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Group Health Centre finishes the year in a surplus

Thursday, December 19, 2013   by: Bob Mihell

The Sault Ste. Marie Group Health Centre has balanced its budget for the second consecutive year, and, in fact, reported a surplus of $4,342,020 for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013.

GHC’s total revenue for 2013, as reported to Canada Revenue Agency, was $27,974,702. Of that total, $20,924,746 came from the Province, or 75 per cent.

Other key sources of revenue included $2,276,447 in charitable gifts, and $3,838,276 from the sale of goods and services.

GHC’s total expenditure for 2013 was $23,632,682. Of that total, $17,704,027 went to employee compensation, about 75 percent.

As a registered Canadian charity, GHC is required to make its annual fiscal report public, but its employees do not fall under Ontario’s so called “sunshine law”.

Nevertheless there is a general breakdown of employee compensation included in the recent fiscal report.

During 2013, GHC reported 127 full-time employees, including managerial staff, at the health care centre.

The total expenditure to them was $7,704,678. 

Of the top ten full-time positions, four received compensation between $80,000 and $119,999; five received compensation between $120,000 and $159,999; and one received compensation between $160,000 and $199,999.

During 2013, GHC compensated 197 part-time or seasonal employees, with a total expenditure of $9,999,349.

Grant Walsh, GHC president and CEO, told Soo Today that the 81 physicians who practice through the centre, work with the GHC and the Algoma District Medical Group, who represent their interests, to negotiate their funding arrangement with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

Walsh said the physicians who belong to the GHC do not have to worry about the allocation of office space, the administration of their offices, or anything financially related to that.

Meanwhile David Orazietti, Sault MPP and Minister of Natural Resources, said Dec. 6 that the substantial investment by the Province in the GHC represented his government’s commitment to improve the entire health care sector in Ontario. 

He said that has included increased funding to physician and nurse practitioner clinics; improved salaries for physicians; the creation of family health teams; and new medical schools, such as Northern Ontario School of Medicine, to increase the number of doctors.

He said a key objective of his government continues to be to ensure that patients are getting access to needed health care in a timely way.

In 2012, the Ministry of Health negotiated a five-year $38 million agreement with the GHC for base funding to the centre.

That arrangement also required the GHC to adopt a new governance model that saw one board of directors assume the responsibility and accountability for the financial operation of the GHC. The eight member board is composed of four

physicians from the Algoma District Medical Group, and four community members from the Group Health Association. The four physicians on the board are: Dr. Brian Mitchell (acting chair); Dr. Chris Bruni; Dr. David Fera; and Dr. Kirk Zufelt.

The four community members are: Tom Bonell; Harvey Briggs; Bud Wildman; and Don Pezzutto. 

Board member, Tom Bonell, said last week that although the Ministry of Health wanted the financial and decision-making power to be amalgamated into one GHC board, he said the ministry was not setting the agenda.

“The Ministry doesn’t dictate what we do. Those decisions are made by the Board,” he stressed. “Balancing the budget was key to the Ministry, and to the taxpayer as well. We did that in a very quick time, and we are very happy about that.”

Bonell attributed recent improvements and successes at the GHC to the fact that doctors and community representatives are bringing their perspectives in a transparent way to the same table, and decisions are being made together.

Walsh agreed that the new Board has proven to be an effective way to apply good business principles to run the organization.

He said there has been no pressure or interference “from anyone else” in the Board’s decision-making process.

Meanwhile Melinda Genys, interim president of Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 894, who represent 221 employees at GHC, acknowledged that their members have no representative on the Board of Directors. 

“We certainly hope the Board is balanced in making informed decisions that are going to benefit the patients,” she said.

Related to this story

That was then. This is now - 50 years at Group Health Centre

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Me Myself an I 12/19/2013 3:45:23 PM Report

See what happens when you cut staff and services? Now will the CEO ( or whatever his title is) be giving himself a big bonus?
soowat 12/19/2013 3:47:56 PM Report

Me Myself an I
Of course.
Ski-Dude 12/19/2013 3:52:13 PM Report

Nail on the head. Nice x-mas presents coming!
patpb 12/19/2013 3:55:23 PM Report

oh maybe that explains. the lavish Christmas party walsh threw for his staff.i was wondering where the money came from . for that party.pretty sure it was the tax payers.even the private sector have to pay for there parties.hey walsh maybe you can reduce the parking fees. and next year your staff can pay for there own party
soowat 12/19/2013 4:07:43 PM Report

