executive Director, VON Erie St. Clair

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