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Horizon Health Network Making Major Changes to Improve Health Care for New Brunswickers

(Fredericton) January 29, 2015 - Horizon Health Network's Board approved the organization's strategic plan at their regularly scheduled board meeting today in Fredericton. Horizon Health Network's President and CEO John McGarry presented the five year plan, entitled Horizon Health Network and Partners: A Healthier Future for New Brunswick, and identified four strategic priorities to move the organization forward.  

"The approved plan is a new direction for the organization and addresses the changes required to better serve and care for patients across Horizon", said David Ferguson, Board Chair of Horizon Health Network. 

"The status quo isn't working to provide the best care for our patients; that is why we created a plan to improve the care we provide to our patients today and in the future", said John McGarry, President and CEO of Horizon Health Network. "By consulting with the public, our health-care partners, staff, and physicians, we're confident that the strategic priorities we identified provide real solutions to improve the overall patient experience and health outcomes for New Brunswickers."   

Horizon Health Network's (Horizon) first priority is to provide a patient and family centred care environment which will be fundamental to all actions performed by the organization. Patients and their families will now be placed at the centre of all decisions relating to their health care.    

Their second priority is to create five new Horizon Centres of Expertise in the areas of: Aging and Eldercare, Neurosciences, Maternal/Child, Oncology, and Nephrology, and reaffirm their commitment to the quality services already provided at the NB Heart Centre in Saint John and the Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation in Fredericton. The Horizon Centres of Expertise will be designed to provide strong central clinical leadership in our major programs. This will help us provide the best and safest quality care for patients in all settings by leveraging professionals who are highly trained and skilled to treat specific illnesses. In this system, clinical leadership will become more centralized, but New Brunswickers will still have access to the services they need in their community. This move to more central leadership should provide for best practice, and also support increased medical research and innovation within New Brunswick.

Improving access to community-based primary care and support complex tertiary services required by an aging population is the third priority. To better serve patients, Horizon will reallocate resources to expand community-based primary care to ensure more quality care and services are available 'close to home'. Increasing community services will provide better disease management, and also provide better care for New Brunswick's aging population. Tertiary care services, which are complex, high cost services, require reallocation of resources to support the infrastructure, highly skilled staff and physicians and technology. 

The fourth priority is a commitment to work with all of our partners to enhance the care provided to Horizon patients and their families. That will mean changing the current care models and Horizon is committed to advocate loudly to break down barriers and create models that meet those needs.

The strategic priorities identified in the plan demonstrate strong clinical leadership, and will drive research and innovation, increase recruitment, and improve the overall health-care outcomes for New Brunswick. Horizon also plans to more than triple its current research capacity to spur medical innovation and become a leader in medical research in Atlantic Canada. 

Horizon's strategic plan was developed over a 13 month period with collaboration and input from Horizon patients and their families, staff, physicians, stakeholders and communities.    

"As part of the implementation of this plan, we look forward to regularly communicating with patients and communities to ensure they are receiving the quality care they need", McGarry said.  "Horizon will also collaborate with Vitalité Health Network and other stakeholders to better serve a common community, and to ensure outstanding care to all New Brunswickers." 

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For more information contact:

Carolyn McCormack, APR
Media Relations

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