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Southlake to receive $4.6 million boost in Health Human Resource Funding

Friday October 14, 2022

Continuation of government programs strengthen Southlake’s workforce

Southlake is pleased to announce an investment of up to $4.6 million as part of the Ontario government’s continuation of health human resources program funding. This funding will support the hospital to strengthen its workforce by hiring and training staff to meet the community’s health care needs.

“We appreciate the Ontario government’s support as we continue to bolster Southlake’s workforce,” said Arden Krystal, President and CEO, Southlake Regional Health Centre. “This funding allows us to continue programs that are important to our overall recruitment and retention strategy by providing important clinical experience to new staff to ensure they have the expertise to deliver the high-quality care Southlake is known for.”

The announcement was made earlier today during an announcement by Dawn Gallagher Murphy, Parliamentary Assistant to Ontario’s Minister of Health and MPP for Newmarket–Aurora.

“Our government is proud to support the continuation of these vital health human resources programs at Southlake,” said Dawn Gallagher Murphy, MPP for Newmarket-Aurora and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health. “The extension of these programs will help ensure Southlake can continue to deliver care that meets the needs of Newmarket-Aurora residents and stabilize our community’s health care workforce.”

The Enhanced Extern and Clinical Preceptor Programs at Southlake provide valuable hands-on clinical experience for nursing and allied health students to support their transition into a registered provider role. The hospital has hired more than 200 externs through this program and transitioned 65 others into permanent roles. Five amazing nurse mentors who help facilitate learning through the Clinical Preceptor Program support the Extern program. The externs form a community and supplement their clinical learning with activities such as an academic journal club, educational workshops on patient safety, patient-centred care, interview skills, and more.

Through the Supervised Practice Experience Partnership (SPEP), a joint initiative between Ontario Health, Ontario’s College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) and the hospital, Southlake provides eligible internationally-trained nurses with an opportunity to meet their evidence of practice and language proficiency requirements. Five Southlake nurses have completed this program and two are currently in progress.

“Ensuring that we have highly-skilled staff to provide care for patients is critical to delivering leading edge care at Southlake,” said Elizabeth Ferguson, Vice President, Clinical Transformation, Patient Experience and Chief Nursing Executive. “These programs are an important part of Southlake’s recruitment and retention strategy as we look toward the future.”

Programs like this are an essential part of Southlake’s ability to offer leading edge care to our communities.

“We have heard feedback from many participating in these programs that their experience has been instrumental in guiding their career in healthcare, allowing them to discover their passion and providing many opportunities they would not have received otherwise,” said Barbara Steed, Executive Vice President, Clinical Services and Regional Vice President, Cancer Services. “These staff have become a vital part of the hospital team and we are thankful to be able to continue delivering these programs.”