Recent controversy surrounding a local pharmacy losing a contract with the Glen Stor Dun Lodge after the administrator selected an out of town company to supply it with it’s pharmaceutical supplies, resulted in a flurry of letters to the editor. The Lodge manager revealed a lack of understanding of the expected code of behaviour applicable to individuals administering public institutions. The taxpaying enterprise was not given an opportunity to comply with the claimed variance with “Ministry Standards.” It was not advised which standards to meet!
The administrator responded to this criticism by issuing a press release December 10, 2009. If the intent was to diffuse the situation the document did the opposite. It demonstrated an inability to distinguish between consulting with those involved prior to making an important decision, and communicating a decision after the fact. Had the administrator paid attention to the concepts of transparency, accountability, not to mention empathy she might have avoided the resulting contention.
Individuals in the community corroborate the impression I developed during my father’s stay at the Lodge in 2008. That experience resulted in a two hour meeting with the administrator outlining my family’s misgivings. I advised her that the state of management/labour tensions at the Lodge was not conducive to a healthy environment for the residents. The health care workers at the Lodge are already working under trying conditions due to funding and staffing levels. They do not need the added burden of an autocratic management style. Intimidation may result in compliance but seldom in cooperation. Is it possible that the members of the board of directors were victims of the same communication style that has been demonstrated with other stakeholders? Did they have all the facts when they made their decision regarding the pharmacy change? This is an opportunity for the board to review and reassess the state of affairs at the lodge. We owe it to our seniors.
Robert H. Lynch
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