Our continued commitment to your health care

Horizon has a plan to improve health care in New Brunswick. Our plan is focused on retention and recruitment efforts, in addition to improving the overall patient experience by addressing patient flow and access to services.

Our four priority areas are:

Patient experience
Patient flow
Access to emergency care, surgical services and addiction and mental health services
Recruitment and retention

These four priorities each have strategic, timely and achievable initiatives aligned to them.

Horizon is focused on building a strong foundation of health care services for the future. We know this matters to you, our patients, clients, families, communities, and our dedicated health care workers.

Do we have a lot of work to do? Of course. But we are up to the challenge and will be sharing our successes with you along the way.

We are committed to keeping our staff and physicians, patients and clients and stakeholders and communities informed of our progress on what we are doing to change health care for the better in New Brunswick. This webpage will provide regular updates on these initiatives.

Focusing on barriers impacting access to health care services for our patients, with a special emphasis on emergency care, surgical services and addiction and mental health services

Members of Horizon Health Network (Horizon)’s Surgery Program are taking an innovative approach to performing surgeries on patients who have been waiting the longest for orthopaedic surgeries, which will improve access to surgical services and decrease the overall wait time for in-demand surgeries.

Surgical teams in Fredericton, Miramichi, Moncton and Saint John will complete a “blitz” of up to 96 surgeries – primarily orthopaedic (hip and knee replacements) – on Saturdays in November, December, January and February. Typically, operating rooms (ORs) do not run planned surgeries on weekends. Click here for details.

Horizon Health Network (Horizon), in partnership with community leaders in the Sussex area, have come together to find solutions to ensure accessible and sustainable health services in the Sussex area.

The Sussex Health Centre (SHC) and Sussex and Area Action Group has been established and work is now underway – the group has held its initial meetings in September and October where the overall goals and objectives, team structure and roles and responsibilities were established. Read more here.

Horizon wishes to inform the public that its Mobile Crisis Unit (MCU) in the Miramichi area is offering expanded hours of service to better meet the needs of clients by improving access and client experience for this important service.

As of Nov. 1, Miramichi’s Mobile Crisis Unit has expanded its hours of service to respond to addiction and mental health crisis needs in the community from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Read more here.

The addition of an addictions and mental health social worker in the Emergency Department (ED) at Horizon’s Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital has helped improve access to addiction and mental health services for over 1,900 patients since January as part of a pilot project.

Based on this early success to offer additional support to these patients, Horizon is expanding the pilot project into three more emergency departments: three more social workers will join our addiction and mental health teams in Moncton, Saint John and Miramichi. These social workers will help ensure patients who come to our EDs with addiction or mental health concerns receive improved care and support in their recovery. Click here for additional details.

Horizon is introducing a series of strategic changes to its Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE) program which will help ensure consistent access and improved care for survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence.

These measures were identified as a result of an internal review of Horizon’s FNE program – formerly known as the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program – services undertaken by the organization earlier this fall.

Forensic Nurse Examiners provide specialized nursing services and trauma-informed care to victims of sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and maltreatment to any individual including men, women, teens, children, seniors and members of the LGBTQ community. Read more here.

As part of our commitment to improving access to surgical services for our patients, we’re investing $6.4 million to expand surgical programs at our hospitals in Upper River Valley, Oromocto, Sackville and Sussex.

This is an important and exciting investment in our facilities and staff, which will benefit patients throughout the province. Read more here.

Horizon is taking an important step toward improved management of Horizon-wide programs by adjusting the leadership and organizational structure of its clinical departments to improve collaboration and consistency across Horizon and the patient experience and outcomes. ​

Two new regional positions have been created to co-lead Horizon’s Surgical department.

Amy McCavour has been appointed as the Executive Regional Director, Co-Leader. She will be responsible for the operational planning, management, and leadership of the Surgical and Intensive Care department to ensure services/programs are developed, operated, and evaluated while maintaining efficient and effective resource utilization, patient/family satisfaction, and quality patient care that meets established standards and public expectations across all health zones. Read more about Amy here.

Dr. Patricia Bryden has been appointed as the Executive Clinical/Academic Department Head, Co-Leader. She will oversee daily operations of the Surgical and Intensive Care department in all Horizon facilities relating to the quality of medical care, professional development, and medical staff issues, and will  ensure compliance with Horizon Health Network By-laws and Medical Staff Rules and Regulations and accountability measures in accordance with the bylaws and all Horizon Health Network policies. Read more about Dr. Bryden here.