My wife needs surgery. She was told she has to work through Sudbury in order to get a referral to Toronto where they have the doctors that can do the needed procedure. Went to Sudbury in October. In November she got a letter that basically stated we will see you in May to arrange the procedure. Our out of pocket costs will exceed $3,000 for the trips to Toronto, hotel rooms meals etc.
If she's still alive then I'm sure she will write a letter to David O. thanking him for ensuring she gets "TIMELY" treatment
steve_tml 12/19/2013 4:13:32 PM Report

I wonder how much of that is revenue from parking fines, the ones you get when your meter runs out because the office is running late and you get in late for your appointment and cant get back to the meter so whammo $10.00 fine from the security guard who's primary purpose is to hand out parking tickets.
boilertyme 12/19/2013 4:51:37 PM Report

If we could get rid of cronic abusers who run to the Dr every time they have a sniffle or ache much more money could be saved.
lucyp 12/19/2013 5:56:39 PM Report

Oh the Mr Walsh....you are wonderful man...NOT...as far as this lavish xmas party for his staff, this was the first year he hired a Party-planner/waitress who now works at the GHC who was hired after she through this party, , and his family members who now work there AFTER he cut jobs of people who worked there for years...oh he is such a great man......he and his merry band of board members. Give yourself a great big pat on the pocket book, when really someone should give you a good kick in the....Merry Christmas
F****r 12/19/2013 6:31:42 PM Report

For a non profit organization they should be ashamed for spending money on buying the old Microage building on GNR
for millions ,,,about 3 million worth... when they are cutting back on services.. and now announcing a BIG PROFIT...the care of patients should be first..but GHC is about greed and they can not be trusted.. are they in the business of providing health care or are they now big property owners???
F****r 12/19/2013 6:35:24 PM Report

They are corner the health care market like BIG BOX STORES...leaving you no choice to go anywhere else..
players 12/19/2013 8:03:29 PM Report

Wow it's crazy that the managers of the GHC are making these salaries.If they had a clue how to run departments and weren't so scared of the CEO of the GHC they would attend to the needs of the staff.Management and staffers are so far apart it's crazy.But as long as they say at meetings how great he is and how they are saving money they keep their jobs.Moral is terrible I hope in the new year things change.The service has been terrible and the patients are the ones losing.As far as been a retired worker how come we don't get passes when we visit off site buildings that are owned by the GHC.TOTAL JOKE
Timbob 12/19/2013 10:32:51 PM Report

Did y'all forget that PROFITS are a GOOD thing?!

The idea is to run an efficient, profitable organization that serves its customers (patients) well - NOT to piss away money creating as many jobs as you can just for the sake of jobs.

Oh I forgot, ya'll only got yourselves a little learnin' before ya dropped out of school.
trout lily 12/20/2013 12:03:02 AM Report

@Timbob your response was rather derogatory toward the other responders to this story, which is too bad because you are correct in saying that it is a good thing to "run an efficient, profitable organization that serves its customers (patients) well". The only problem is that there are many disgruntled patients who are not being served well. Also, your reference to them as being 'customers' speaks volumes of where you are coming from, perhaps management/executive or even CEO. They are 'patients' not customers, and all the staff there, I'm sure, thinks of them as patients. Also, your comment "NOT to piss away money creating as many jobs as you can just for the sake of jobs"? Please explain then why a very capable person was let go from running the Trust Fund and replaced by Mr. Walsh's brother, who does not even live in this city, pay city taxes or probably shop in this city thus not contributing to the economy of this city. Oh, and of course, the hiring of 'the waitress' as mentioned in a comment above, and then there are the positions that were taken away from knowledgeable, educated, dedicated employees who live and shop in this city and care about how the GHC is run because they and their family and friends depend on the facility, to be replaced by someone from outside the city.

Clearly from your last comment, you also think you are superior to everyone else, and that's unfortunate.
whymee1122 12/20/2013 1:04:15 AM Report

lucyp, first you should know that this party planner/waitress, was not hired this year, but last year, and that she is in HR not just a party planner/waitress. And that all GHC employees paid to come to the xmas party, it was not on a tax payers dime. Also you should know that the price paid was haggled over to get the best possible price for ghc employees. I do not work for GHC, i am in the employ of the company that hosted the party and have 1st hand knowledge of the negotiations. If you are unaware of the proceedings you should not comment on the goings on...just sayin..
Mark Brown 12/20/2013 7:28:14 AM Report

Dear readers,

i guess with that HUGE $urplu$ the Group Health Centre will be able to start providing evening and weekend service!?!

