SAH Annual Meeting “Challenges & Expectations”

SAH Annual Meeting "Challenges & Expectations"

Sault Area Hospital (SAH) held its Annual Meeting (AM) on June 26,

The AM focused on the many successes over the last year, as well as the challenges faced and expectations for the future.

SAH thank outgoing Board member, Sharon Kirkpatrick for her many contributions and service. Board recruitment will continue over the summer months. In the Fall, they expect to elect new Board members and appoint the Board Executive.

“One of the reasons for our success has been our ability to pivot rapidly to meet the challenges of fighting the pandemic at its peak. We are extraordinarily proud of our professional staff and workers who stepped up again and again to help us battle the pandemic. Many of them paid a heavy personal price for their tremendous professionalism. We continue to commit to all to do all that we can to support the health and wellness of our people and I look forward to continue to recruit talented newcomers to bolster our teams.” said, Dr. Silvana Spadafora, Chief of Staff

“There are many examples of how we have maintained our resilience in delivering quality care and rejuvenating for the future. Some examples of this include recognition related to organ donation and becoming a choosing wisely and choosing blood wisely hospital. We are all looking forward to the completion of the second cardiac catheterization lab and the opening of Northway Wellness Centre, which was formally named this past spring.” said Ila Watson, President & CEO

“With the help of SAH leadership and our own Board subcommittee, the Board spent countless hours over the past year preparing for Accreditation. We are pleased to report that we met all of our Governance Standards. We have had strong interest in the recent Board recruitment postings and will be looking to select new Board members over the summer for recommendation at a Special Meeting of the Corporation in fall 2023.” said, Lisa Bell-Murray, Board Chair

The AM was highlighted by the annual presentation of the SAH iCcare Awards, established by the SAH Board in 2011. These awards acknowledge an employee, volunteer and physician who consistently demonstrate the values of SAH – Integrity, Compassion, Collaboration and Partnership, Accountability, Respect and Excellence. The 2023 recipients were Sarah Dunlop (employee), Dr. Adam Parent (physician), and Abby Obenchain (volunteer).

The meeting concluded with the much-anticipated presentation of the prestigious Dr. William Hutchinson Award. Presented annually by the SAH Board of Directors, this award recognizes distinguished contributions to health care in Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma. The 2023 recipient was Dr. Ehsan Mohammadi.

SAH congratulates all award recipients for their dedicated service to the residents of Sault Ste. Marie and the Algoma region.
Reports and year-end summaries are available on their website at

2023 Award Recipients
Dr. William Hutchinson Award: Dr. Ehsan Mohammadi
Dr. Ehsan Mohammadi is a valued, highly respected and long-standing Emergency Department
physician at SAH. He has been described as kind, generous, trustworthy, genuine and compassionate.

He completed his undergraduate degree and medical school at the university of British
Columbia. He then completed his residency in Thunder Bay and after working in the Barrie area
for years, he moved to Sault Ste. Marie. He began his career at SAH as a locum in June 2001,
moved to active staff in August 2002, and became the Medical Director of the Emergency
Department from 2003-2008. A member of the Medical Advisory Committee, he has worked
tirelessly at creating policies and protocols to advance emergency medicine care, with the goal
of patient safety and a focus on compassion and excellence.

Dr. Mohammadi is a wealth of knowledge and communicates clearly and calmly with his
colleagues, often in chaotic situations. He is supportive, yet is always able to take control of a
situation when required. He consistently has the patient’s best interests at heart and strives to
provide the highest quality of care. According to his colleagues, he is a pleasure to work with,
leading by example with enthusiasm and positivity on every shift.

Dr. Mohammadi has been a NOSM University Professor since its inception and for the last 15
years, he has been the Clinical Preceptor and Medical Education leader in the Emergency
Department. Prior to teaching with NOSM University, Dr. Mohammadi was involved in teaching
students and residents from other educational institutions. He is passionate about mentoring
learners and has customized Emergency Department shifts to create a supportive and learner focused
environment. In his personal time, he has acted as a mentor to all medical learners, often hosting medical learner wellness events at his own home.

Dr. Mohammadi also supports the Summer Studentship Program and NOSM University’s Comprehensive Clinical Clerkship (CCC) program. He hosts group learning sessions, facilitates Clinical Academic Rounds (CAR), and provides transitional education in the Emergency Room.

He has also been a champion in developing a PGY3 EM residency position in Sault Ste. Marie, which is still under development.

Additionally, Dr. Mohammadi has been the driving force in implementing a SIMulation lab at SAH. He developed the Sault Emergency Medicine Conference hosted annually in September from 2011 until 2019. For many years, Dr. Mohammadi volunteered as a Tactical Emergency Medical Officer with Sault Ste. Marie Police Services.
In 2019, he was awarded the Sault Ste. Marie Academic Medical Association’s Excellence in Medical Education.

In 2018 he was nominated for the NOSM University’s Medical Educator Award. He was also nominated for a PAIRO preceptor award in 2022 by our local family medicine residents.

iCcare Awards
Employee iCcare Award: Sarah Dunlop
Sarah is a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department who embodies the iCcare values at SAH. She is a diligent, honest, empathetic, and compassionate individual.