Introducing initiatives focused on providing quality care experience for our patients

A pilot project that sees social workers intervene with patients in emergency departments (ED) is helping prevent social admissions, reduce emergency department visits and strengthening early co-ordination of social determinants of health to decrease the length of stay for admitted patients.

This pilot project started at Horizon’s Saint John Regional Hospital in January 2022. The program was also introduced at The Moncton Hospital and Miramichi Regional Hospital in spring 2022 and the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital in Fredericton in summer 2022. Learn more here.

While you wait to be triaged and seen in the ED, you may be introduced to our newest care team members who work exclusively in hospital waiting rooms in Fredericton, Miramichi, Moncton, and Saint John. They may be a licenced practical nurse (LPN), a personal care attendant with specialized training (PCA 2), or a nursing student who is eager to help on the frontline.

After introducing themselves to you, they may:

  • Check your vital signs;
  • Ensure you are comfortable i.e., bring you a blanket if you are cold, or water if you are thirsty;
  • Report any concerns to the triage nurse or ED staff; and
  • Monitor the well-being of others who are waiting in the ED.

Read more about this program here.

Streamlining the way patients move into, through and out of our hospitals

Patient flow and access to services are two key areas Horizon has committed to improving, along with retention and recruitment and improving patient experience. The Physician Assistants (PA) at Horizon’s Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital in Fredericton are doing just that in the Emergency Department, which is why we are adding a third PA to support this ongoing effort.

PAs assess patients, order tests or review results with the patient, prescribe medications and help implement a recovery plan. We are able to do this with the help of Ryan Bennett and Kevin the two PAs at the DECRH. Read more here.

Implementing initiatives to retain valuable health care workers paired with an aggressive recruitment strategy

Horizon’s Student Nurse Advancement Pledge (SNAP) provides nursing students with a seamless transition from student to nurse. Guaranteed employment is offered to all BScN/BN and Practical Nursing students and grads from any recognized college or university across Canada. Horizon will support nursing students through numerous career paths in a variety of specialty areas and settings. Click here for details.

September is Employee Appreciation Month and we’ve been showing our appreciation to staff at employee appreciation events across the province.  Through our Bravo! program, patients and their families can share stories about an employee who went above and beyond to make a difference. Learn more here.

We are committed to keeping our staff, physicians, volunteers, and the public informed of our nurse recruitment progress. One way we are doing this is by showing how many nursing staff have been hired in Horizon facilities.

We are doing this by publishing the Horizon Nurse Recruitment Dashboard.

It provides a snapshot of how many nurses (Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses and Patient Care Attendants) have been recruited thus far in our fiscal year from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023 and where they came from – whether it was New Brunswick, other provinces, or outside of Canada. The numbers are updated daily and show progress toward our nurse recruitment targets.

For additional information, visit our website and read our latest accomplishments.

Employee Health Wellness & Safety has evolved into a department with multiple focuses: Injury Prevention, Occupational Health & Safety, Employee Health and Employee Wellness.

We recently launched three new initiatives to support our employees through the summer surge in COVID-19 cases: an employee greeter program at our four large regional hospitals that have see an increase in outbreak units, on-site COVID-19 booster clinics and an enhanced outdoor seating project.

Read more about these initiatives here.

Since April 1, Horizon talent acquisition specialists have successfully recruited and onboarded 255 Registered Nurses (RNs), 159 Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and 275 Patient Care Attendants (PCAs), in addition to hundreds of allied health professionals and support service workers across several fields of expertise. Learn more here.

Horizon is actively recruiting nurses, physicians and other health care workers to work in New Brunswick and you can help. If you are a New Brunswick resident, or a Horizon staff member or physician and want to spread the word about Horizon career opportunities, this is your chance to be rewarded – in dollars! Your reward depends on the eligible position that is successfully referred. Learn more about the Horizon Referral Reward Program here.

Read more!

We want to hear from you!

Horizon Health Network is committed to involving people affected by the decisions it makes.

Whether you are a staff, physician or volunteer, or a patient, client or family member, or member of the public – we want to hear from you in a way that is meaningful to YOU.

Visit our Let’s Talk Horizon platform for all current engagement projects.