Frequently Asked Questions
Since its inception in 2003, the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA/Alliance) has operated as an integrated organization, including a single Board of Directors, Administration and Professional Staff and fully integrated systems and processes. The HPHA is also the single employer of the hospitals’ employees.
Our Alliance Agreement has remained largely unchanged since 2003. With the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (Ontario) (the “ONCA”) recently coming into force, it was determined that there are a number of updates to the Alliance Agreement that are necessary for the governance model set out in the Alliance Agreement to align with the governance structure, decision-making thresholds and the conflict of interest provisions set out in the ONCA. The HPHA corporations, like all Ontario not-for-profit corporations, must comply with the ONCA by October 19, 2024. In addition, the Alliance Agreement would need to be updated to reflect other applicable laws, notably health privacy laws. The Board of Directors, when reviewing the various options available to update the organization’s governance model, determined that the most responsible decision was to formalize the manner in which the organization has operated for 20 years and further achieve system integration achieved by the Corporations under the Alliance Agreement by amalgamating the four existing corporations into one corporation.
This decision ensures the HPHA’s governance structure reflects best-practices in today’s health care environment for the continued effective oversight of our four hospital sites.
What does this mean for HPHA hospitals?
The amalgamation will streamline operations and improve administrative efficiencies. We anticipate that this will ultimately reduce the number of agreements the HPHA has with Ontario Health and the Ministry of Health. For example:
- One Hospital Service Accountability Agreement (funding agreement) with Ontario Health.
- Currently the HPHA has four agreements – one for each hospital site.
- One set of Audited Financial Statements.
- Currently the HPHA has five audited financial statements – one for each hospital site and one set of consolidated audited financial statements for the Alliance.
- One funding letter and reporting requirement per initiative with Ontario Health/Ministry of Health (e.g. temporary wage enhancements)
- Currently the HPHA has four funding letters and reporting requirements – one for each hospital site.
We anticipate the amalgamation will result in a reduction to the HPHA’s third party legal and accounting costs.
There will be no impact
on programs, services or staffing as a result of the amalgamation.
What will happen to the HPHA hospitals?
Our four hospitals will continue to provide high quality health services.
Is this just an attempt to close hospitals?
No. Since its inception, the HPHA has remained committed to operating four strong viable sites and this commitment will continue under the amalgamated corporation.
How will an amalgamation benefit patients?
Patients will continue to receive high quality care. There are no impacts to programs or services that will arise as a result of the amalgamation.
Will staff lose jobs because of this?
No. There will be no reduction to staffing as a result of the amalgamation.
Is the name of my local hospital changing?
The name of the amalgamated corporation will be the “Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance”. The amalgamated corporation will operate our four hospital sites, which will retain their names as follows:
What will happen to local fundraising?
- Clinton Public Hospital
- St. Marys Memorial Hospital
- Seaforth Community Hospital
- Stratford General Hospital
The existing four foundations will not be impacted by the amalgamation and will continue to operate independently. Each foundation will continue to have its own separate Board of Directors, will raise funds for their own local hospital priorities and will fully control all of their own foundation funds.
What will happen to hospital Auxiliaries/Volunteer Councils?
Auxiliaries/Volunteer Councils will not be impacted by the amalgamation, will remain separate and will continue to support their respective hospital sites.
What will happen to local Medical Staffs?
Currently, each hospital is required to have its own Medical Staff Association. Under the new corporate structure, the HPHA will have one Medical Staff Association; however, the individual physician roles at each hospital site will not change as a result of this process. Each hospital site will have a Site Chief and one of the Site Chiefs will also serve as the Chief of Staff for the HPHA.
Will the Local Advisory Committees continue to exist in the new structure?
The Local Advisory Committees will no longer exist as Board Committees. Elements of their existing mandate do not comply with the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (Ontario). The HPHA remains committed to developing a clear engagement strategy with all of the communities that we serve. There will be further consultation to inform how the HPHA can most effectively engage with our communities and interested parties through our revised governance structure.
Will there be a change to the composition of the HPHA Board of Directors?
Board composition of the amalgamated corporation will not change.
The members and the Board will make every effort to ensure that the elected directors for the amalgamated corporation reside or work in the following catchment areas to ensure the Board has diverse geographical representation from the HPHA’s communities:
- One Director from the catchment area served by the Clinton Public Hospital;
- One Director from the catchment area served by the St. Marys Memorial Hospital;
- One Director from the catchment area served by the Seaforth Community Hospital;
- One Director from the City of Stratford; and
- Seven Directors from the catchment area served by the Corporation.
Ex officio (non-voting) Directors:
Have there been a lot of similar amalgamations in the province?
- Chief of Staff;
- Site Chief from each of the Hospital Sites that are not represented by the Chief of Staff;
- President of Medical Staff;
- President & Chief Executive Officer;
- Chief Nursing Executive; and
- Patient and Caregiver Partner
Yes. Examples in the area close to the HPHA include:When will the amalgamation be completed?
Our goal is to complete the process of amalgamation by April 1, 2024. This will align with our fiscal year.
Does this mean the HPHA hospitals are privatizing?
Not at all. The four hospitals are Ontario not-for-profit corporations. The amalgamated corporation will also operate as an Ontario not-for-profit corporation.
How are you planning to keep our community informed of the progress of the proposed amalgamation and how can I get involved?
Interested people will be provided opportunities to ask questions and/or provide feedback to the process through a survey and virtual and in person meetings.
We will continue to build on this FAQ, as we advance through this process, to ensure we are addressing the topics that matter most to you.