CEO Weekly Updates - April 2018

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CEO Weekly Updates - April 2018


April 4 Special Message

In recent days, our attention as a province has been focused on how we can support those affected by the Humboldt Broncos bus crash. Those supports and our solidarity with the patients and families involved will continue, with more updates coming in the days ahead. In the meantime, we need to update you on other developments. One of those developments being the release of the provincial budget today.

Today's 2018-19 provincial budget enables the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) to finalize its first operating budget, which will be provided to its board of directors for consideration at the end of May.

The SHA has been provided with provincial funding of $3.5 billion for 2018-19 to assist patients and families across the province, and provide timely access to safe, quality health care services.

We are pleased that there is a net increase of $31.5 million to our base funding to address financial pressures and operating costs associated with the Jim Pattison Children's Hospital and Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford. In addition, $40.4 million has been targeted for specific program funding. The SHA and the Ministry will be developing implementation plans for these initiatives.

We know there are significant pressures on mental health and addictions, access to primary care, and supports for individuals with complex medical needs. While we recognize the government's budget commitments to these pressures, we anticipate we will continue to be challenged as we develop SHA's budget plan.

We recognize the need to make funding decisions that also demonstrate our commitment to financial stewardship, and finding efficiencies.

SHA's 2018-19 budget will amalgamate the funding of 12 regional health authorities into one provincial health authority operating plan for the first time. There is a tremendous amount of work that has been done, and that still remains to be done, to ensure we have balanced priorities across the province.

Transformation of the health care system is just beginning, and we need time to ensure we are making the changes needed to fully realize the benefits and opportunities it provides.

Today, the government has also announced that SHA Information Technology services and resources will be transferred to eHealth Saskatchewan, which will provide support for the Saskatchewan Health Authority. A transition plan is currently being developed and we will provide updates as the transition progresses.

This is one of a number of changes which are occurring to support the transformation of Saskatchewan's health care system into a more streamlined and effective delivery system. Another of the recent changes was the transfer of staff and funding for the Roy Romanow Provincial Laboratory to the SHA on April 1. In addition, there are plans underway to transfer the Physician Recruitment Agency of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations to the SHA.

The Ministry of Health has issued a news release with details about the health portion of the budget. Included in the materials is the 2018-2019 Operational Plan that identifies priorities for the entire health system.

The Quality, Safety and Strategy team is leading the development of the SHA's strategic and operational plan and the specific priorities that will help guide the organization during the next year, which will be focused on the current priorities and the need to assess the current state of the entire organization.

Thank you for your continued commitment to the patients and families we serve across Saskatchewan as we meet the challenges of the coming year.

If you have any questions about the budget or strategic planning process, please email

Scott Livingstone
CEO, Saskatchewan Health Authority

April 18 - Support for All Involved Extremely Important Following Weekend Tragedy

Saskatchewan Health Authority Employees and Physicians,

Physicians, nurses, social workers, clerks, paramedics, administrative staff, security and all other health professionals continue to work tirelessly to support the patients and families of those involved in the tragic Humboldt Broncos bus accident. I am so deeply impressed with your care and compassion. Sites across the region affected have handled this with care and dignity.

Today, we received further difficult news from the provincial coroner's office that two members of the Humboldt Broncos Junior 'A' hockey team were incorrectly identified as one another. One family who thought their son's life had been lost has regained him. Another family who thought their son had survived the accident is now grieving. Our hearts are with these families, and with all the families, friends and communities affected. We are putting all available supports in place to assist and support those affected.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority continues to provide mental health support for those in need in Humboldt and the other communities affected by these events. This includes support for family and community members, as well as first responders, emergency services personnel and hospital staff providing care for these patients and families.

I encourage each of you, as employees and physicians to reach out to your family, friends, colleagues and spiritual leaders for support. If these personal supports are not available to you or if you require additional support to deal with an acute emotional response, please contact the Employee and Family Assistance Program at 1-844-336-3136.

I also know that you may have friends outside the health system experiencing an acute emotional response that are not able to access our Employee and Family Assistance Program. Please encourage them to contact local crisis agencies or dial 9-1-1 in an emergency. In Saskatchewan, Healthline is a free resource available 24/7 for non-emergency support by dialing 8-1-1.

Though you have all been working under the most difficult of circumstances, I am proud to be your colleague and to live in this great province, where everyone has shown the world what it means to be from Saskatchewan.


Scott Livingstone
CEO, Saskatchewan Health Authority

April 25

Saskatchewan Health Authority Employees, Physicians and Partners:

As we reflect on the devastation that has surrounded us following the night of the Humboldt Broncos tragedy, the Saskatchewan Health Authority's support for the Humboldt Broncos family, friends and community remains critical now, and in the weeks to come. As family and friends of the victims and survivors lay to rest their loved ones, our organization must continue to support and assist them during their time of need.

We continue to provide mental health support for those affected by this tragedy, both within the organization and throughout the province. Taking care of others comes naturally to health care providers, but it is equally important you take care of yourself and your family. A special page on the website has been dedicated to information on Humboldt Support and I encourage everyone to visit this page to see the listing of resources and services available to them. The Humboldt Broncos have also set up a support page on their website Humboldt Strong, which shares updates and information related to the accident.

Last week the Government of Saskatchewan released their provincial budget. The SHA has been provided with provincial funding of approximately $3.5 billion for 2018-19 to assist patients and families across the province, and provide timely access to safe, quality health care services. Please be patient with us as we work to better understand the full implications of the provincial budget for the SHA and the people we serve. Our first budget as an organization is scheduled to be released at the end of May.

The government also announced that our Information Technology services and resources will be transferred to eHealth Saskatchewan, which will provide support for the Saskatchewan Health Authority. A joint SHA/eHealth steering committee has been created to oversee this transition. Updates will be provided as the transition progresses.

Transformation of the health care system is just beginning, and we need time to ensure we are making the changes needed to fully realize the benefits and opportunities it provides. Our Executive Leadership Team, Executive Directors and Area Chiefs of Staff are meeting this week to discuss the next phase of organizational design. The process of mapping our organizational structure is slightly behind our original timelines. While I apologize for the delay, I also believe it is important we do it right rather than do it fast. Please be patient as we work through this next phase. Together, we are committed to building an integrated system that puts patients first and remains focused on ensuring the right people, with the right skills are in the right job. I will provide a further update next week.

The health care system faces many unique security challenges. As a provincial organization we have the opportunity to leverage our collective strengths to ensure a safe and secure environment for patients, families, employees, physicians and volunteers in the communities that we serve.

I am pleased to inform you that we have partnered with an external consultant to undertake a review of our security services across the province. The review will include an assessment of the current state of security services, focus groups throughout the province and the development of a future state with recommendations for consideration. We will keep you informed as the review progresses.

Please remember that you can access these weekly updates on the Transition page of the intranet. The Transition Guide also serves as a great resource for you to see what the plan is moving forward and remind us of our accomplishments over the past several months.

If you have any questions, feedback or ideas about this process, please email

Thank you,

Scott Livingstone
CEO, Saskatchewan Health Authority