Patrick Dumelie

Patrick Dumelie

November 9, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Covenant Health is vowing to meet the needs of those it serves through excellence in care, an engaged team and wise use of resources.

It also pledges to seek out and respond to the needs of the community, especially vulnerable and marginalized populations. This effort is designed to create systems of care that will enable people and communities to be healthy.

The Catholic health provider made these and other commitments at its annual community meeting at Fantasy-land Hotel Oct. 21.

The commitments originated last year when Covenant Health asked its community of staff, physicians, patients, residents, families, partners and funders: What is our potential?

"You told us our calling is to create vibrant communities of health and healing," Patrick Dumelie, president and CEO of Covenant Health, reminded those attending the meeting.

"You challenged us to transform the way we provide care and to improve quality of life for seniors, those with mental illness and those at end of life-indeed all who struggle with their health. We are answering the call," he said.

More than 250 people from across Alberta attended the meeting. Archbishop Richard Smith, speaking from Rome via video, praised Covenant Health for carrying on the legacy of the sisters who founded Alberta's health system and broight it into the modern world.

He appointed former Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach to take over as chair of Covenant's board of directors, replacing John Brennan

Dumelie, who delivered the organization's annual report, said the mission of Covenant Health is to be a healing presence and to build strong communities that care for Albertans.

"In 2014-15, we continued to grow and advance as a health care provider and as a valued partner in Alberta's health system," he said.

"We are embracing a renewed vision for greater service, growth, transformation and contribution. We are energized by the possibilities. Each day, our physicians, staff and volunteers come together as a community rooted in a thriving culture of quality and compassion. We will do more to support their calling and create environments for excellent care."

Communities are changing-aging, diversifying and growing, the CEO pointed out, vowing to stretch to meet the needs of individuals and families across Alberta.

THE VULNERABLE

"Those at the margins of our society seek connection, voice and healing. We will respond with innovation and courage to those most vulnerable."

Covenant Health, Dumelie added, "will build on a legacy of healing that encompasses all that it means to be human."

Covenant Health provides acute care and continuing care services at 17 facilities in 12 communities across the province. It employs more than 11,500 people, including more than 830 physicians. Close to 3,000 people volunteer for the organization.

A report that highlights the value that Covenant Health brings to the province says it is not a parallel system but part of Alberta's integrated health system.

"Covenant Health works collaboratively to meet the healthcare needs of people across Alberta based on priority health needs and stakeholder engagement."

The organization offers a full continuum of care from birth to end of life in its urban and rural hospitals, health centres and continuing care facilities.

"We provide large scale, high value and high volume core services for the system and specialty services unique to our organization that address unmet needs of communities and vulnerable populations."

VITAL STATS

  • Covenant Health's Edmonton hospitals account for nearly one quarter of the emergency department visits in the Edmonton zone.
  • The Misericordia and Grey Nuns make up about 30 per cent of the bed base within their zone.
  • The Misericordia completes 60 per cent of all breast cancer surgeries in the Edmonton zone, and has the third highest volume for completing hip fracture surgeries in the province.
  • Villa Caritas is Alberta's largest provider of geriatric mental health services and, collectively, Covenant Health facilities operate 250 beds in the province dedicated to serving those with mental illness at both rural and urban sites.
  • About 50 per cent of babies born in the Edmonton zone are born at the Misericordia or Grey Nuns Community Hospitals.
  • Covenant Health provides one in four provincially funded palliative and hospice beds in Alberta, supporting palliative needs in urban and rural communities, including Bonnyville, Camrose, Edmonton, Killam, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, St. Albert and Vegreville.
  • Nearly one in five Alberta babies is born at a Covenant Health hospital.