Sudbury regional hospital asking public to help direct future priorities

The input gathered at Health Sciences North's brainstorming sessions next week will be used this summer to draft the hospital’s 2019-2024 strategic plan.

Hospital rep says public input is the key to developing successful strategic plan

Maureen McLelland, Health Sciences North's special advisor to the CEO for strategic planning, says next week's brainstorming sessions are essential to the drawing up of the hospital's 2019-2024 strategic plan. (Supplied/Health Sciences North)

Health Sciences North is inviting members of the public to sign up for a string of brainstorming sessions next week. The input will be used this summer to draft the hospital's 2019-2024 five-year plan.

Nine brainstorming sessions will be held from April 10-12, with room for 50 participants in each.

"Each group is going to be kind of like a box of smarties. You never know who's in the group, you're going to have a range and a mix of different individuals so you'll have a range of different ideas popping up," explains Maureen McLelland, HSN's special advisor to the CEO for strategic planning.

Participants will be provided with a laptop. They'll be given the chance to develop and vote on action items and ideas, says McLelland. She explains that every session will be independent of the others.

"We have a steering committee that will be reviewing all this data that's being captured in the coming weeks. It's those important things that keep coming up again and again through sessions that will garner the most attention and the most discussion," she notes.

Health Sciences North is also planning to launch a website to allow Northeastern Ontario residents to share their thoughts on what the hospital's priorities should be. (Claude Gagnon/Radio-Canada)

McLelland predicts some of the hot-button topics will include hospital overcrowding, long wait times, better training opportunities for staff, ensuring a balanced budget and keeping up with advancing technology.

She adds that more consultations will be taking place over the next few weeks in communities across Northeastern Ontario.

The sessions will be facilitated by Erik Lockhart, the associate director of Queen's University's Executive Decision Centre. He's led more than 1,550 such sessions to help organizations develop strategic plans and focus groups.

Registration for the brainstorming sessions is available at

The hospital is also launching a website,, to gather further input from people.