By Laura Karahka
An important part of the Musquodoboit Harbour community since 1979, The Birches Nursing Home has a rich history. Over the next five years, the Board of Directors of the home hopes its recently released Strategic Plan will build on this strong foundation and ensure continued sustainability and vibrancy.
The Birches has not been insulated from the challenges that have impacted long term care throughout the province in recent years. The home has also not been afraid of embracing change to ensure its continued sustainability. One such change is the partnership with Ocean View, which includes a shared resource of management staff between the two homes. The Boards of both organizations believe in a shared model and recognize the need to work collaboratively in a time of fiscal restraint and diminishing resources.
“We are a Board of Directors charged with providing good governance to a complex facility that provides an essential service in our community,” explains Rick Anderson, Board Chair.
Looking towards the future, the Board developed the Strategic Plan by bringing together the voices of stakeholders including residents, family members, community members, staff and volunteers.
The resulting plan focuses on three Strategic Directions – ‘Enhancing Our Care’; ‘Infrastructure Renewal and Partnerships’; and ‘Connecting to our Community’ – which will guide decisions at The Birches over the next five years.
Resulting projects are expected to include developing an official model of care based on best practice; creating a framework to guide ethical decision making; and increasing learning and growth opportunities for the dedicated staff, to ensure they feel confident in meeting the changing needs of residents. There will also be renewed focus on communicating the vision, successes and challenges of The Birches to the community; and engaging community members in meaningful volunteer opportunities.
The Plan also includes a focus on ensuring the existing space at The Birches meets the needs of those who call it home. The Birches is fortunate to have a strong connection to the Twin Oaks/The Birches Health Care Charitable Foundation, who have been incredibly supportive of beautification efforts made recently to make The Birches feel more like home. Continuing to build this and other relationships with partners is essential.
Change is imminent in our health and social systems, and The Birches is proud to be embracing innovative ideas and looking towards the future.
Community members are invited to explore the Strategic Plan in more detail at: www.thebirchesns.ca
[ Laura Karahka, BPR, handles communications for Ocean View]