Heartland Regional Health Authority

Expanding Care for Health

In Heartland Health Region’s annual report, the region reiterated its vision to build “a region of healthy people and healthy communities.” With all the recent activity happening in the Heartland area that focuses on healthcare, it is clear that Heartland is doing just the right thing: taking care of people.

The Heartland Health Region is located in west-central Saskatchewan and provides healthcare services to a population of over 42,000 people covering 41,770 square kilometres. Landmarks in the region include the bordering South Saskatchewan River and the province of Alberta boundary. Currently, there are 57 towns and villages, 44 rural municipalities and 19 Hutterite Colonies located in the Heartland region.

The Heartland Regional Health Authority (HRHA), also known as the Heartland Health Region (HHR), has a responsibility to deliver healthcare services to citizens living within these towns, villages and municipalities. With that in mind, on April 1, 2007, the HRHA implemented a three-year Strategic Plan after collecting information from the board, staff and public stakeholders.

The authority revised its vision and prioritized five strategic directions to build a culture of safety, in making ongoing communication a priority, supporting and developing human resources, establishing quality performance and expectations and developing primary healthcare services across the entire region.
The HRHA’s strategic directions set the bar for action for the next five years. Governance, a commitment to transparency, and a capacity for growth will help the HRHA rise to the next level of public healthcare.

Policy and governance

According to their annual report, the HRHA uses “an adapted policy governance model that strengthens and advances interdependent relationships among the Authority, regional stakeholders and Heartland’s President/CEO.” The organization meets regularly to review compliance with Heartland’s governance process and the RHA must meet expectations set out by the Ministry of Health when it comes to planning, fiscal management and reporting, quality management, evaluation and reporting and management and performance. The region puts out an annual Accountabilities Document and regularly identifies program and service expectations for the region.

There is a regional operational planning team that is comprised of managers and leaders, who meet regularly to access and organizational cross section of expertise that ensures “broad based input into decision making, action plan achievement and performance monitoring.”

Heartland is firmly committed to public transparency, and strives to help the public “understand issues affecting the delivery of health services and programs in the region.”

The Authority holds regular meetings where the public is invited to attend and comment on decisions. All of these efforts are initiated to help drive forward regional healthcare.


Heartland has amassed many achievements recently. This past year, the Region developed a “blueprint” of existing and preferred future services, which will be a working document for healthcare. There are now well-established and attended cardiac rehab groups in Outlook, Lucky Lake, and Beechy (three Heartland communities). Rosetown held the first Annual Healthy Lifestyles Fair and there are currently strategies being developed and implemented for Mental Health Well-being, Accessible Nutritious Foods, and Decreased Substance Use and Abuse in several areas.

Other highlights include:

-Chronic Disease Management and Healthy Living is still a priority in the region. There is now a steering committee and prevention working group in place to carry out the initiatives that will be included in the upcoming strategic plan for 2010-2015.
-758 hours of Professional Education was provided to staff via Telehealth, including Provincial Rounds in Psychiatry, Cardiology, Geriatrics, Pediatrics, etc. This is an increase from last year.
-The region is piloting an electronic medical records system in three sites ­— Lucky Lake, Kyle and Beechy.
-The Team Development facilitators in the region have done much work with various departments and facilities.
-The region worked with school divisions in the region to develop food policies and nutrition education.
-The region worked with communities to develop food securities programs (e.g. community gardens, Kids in the Kitchen, etc.)
-The region developed a drug and alcohol strategy. A major output from that strategy is the Drug and Alcohol Awareness Wellness network.
-Assessment clinics for seniors were conducted by community therapists to help reduce the risk of falls.1

With Canadian Patient Safety Week quickly approaching, the region is preparing to up its communication with patients and communities in the jurisdiction.   
1(Source: http://www.health.gov.sk.ca/heartland-annual-report-2009-10).

For more information on Heartland Health Region and Authority, visithttp://www.hrha.sk.ca/index.htm