It’s more of the same-old, same-old over at STEGH


The hospital’s newest vice-president wins this week’s award for stating the obvious when she proclaimed, “We’re on the right track here, for sure, in seeing the success that you can have when you continue to to keep the patient at the centre of everything that you do.”
It’s that kind of bafflegab logic from top executives at St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital, like Karen Davies quoted above, that is being raised up the flagpole to justify sending four individuals 15,000 km to Singapore to get a glimpse at how their healthcare system operates.
When questioned by T-J reporter Nick Lypaczewski this week, patient-centered care was incorporated into as many answers as possible.

Our medical knowledge is limited to watching Dr. Oz now and then, but surely the focus of any hospital is caring for the patient. Why else would we be there?
In today’s techno-centred world, how can you justify jetting a quartet of execs – at taxpayer expense – to far-flung corners to acknowledge “we’re on the right track.”
When the T-J tried to peg Davies down on specifics of her learning curve, she said there are too many points in the journey of a patient from the time they enter to the time they leave to pinpoint anything.
No sense trying to explain to us neophytes. – we’re just the patients.
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath summed it up best, “Our precious health dollars are better invested in frontline services than sending people all the way around the world to observe other systems.”
Hospital CEO Paul Collins has tried to defuse the situation by downplaying the $16,000 tab as relatively inexpensive.
Horwath counters with its just more of the same-old, same-old under new premier Kathleen Wynne.
“It is the same old status quo problems that keep coming up,” Horwath advised.
All of this at a time when the hospital needs to hit up the community for millions of dollars .
In a letter to the editor, reader Tom Por was succinct.
“There are, in St. Thomas, many pensioners, like myself, who have limited pensions but because STEGH is our hospital, in our community, we make some sacrifices so that if there is only one or two organizations we want to support, the hospital is one of them.”
You don’t think he’s re-hashing his options after this debacle?

Last week we briefly referenced the 2012 public sector salary disclosure for city hall employees who earned more than $100,000.
Here is the full list and the 2011 salary in brackets:
Arbuckle, Barbara, director Ontario Works – $106,323.94 (new)
Barnes, Scott, police sergeant – $103,018.06 (new)
Bonnett, Derek, firefighter – $101,282.85 (new)
Brett, Scott, firefighter – $103,059.12 (new)
Brisseau, Mark, captain fire department – $120,355.19 ($107,871.76)
Broadbent, Robert, fire chief – $138,663.14 ($127,496.56)
Butters, Kevin, captain fire department – $113,620.60 ($104,962.28)
Carnegie, Brian, police sergeant – $104,402.32 (new)
Carroll, Michael, Valleyview administrator – $112,20455 ($107,975.14)
Clement, Brian, manager of engineering – $103,215.84 (new)
Dart, Graham, director human resources – $121,089.56 ($116,552.80)
Day, Bill, city treasurer – $130,141.22 ($125,270.67)
Denham, Rudi, library CEO – $113,276.95) ($108,286.31)
Dewancker, John, director environmental services – $132.309.36 ($127,438.78)
Didyk, Derek, firefighter – $102,505.06 (new)
Donker, Steve, captain fire department – $121,286.32 ($106,178.41)
Driedger, Jeff, police inspector – $136,668.88 ($127,192.76)
Eaton, Robert, captain fire department – $111,574.42 ($107,728.99)
Gonyou, Joyce, director of nursing – $109,648 ($106,759.59)
Graves, Wendell, CAO/city clerk – $166,315.48 ($146,217.59)
Gregory, David, captain fire department – $111,494.53 ($101,256.11)
Heard, Barry, firefighter – $106,802.86 (new)
Herridge, Chris, staff sergeant – $111,405.36 ($102,827.04)
Hikele, Richard, captain fire department – $114,331.47 ($107,231.61)
Hill, Glenn, training officer fire department – $113,569.45 ($108,665.18)
Hulst, James, captain fire department – $116,011.79 ($106,592.98)
Keenan, Patrick, director of planning – $121,089.56 ($116,552.80)
Kernohan, Kevin, platoon chief – $126,908.93 ($120,140.84)
Knight, David, firefighter – $100,421.35 (new)
Kowalczyk, Judy, staff sergeant – $114,744.44 ($106,451.00)
Kuzminski, Alex, firefighter – $102,991.29 (new)
Leverton, Brian, fire prevention officer – $110,615.39 ($100,788.16)
Lynch, Bill, police chief – $161,984.24 ($150,976.60)
Marcinkiewicz, Steve, firefighter – $105,680.33 (new)
McCready, Cyril, water/wastewater supervisor – $101.268.64 (new)
Mundt, Randy, staff sergeant – $117,328.96 ($108,523.56)
Newton, Sue, sergeant – $106,280.52 (new)
Nielsen, Anders, constable – $100,680.90 (new)
Ormerod, Ray, deputy fire chief – $116,190.89 ($107,486.76)
Perrin, Chris, sergeant – $108,704.49 ($100,347.33)
Pinnell, Darryl, deputy police chief – $145,768.72 ($134,217.88)
Powers, Mike, firefighter – $102,394.93 (new)
Roskamp, Marc, staff sergeant – $103,349.70 (new)
Scott, Warren, platoon chief – $127,442.92 ($113,264.51)
Sebestyen, Elizabeth, housing administrator – $107,586.32 (new)
Smith, Kyle, captain fire department – $107,684.08 (new)
Stewart, Brad, firefighter – $105,936.79 (new)
Thomas, Ian, firefighter – $104,152.09 (new)
Todd, Bill, chief fire prevention officer – $112,661.68 ($104,937.80)
Traichevich, Mark, police inspector – $136,487.92 ($127,192.76)
Tucker, Ross, director parks and recreation – $105,030.44 ($108,810.16)
Waite, Barry, firefighter – $111,004.95 (new)
Walters, Mark, platoon chief – $121,696.85 ($112,342.94)
Wells, Reagan, sergeant – $102,275.72 (new)
Willson, Rodger, platoon chief – $119,514.61 ($111,474.53)
Withenshaw, Steve, staff sergeant – $114,136.26 ($108,669.32)
Yates, Russ, staff sergeant – $114,459.28 ($105,233.64)
Zehr, Henry, staff sergeant – $110,087.60 ($104,636.51)

