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I am pleased to announce that University Health Network has signed an agreement with Hospital Business Services (HBS) which will see UHN and ten other hospitals in the GTA move forward with our efforts to consolidate support services in an effort to realize savings which we may then reinvest in patient care. As you all know, the Government of Ontario has been extremely supportive of this initiative and has encouraged us to go forward at every step.
The first area to move to HBS management is the supply chain process. At UHN, this means that HBS will have purchased Hospital Logistics Inc. and SHSS by April 1, 2006, from UHN and that the 10 other hospitals in HBS will now use these companies to order and supply their needs. Two individuals whom you all know well, Sarah Friesen and David Yundt, will continue in their present roles, and manage these areas within HBS. All staff within these areas will remain employees of SHSS or UHN and they have been informed of the change and the managers will continue to work with staff as the new enterprise goes forward.
The plan is that five hospitals will 'go live' with the new supply chain process on April 1 - UHN, Sunnybrook & Women's, Mount Sinai, Toronto East General and St. Joseph's Health Centre. The second group begins on June 1 with Rouge Valley, North York, and Lakeridge and on August 1 Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and Bloorview Kids Rehab will join. The final hospital will be Scarborough General by October 1. As many of you recognize, UHN, Sunnybrook & Women's and Mount Sinai were already in a relationship with HLI and SHSS so I wouldn't anticipate that you will experience much change in either service or the individuals you work with on a day-to-day basis.
This has been a long process and I would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding. With the signing of the agreement, we can now move forward to realize the benefits of the new relationship. I recognize that the uncertainty has been difficult for the staff who work in these areas and I believe that this will allow staff and their managers to work together to create a new entity which will provide excellent service for the 11 founding hospitals.