Message from the Chief Executive Officer
Building on the development and transformation experienced by Helping Hands in the past three years, our organization is now poised for even greater collaboration and integration with stakeholders in our communities. We have seen the amount of service provided to clients in our community increase, in addition to refining the breadth of these services offered. Recognizing that the population we serve is becoming more complex, with greater needs in the community and healthcare system, our staff have risen to the challenge; considerably enhancing the training programs for employees and volunteers, providing more investment in professional development and capital investments to tap into the full potential of our greatest resource, our volunteers and employees.
In order for our agency to continue meeting the increasing service requirements of our clients, we recognize that collaborating and integrating with fellow stakeholders will become increasingly important in the coming years. We have shown, definitely, that working closely with stakeholders such as OSMH, Couchiching Family Health Team, VON, North Simcoe Muskoka Hospice Palliative Care Network, Barrie and Area Native Advisory Circle, The County of Simcoe, Canadian Red Cross, Community Reach and others, is critical to our success. Leveraging the experience and resources of these organizations not only reduces over-all costs to services, it allows us to synergize expertise to better serve clients more appropriately and safely in their homes and community. Consequently, Helping Hands has taken the steps and investment toward a new cloud-based home healthcare software platform, moving us further away from paper-based client files and toward a more responsive solution, capable of integrating with other platforms to provide greater communication and more seamless interactions with stakeholders. This system provides our front-line staff with tablets, instead of hard-copy files, and allows for greater privacy protection and enhanced insight into service flow, in the community. We are now more capable of effectively coordinating the broad spectrum of services Helping Hands provides, including transportation, transitional beds, personal supports in the home, Meals on Wheels, social programs and more.
We have restructured our organization to accommodate greater capacity in front-line and direct client support functions, at Helping Hands. This has led to consistently increasing connections with clients, year-over-year. Listening to our clients’ feedback, we have been actively reducing the intake process to acquire services for new clients down to 24 hours, and enhanced resources and expertise around system navigation, through our Client First Response Team. By networking with a broad range of organizations and services, we are now assisting our clients to acquire the range of services they need in our community more effectively than ever before.
The considerable efforts made by our employees and volunteers in the last year have resulted in significant growth for our organization, which has provided us with tremendous opportunities to further support our communities and healthcare system. Through new funding agreements with our North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network, we have been approved to expand our Transitional Bed program into Barrie, with the construction of a new 14 bed capacity site; opening in October 2017. We have also been approved to expand homemaking services in the Barrie and Muskoka regions, so we can further leverage our success to impact clients in need of our services in those communities. This provides us with remarkable opportunities to further collaborate with various stakeholders in these communities.
Our accomplishments in the past year would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our employees, volunteers, Board of Directors and the commitment from our funders and stakeholders. With the opportunities before us, we are more excited now than ever before about the potential Helping Hands has in supporting our clients and community. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed and supported our organization and we look forward to the transformations ahead, and how they will allow us to serve our clients in the future.
Rob Soczka,B. Comm.
Chief Executive Officer