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Celebrating two years of SickKids CCMH and SickKids working together


Senior Leadership Team of SickKids CCMH, from left: Christina Bartha, Executive Director; Neill Carson, Clinical Director and Site Lead; Dr. Marshall Korenblum, Medical Director; Robert Giansante, Senior Manager of Operations

By Chris Bartha and Neill Carson, on behalf of the SickKids CCMH Senior Leadership Team

We just marked the second anniversary of the launch of SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health (SickKids CCMH) on February 1. As part of our integration workplan, we launched a new Strategic Plan last summer; the plan and our Purpose Statement serve as our roadmap, defining our priorities and goals for quality improvement across SickKids CCMH. The plan was developed with feedback from clients, families, caregivers, managers and staff. Our new Purpose Statement builds on the SickKids language and incorporates our community elements: Committed to our Community, Building Connections, Accelerating Impact. We are proud of the SickKids CCMH focus on improving access and quality of care and we are especially proud of the efforts of our staff and physicians to be part of what is not just a SickKids commitment, but an effort by our colleagues across the children’s mental health sector to improve services for kids.

There is a line in the George Harrison song Any Road, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” For the past two years, our work in this organization has been to make clear where we are going, and contrary to the song, to make careful choices about what road we need to go down. That has meant following the roadmap of our Strategic Plan and setting specific goals related to access, wait times and service volumes. It has meant getting better at measuring our outcomes.

The results speak for themselves
We have seen reduced wait times and increased volumes; collaborative responses to new service needs across prevention and outpatient services; and shared planning with respect to the approaches to care in both our school age and adolescent intensive services. There have been improvements in our HR processes and in our occupational health and safety oversite; well-prioritized and focused work on our buildings, our IT systems and our security system; and process improvement to standardize and streamline our health records system.

In the end, George’s lyrics were great, but our experience has been very different: if you don’t know where you’re going, you will likely end up going in circles. While our journey so far has not been without its twists and turns, we really have moved forward with a common sense of purpose as an organization. We credit that to a leadership team that understands itself as leading a whole organization rather than just managing its separate parts and we credit the hard work of staff across all our departments, clinical and administrative. The capacity to take risks, try new things, to talk together about hard problems and to share expertise is in many ways the compass that ensures we choose the best path. Thank you for a terrific and productive two years and we look forward to many more.