Woohoo!!!

Sincerely and Respectfuly,
Mark Brown
big_dog_1113 12/20/2013 10:38:13 AM Report

I have to agree about the parking. It's friggin ridiculous!

You go to the Doctor, meter is $2.00 per half hour, at a maximum of $4.00 for 1 hour.

Who ever gets in and out of the doctor's in less than an hour?!?!

No one!!

It seems so much like a money trap...

For shame.
lucyp 12/20/2013 10:50:04 AM Report

whymee...you don't know what you are talking about because she was hired to plan the party only then went to HR after the fact... she was hired to do the party and was paid for it when EVERY YEAR before that was a volunteer job...Why did Mr Walsh and his Board cut out so many valuable programs? was it to hire his brother or the waitress? You tell me WHY"MEE, seeing that you know sooo much about this..and did Mr Walsh hire you for next years GREAT party....
northernmale 12/20/2013 2:41:10 PM Report

People soon forget that the group health center was payed for and built by donations from employees of, Algoma Steel. Then the government took it over and has been going down hill ever since. And any board that has Tom Bonell on the employees are in trouble. We are talking about a man who was president of 2251 sold them a bill of goods at contract time, then went and worked for the company , now that speaks high of him.
louise 123 12/20/2013 4:30:35 PM Report

The "waitress" mentioned in other comments is actually a teacher with a degree who was working many part time jobs to make ends meet. She actually was working at GHC long before Mr Walsh came on board. Also, the previous GHC trust fund co-ordinator did not get fired, but retired.
Many companies who have suffured cut backs still provide their employees with Christams celebrations.....know the facts before you comment
Racer123 12/20/2013 7:22:21 PM Report

Discarded needles in our community put all of us at risk. Does Mr Grant Walsh know that the GHC has a needle exchange program. Oh wait now that's Algoma Public Health. Grant Walsh only pays employees to go distribute these needles to addicts. Problem is not much exchanging going on.....few dirty needles get returned but a whole shit load go out. So GHC doctors(and others of course) write the scripts then our tax dollars go to paying staff to go and give the equipment the addicts need to push this shit into their bodies. Eventually these drug users end up at emerg....abscesses, over doses, out of drugs..whatever....nice little circle of income. Maybe Walsh should take a little look at what's really going on.....maybe he will get one in his hand as I did at a coffee shop....washed my hands put the towel into the garbage can and yup....right up under my thumb nail.....wtf.....surplus.....keep up the good work. Call him ask about it.
lucyp 12/20/2013 11:54:23 PM Report

I feel bad for this girl because It isn't her fault that Mr Walsh has stuck her in this predicament...but people are having a very difficult time and I personally find it very funny that a casual worker who hadn't worked there for quite sometime when she did hold a CASUAL title, lands a pretty good job in HR right around the time she was hired to plan a xmas party which was ALWAYS a volunteer thing....how many managers and other departments and part/full time workers with families were demoted or left with no jobs YET she lands a great job, with her teaching degree in HR....pardon me for thinking this but going from a casual employee, then not working for quite sometime, to GHC's party xmas planner.. to HR department.. wow next Mr Walsh just may have her doing surgery on the 2nd floor...
trout lily 12/21/2013 11:27:55 AM Report

"As a registered Canadian charity, GHC is required to make its annual fiscal report public, but its employees do not fall under Ontario's so called "sunshine law".

Not so.

http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/publications/salarydisclosure/pssd/pdf/other_2012.pdf
molly11 12/21/2013 4:45:03 PM Report

I have basically only one comment, people should get their facts straight before making comments on subjects that they have no idea what is really going on. As for the Christmas party, people paid for their spouses to go, it was not all free! Besides, do not other companies as Christmas celebrate a years end! C'mon, think about it. The Group Health Centre is a good facility, and patient care is the goal. Regardless, of where people come from within, it shouldn't matter. It is the outcome that matters. As for the parking, 5$ is not much. Imagine living in Toronto! Our healthcare is available to all, no matter what, so quit complaining!!!
Comments
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Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. Keep discussions civil and on topic. Refrain from obscenity and don't post anything that your grandmother would be ashamed to read. Those who do not abide by these guidelines will have their membership revoked without notice. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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