Peter Fearrey remembered by HHHS
By Chad Ingram
Published Dec. 4, 2018
The following are brief reports of items discussing during a Nov. 29 meeting of the Haliburton Highlands Health Services board.
CEO Carolyn Plummer expressed grief and condolences at the passing of Peter Fearrey, who worked for HHHS for 43 years, and was director of facilities and special projects.
Fearrey passed away on Nov. 26 in his 62nd year.
“It’s had a tremendous impact across the organization,” Plummer said. “He also has many family members who work at the organization, many close friends, and certainly many colleagues who have worked with him for a number of years and developed a close relationship. And so it’s been devastating for the organization.
Plummer expressed condolences to Fearrey’s family.
“Our hearts go out to the family,” she said. “We are all thinking about Peter and his contributions.”
“Everywhere you go in here . . . you cannot go anywhere in any of our facilities without seeing some sign of Peter, in some way, shape or form,” Plummer said, motioning to the boardroom floor itself. “Even the floor that we walk on, that was a project that he led.”
Reducing the deficit
HHHS is chipping away at reducing a deficit that, at the end of July, was $250,000 for the fiscal year. That deficit was due largely to ongoing operating deficits at the organization’s long-term care facilities, as well as some revenues that had been frozen by the province.
“Obviously, the bleeding needed to be stopped, and hopefully turned around,” said finance committee chairman David Gray.
Halfway through the fiscal year, the deficit had been reduced to approximately $134,000, and the organization’s goal is to have it eliminated by the end of March.
A new management plan that is being put in place is expected to help with that.
“Obviously, the management plan that was put in place after the September meeting, it takes time for that to come into fruition,” Gray said.
He said it was possible costs may spike due to factors such as the severity of this year’s flu season.
“Like a lot of things in life, there’s a lot of variables that come into play,” he said.
“And the biggest one of all is political uncertainty,” Gray said, saying the organization had a large number of items totalling nearly $1 million it had requested funding for from the province.
Chief of staff succession
HHHS is seeking a new chief of staff, a position that has traditionally been filled by a physician working at the organization.
“Currently, unfortunately, there are no candidates among our current, active staff,” said current chief of staff Dr. Kristy Gammon, explaining that HHHS’s medical advisory committee has recommended advertising for the position, “hoping that somebody with a strong skill set is existing within our community.”