Dr. David Schieck
Originally, I wanted to be a police officer. My mother wanted me to be doctor and steered me in that direction. I spent the first few years of my practice in the far north – in Moose Factory, Sioux Lookout and the fly-in community in Fort Albany. I gradually moved south and finally chose to settle in Guelph, which allowed me to be close to my family in Drayton.
I like that Guelph has the feel of a small town but with an urban centre that’s just the right size. We’re a close-knit community. That makes it easier to have a greater impact on the local community. It’s very similar to the impact the LHIN can have on our local communities.
For many years, I was involved in working on general and family practice. I’ve always been interested in the bigger picture of bringing change to the system. I saw the opportunity to introduce organizations to each other to encourage them to work together. I’ve learned that you can get great outcomes when you get the frontline workers – like doctors – and the people who run the system to get to know each other and work together.
That’s the same opportunity we have now with the LHIN. The greatest opportunity I’m seeing in Guelph is in our ability to provide the leadership that will advance change in the system. I’m hopeful about what we can do in the community. By bringing most of the primary care together under one umbrella, we’ve made things easier. There are some really big advantages to this approach.
With all that we’ve been able to accomplish already, we’re ready to try the next steps with pilot projects to help the system work better. We need to figure out the next steps in our evolution to move the system forward – in Guelph and the entire Waterloo-Wellington region.
Now that we’ve been successful in bringing the primary care community together, we can start looking at other areas, like how we work with our specialist colleagues, as well as hospitals and emergency departments. There are lots of opportunities to bring what we’ve learned in Guelph in the areas of mental health and addiction to other areas served by the WWLHIN.
The most important thing is to continue to bring the front-line voice to inform how our local systems will change in the coming years. The experience of the frontline can help shape the direction the LHIN takes. At the same time, we can help facilitate the communication between the LHIN and the community. That’s how good things can happen.