“When I hear about city council allocating $300,000 for a new skate park, it would be nice to see the same consideration for something that is already built and which provides exercise for children all the way up to seniors.”
Lisa Dimbleby, who will appear before council Monday to urge the city to repair and upgrade the tennis courts at Pinafore Park.
City Scope appears Saturday in the Times-Journal. Questions and comments may be emailed to

3 thoughts on “It’s more of the same-old, same-old over at STEGH

  1. Lisa Dimbleby would like the tennis courts upgraded but the tennis courts aren’t always in demand, isn’t used exclusively for tennis and how many people play tennis as compared to those who would use a skatepark? Also, I don’t hear too many complaints about seniors playing tennis on the sidewalk. There already tennis courts while there isn’t a skatepark.

    Upgrading the tennis courts isn’t so cut and dry either. Define upgrading, new nets or new surfaces? If it is new surfaces, what type would be picked? Asphalt or all weather (which isn’t really), or perhaps the rubberized cement as used at the US Open? It will probably need a committee to go visit various tennis courts around the world to decide.

    Once the courts have been upgraded, who takes care of them? If spending several thousands or more, it is an investment and therefore should be looked after properly. Remove tennis nets when during the winter when no one is playing tennis. Cleaning the surface? Repairing the surface of small issues rather than waiting until they are bigger?

    I’m a tennis player but I don’t think the courts are in need of upgrading as urgently as a skateboard park is needed. And considering the number of tennis players in St. Thomas, it wouldn’t be the best use of the money unless the city was willing to make an investment not only in the courts but in getting more people to play.


    It would not have surprised me if the consultant, pensioner and former CEO Mr. Paul Collins did not suggest that the trip was at no expense to the taxpayer because they had used a portion of the savings attributed to hiring him back as a consultant to fund the trip.
    They might as well have lit a match to the $16,000 for all the good it will do.

    None of the bad boys in City Administration are worth $100 per hour wages but that’s about what the CAO receives after his paltry 14% increase.


  3. Where does one go to find out how things are done? How do we learn? Do we ignore all success and re-learn everything with each generation? Is it more efficient to send Police officers to Aylmer Police college? Fire-men to St Catharines? lawyers to Osgoode Hall? Or should every enterprise and professional start at square one avery time? I think everyone would agree that taking success and simply emulating it is smart. Then why are we discussing the STEGH staff going to patient care outcome nation number “three” (Singapore) as a quartet of representatives of NATION NUMBER TWENTY SEVEN to learn how it’s done!! This week STEGH celebrates number one in emerg wait times for all of Ontario. I’d invite all critics of STEGH to go to emerg at another hospital when they need 1st rate care in a timely fashion instead of making us who appreciate the 60 70 and yes 80 hour work weeks of the execs at STEGH. (who do so with out union overtime pay)


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