Caring comes naturally for Sarah and it’s reflected in all aspects of her work. She is kind, respectful, honest and an excellent listener. She understands that many patients come to the Emergency Department feeling frightened and she takes the time to listen to their concerns and provide comfort and reassurance. Often, she is able to help people feel at ease during their most vulnerable and unpredictable time of their life. She strives to provide the best care possible for her patients, even in the most difficult and challenging situations. She is always willing to go above and beyond to ensure her patients’ needs are met, whether it means spending extra time with them or providing emotional support during difficult moments.

Sarah is the type of person who approaches all situations with kindness and honesty. She is calm and always able to diffuse a difficult situation. She also has the uncanny ability to put people at ease and make them feel heard, while addressing issues that are often difficult to discuss. She speaks kindly to patients, shows that she understands their concerns, explains how she is going to help, and respectfully sets healthy boundaries.

Sarah demonstrates respect to her colleagues, collaborating with them in a professional and courteous manner. She is empathetic and caring towards her patients, families and coworkers.

She is a pleasure to work with and promotes a respectful, collegial work environment. Sarah is a highly skilled and knowledgeable Registered Nurse. A natural leader, her colleagues look up to her and turn to her when they have questions or concerns. Sarah leads by example and makes her team want to live up to her altruistic nature. She is often the person that her colleagues turn to when they are unsure of something or need support.
SAH congratulate Sarah Dunlop, a most-deserving iCcare Award recipient!

Physician iCcare Award: Dr. Adam Parent
Dr. Parent is an Emergency Department physician who provides outstanding care, has excellent
work ethic, and expresses compassion in all his interactions. He is caring, kind, inclusive, and everything you hope for in a physician and co-worker.

Dr. Parent demonstrates the iCcare values in various ways throughout his work as an Emergency Department Physician at SAH. His friendly demeanor allows him to develop instant rapport with patients, colleagues and learners. He takes the time to carefully listen to his patients, empathizing with their concerns and provides comfort and reassurance during moments of vulnerability. He clearly communicates diagnoses, treatments, and potential outcomes; he always upholds ethical standards in his practice. He consistently looks for ways to
help others. He speaks with patients in a calm manner, often using humour and humility. It is not uncommon to see Dr. Parent holding a patient’s hand while reassuring them. From bringing a patient a warm blanket, to making them feel more at ease, to smiling while they are feeling anxious and afraid, Dr. Parent is there to help patients get through their visit.

He is a very knowledgeable and skilled physician who is always willing to help a colleague. Dr. Parent is approachable, well respected by his colleagues and is supportive of continuous learning. He brings to his shifts, a palpable level of positive energy into the department. He is a team player who is approachable and always willing to listen. Dr. Parent is able to quickly identify what is happening in a situation and empathize.

Without judgement, he is able to get to the root of a person’s agenda and through honest and open communication, come up with a plan of action. He works seamlessly with others and wants everyone to work in a stress free and harmonious environment where everyone can be their best. Dr. Parent has the ability to identify when someone on the team is having an “off day” and he always responds with paying a compliment, a kind gesture, or an offer to talk.

Overall, Dr. Parent’s dedication to the iCcare values contributes to his success as an Emergency
Department physician and earns him the trust and admiration of those around him.

iCcare Award: Abby Obenchain Volunteer
Abby is a dedicated, honest, forward-thinking volunteer who has been instrumental in improving the patient experience at SAH. She has been an active volunteer since early 2020, beginning in the Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) resource pool and then becoming an active member of the Corporate PFAC.

She has contributed more than 185 hours over her tenure at SAH with 140 hours in 2022-23 alone. Abby is a strong leader who does not hesitate to ensure that quality is at the forefront and brings forward suggestions and ideas to make any process better. She is willing to stand on her own, offering her thoughts and support to the healthcare system, personally and socially.

Abby gives her time freely and has participated on many committees and supported many projects, process improvements and operational activities at SAH. She has been instrumental in helping to bridge gaps among community organizations to foster learning and share experiences. She is a tireless advocate for underserviced populations and is dedicated to improving access to healthcare. In the community, she is a champion for healthcare, voicing her opinions respectfully with a steadfast agenda of improving care. She uses her extensive
knowledge and experience as a communications professional to clearly articulate her point of view and advocate for improved access. She has a strong sense of justice and her actions reflect her beliefs in what is right and her strong sense of integrity. Abby is consistently looking to represent the voice of vulnerable, at risk, and under-represented patients and families.

Abby demonstrates true partnership when collaborating with other staff, physicians, and volunteers. She has a passion for system-level thinking in healthcare and always considers the patients as well as frontline staff in decision-making. Regardless of who Abby is working with, she can be relied on to be accountable for everything she says and does. Abby is respectful of the opinions of others and does not judge or attempt to correct them. Abby is a testament to our iCcare values and most deserving of this award.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *