Cornwall Community Hospital Release – Dump 4 Lab Jobs – Improve Service – Say What?

CCH Emerg NEWCORNWALL Ontario –  After playing “funny beggars” last week when we asked CCH about the closed lab they issued a release this afternoon.


The Eastern Ontario Regional Laboratory Association (EORLA) has taken measures to broaden and enhance the pathology service at its laboratory within the Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH). The technical elements of the local service will leverage the capabilities of the EORLA Integrated Pathology Program and the EORLA Reference AP Laboratory. By implementing this model, it ensures that the EORLA Pathologists at Cornwall Community Hospital get the maximum benefit from all tools and resources available to ensure optimal service and care for the patients and clinicians of the CCH. The benefits of the enhancements include supporting local pathologists to continue excellent pathology service, support improvements in technical turn-around-times and specimen integrity. The new model also ensures a cost effective and sustainable model is in place. All direct patient contact will continue to be in Cornwall and EORLA continues to operate a significant laboratory within CCH.

Surgical Pathology as a discipline is proactively continuing to pursue excellent patient care, with every effort to ensure patient safety. Pathologists are medical doctors who are specialists in the diagnosis of diseases in tissue samples, using a variety of techniques. The preparation of these specimens is the responsibility of trained laboratory technologists and pathologist’s assistants. The information given in these reports provides much more than just the diagnosis, especially in cases of cancer where additional features of the tumours are used to provide more specific and effective therapy by the treating physicians. One hundred percent of all cancer treatments require a pathology report. Integrating the technical elements of pathology within the EORLA Integrated Pathology Program will ensure the future stability of the onsite pathology service and the continued provision of quality pathology service to the patients and physicians of the Cornwall Community Hospital.

The changes will regrettably mean that up to four technical staff could be affected. EORLA is committed to a process where all affected staff will be treated fairly with compassion and respect. All efforts will be taken to mitigate the impact on our frontline staff including exploration of redeployment within the Cornwall laboratory and the broader EORLA operations.

The Eastern Ontario Regional Laboratory Association (EORLA) is a member-based, incorporated, not-for-profit organization delivering high quality, cost effective sustainable and safe medical laboratory services. EORLA membership comprises the 16 acute care hospitals within the Champlain LHIN, including Cornwall Community Hospital. On April 1, 2012 the 16 member hospitals turned over the operations of their medical laboratories to EORLA, and at that point, EORLA became the largest voluntary integrated laboratory in Ontario. EORLA represents a unique approach to health system integration. It represents the best principles of collaboration and has moved from concept to operation by the collective will of the hospital leaders within the Champlain LHIN, the support of the Champlain LHIN and the support of the Ministry of Health. The model embraces the values of the Ministry of Health by delivering patient-focused, results-driven, integrated and sustainable laboratory services to its member hospitals today and into the future.

I know I don’t have a medical degree, but it sounds like this release is suggesting that by dumping four lab jobs in Cornwall somehow service for we patients will improve.

That’s probably why Ms Despatie pulls down the loot she does each year; because oddly enough many people just might believe this?

What do you think Cornwall?  You can post your comments below.


  1. Sounds just like what national stores say when they close stores “to serve you better.” It should read “to maximize our profits” or in this case “to do the same job with no local involvement.”

  2. The staff were forced to agree to a gag on this at their meeting last week. Some info got to the city and council gave a rousing approval to asking the LHIN to come talk to them. Nothing gonna happen except more people dying faster.

  3. Heads of histology be replaced with summer students. Ain’t no boots on the ground here. But what’s a few deaths due to extra wait times and errors among bilinqual friends. The fundraisers and circle jerks will continue and nobody will boycott them. Where else do you get to wear your biologically stained finery around here?
    Lecky’s house?

  4. This is a hilarious example of non speak. It could win a prize! The problem is, the issue is not funny. Especially the “touched by an angel part” (gag me): “all affected staff will be treated fairly with compassion and respect.” Sadly, this isn’t really about the people who lost their jobs. It’s about patients who deserve compassion…whose prostates might be exploding with pain but who may have to wait extended periods of time for cultures that will allow their docs to prescribe antibiotics…or MS patients who have chronic bladder infections (they can’t feel due to their disease) but who are suffering and at risk nonetheless. Assuming the hospital has some very good reasons about moving diagnostics to Ottawa, it has failed at communicating them.

  5. The hospital has clarified the initial press release. There will be no loss of jobs here at the hospital, the four job losses are coming from EORLA staff and not CCH staff. Pathology services will now be enhanced at the Cornwall hospital.

  6. Excellent comment Hugger. It’s been the Harper/Hudak mantra for quite some time. The less services our governments provide, the better off is our (wealthy) population.

  7. If Harpoon Harpo were treated like that or any of his MP’s or Senators we would all hear a hooting and hollering going around. We the little people are treated very poorly and I wish that these rich jerks would get a taste of what they put us through. I am no longer voting since not one person is any good at all. Gee how politicians stink.

  8. I suspect CCH is blowing a lot of hot air.Last word at council yesterday was that people were going to loose their jobs as this was being transferred to Ottawa. Rivette was visibly angered by this as after millions in grant & donation money comes in to expand & modernize CCH & then they go & do this. Reference was made to people having to wait a lot longer for results. Is it any wonder we can’t attract more doctors to Cornwall!

  9. Although the physical labs remain all the labs and all the employees in the labs in Cornwall have not been part of the hospital since April 1, 2012, when the Eastern Ontario Regional Laboratory Association officially took over 17 regional hospital labs including all of the day to day operations and the Human Resources/payroll. EORLA already moved the Microbiology Lab from Cornwall to Ottawa back in March 2013, retiring one Lab Technologist and sending two other Lab staff to their core lab within the CCH. The moving of the Histology Lab will see four Lab staff either moved to Ottawa or elsewhere if willing or others retired with packages or even bumped from the Cornwall site. Presently EORLA has a no replacement policy for Lab Technologists who retire or leave their employ for other reasons as the new management structure of EORLA is quite extensive and of course well paid and they are facing heavy expenses.
    Histology technicians work in a laboratory doing tasks that help pathologists diagnose disease such as cancer.

  10. Author

    Sadly our good councilor gets hot, but leaks steam and rarely accomplishes anything….He means well, but fails to score the point.

  11. There is one thing though to be concerned about. Can you imagine if they close down the CCH and have all patients brought to Ottawa and elsewhere? This can happen if they keep on cutting. Ontario is in very deep trouble financially and jobs are disappearing. This would be a nightmare in the making. All the small places are having many services cut. I see where the lab no longer belongs to the CCH but is privatised.

  12. If anyone thinks one vote doesn’t count they are wrong. Put all those omitted one votes together and it does matter. Like I’ve said before if you don’t vote you should not be complaining about the political process. To me if you don’t vote you lose your right to complain about how things are done. In regard to Admin’s comments I agree. But I’ll take it one step further and say a lot of city council / administration gets hot, but they leak steam and rarely accomplish much. Case in point was last night’s discussion on the conflict of interest rules. They were more concerned about being brought on the carpet and penalized than they were about what the new rule was for.

  13. Author

    Hugger people are programmed to think one vote doesn’t count. It does; especially if enough “one votes” want change and push in the same direction.

  14. So sad for the people of Cornwall who will be affected by these cuts,patients who are not able to travel to farther hospitals like Winchester ,people who are losing their jobs plus lab workers always wondering if they are next to be jobless,makes for a bad atmosphere to work in.Cornwall citizens need to stop bending over with their heads in the sand.Stand up,rally,show your disapproval,changes cannot happen without hard work.Cornwall clique know that you won,t say a word no matter what choices THEY make that will be affecting your life.Start today to be that change,go to meetings,write letters & mostly get out & vote

  15. The ruination of any hospital is privatization of the lab. Look througout Canada and the US and you will witness community healthcare wreckage wherever a private lab takes over. Short-lived, costly and crisis-ridden.

  16. Susan said “The ruination of any hospital is privatization of the lab.” Well, most if not all hospital labs are privately run. In private industry it’s all about profit. From reading what the CCH has said I’m not concerned that this will affect the local patients.

  17. Admin said “Hugger people are programmed to think one vote doesn’t count. It does; especially if enough “one votes” want change and push in the same direction.” I agree. But I see big changes happening in the next federal, provincial and municipal elections. People have had enough of the government of the day and their attitudes.

  18. We go to private labs here in Ottawa. My daughter has to go every 3 to 6 months because of her thyroid disease and has to go soon. The care and treatment are not the same at all and most places are going this way. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Winchester Memorial and other small hospitals close. They would usually be the first to go. Everything has to do with savings and it could have to do with the salaries and perks that people receive. It is becoming no more permanent jobs and no perks – you take what is there and that is it.

  19. When I used to go on forums I spoke on line with some American ladies including one Canadian lady who lives in Vermont. Everyone of them said back then that the health care system in the US is not much better than that of Canada. All these ladies were paying private insurance which costs a bundle for a family and they had to wait quite a while in the doctor’s office including the walk in clinics and the hospitals. Those who went in for surgery were in and out like what they are here in Canada. Now under Obama care things are a great deal worse and yes again you pay dearly. The good days are gone and will not come back except through a miracle those days were a dream. It won’t matter who gets in as PM of the country or of a province the result will be the same. The only difference will be at the local level ex. if you toss Bare Ass out and get someone better like Jamie or someone else who is well qualified for the job otherwise you will be stuck with the same old thing.

  20. All blood labs in Ontario are privately run, none are operated by the province. Jules’ daughter has to go every 3 to 6 months. That’s not bad. I go at least every month. The smaller hospitals will not close, the province has / is pumping too much money into them. How can you connect the current mayor with the current state of Ontario healthcare? Changing the mayor will have no affect on provincial healthcare.

  21. Author

    That’s not 100% true hugger.

  22. Mayors can have their say on what they want in healthcare. But in the end it’s up to the province and the ministry what happens. Local politicians have very little affect on the ultimate end result.

  23. Hugger people have to stand up and be counted. I can see the problems commuting to Ottawa and other large cities for care and yes this would be humoungous. Not everyone has a car nor the means to commute and especially people with health problems that affect their mobility. You all have to take a stand at Bare Ass as the starting point and take your lead from their to Winnie in TO. The first thing that I would cut down are the teachers humoungous salaries and the education is very low. Health care is a must.

    I just came across an article here on yahoo about the casual use of pot. Jamie your article is not on but I want you to read this:

    Casual pot use causes brain abnormalities in the young: study

    Someone even mentioned about legal drugs like ritilin which is a legal drug given by doctors to help control hyperactivity and this is a mind altering drug and very dangerous. There is nothing safe out there at all. Everything has its side effects. I wish that article was still up for me to put this through but read it.

  24. I agree about standing up and being counted. Then perhaps you should change your stance on voting. Agreed on commuting to Ottawa for medical appointments, I’ve changed all my doctors to Cornwall except for my family doctor. I refuse to train a new one. Making political changes is not easy and takes time. As for teacher’s salaries that isn’t easy as they’d have to break contracts, not that the Fiberals haven’t done that before.

  25. “The benefits of the enhancements include supporting local pathologists to continue excellent pathology service, support improvements in technical turn-around-times and specimen integrity.” This statement infers that turn-around time will improve, however the turn around time at the Cornwall Histology lab and therefore support of the local pathologists and surgeons is presently far superior than the turn-around-times at the Ottawa facility to which this local lab and these jobs will be lost. Apparently, although claiming minimal impact on the lives of these misplaced workers EORLA will now “not commit” to trying to find solutions for the employment of the affected lab staff other than asking them to either leave their homes and family in Cornwall to move to another area in EORLA’s jurisdiction or for the workers to commute possibly thousands of kilometers per month to work. That is if there are positions for them and EORLA is working under a “no replacement policy” when employees leave their employment. However, EORLA did commit to showing them respect … ha!

  26. Hugger Bare Ass is a dyed in wool liberal/fiberal and just like Queen Bernadette that falls head over heals at every word that Bare Ass comes out with since she too is a groveler want to be big time in the libs. If Bare Ass were really concerned about his community he would really say something to Winnie in TO. Bare Ass and queen Bernadette and anybody else who grovels to the party mud hole is doing a disservice to the community at large. I do see the closing of hospitals and it is happening all over the US and around the world. The small hospitals will close. When my children were born my doctor (OB) went to the Grace General Hospital and that was a nice hospital in the west end. Well Hugger they tore that hospital down and believe me it was a nice place for patients to be and not just for delivery but for everything. Yes I sure do believe that the small hospitals in small areas will close and they will send the patients to bigger places in order to save money.

  27. I was wondering if the walk in clinic on McConnell Avenue is still there which was next door to the former Hotel Dieu now known as the CCH. They have a lab in there and I was there a few times even to see a doctor who used to practice there and was my doctor while in Cornwall. If they still have a lab then people would not have to commute to Ottawa and other places. Let me know what is going on down there.

  28. I was born at the Grace Hospital. It was closed in 1999 when the hospitals in Ottawa (and Ontario) were consolidated. With the Civic Hospital about 5 minutes away there was no need for the Grace. The same thing happened to the Riverside Hospital. With the General Hospital about ten minutes away it was not needed. The Grace Hospital was replaced by Grace Manor, a long-term care facility, which I am very familiar with as my mom spent two years there.

    Yes, the walk-in clinic on McConnell Ave is still there, as is the lab. There’s also a lab on 13th Street. Most blood tests are done on McConnell, but there are some specialized ones that can only be done at hospitals or in larger cities.

  29. Hugger the Riverside Hospital is now devoted to day time surgeries as well as dialysis and things of that nature. The Grace Hospital was a very good hospital and run by the Salvation Army. The people of the Salvation Army were wonderful people and my doctor (old Dr. John Beggs) was an old WWII vet and a doctor during those years and he had great respect for the Salvation Army and so did the soldiers during those days. Lots of cuts in the health care system back then and still continuing to this day.

    Good to hear that the lab on McConnell Ave. is still there and yes certain tests do have to be done at a hospital. When my daughter had to have certain procedure done on her thyroid she went to the Civic Hospital. They gave her an iodine laced tablet and it took off too much of her thyroid gland. She is on Synthroid for the rest of her life. She is always tired even with the Synthroid.

  30. Yes, I know the Riverside Campus is for day surgery, etc, It along with the Grace hospital were not needed as other hospitals are close by.

    I use the lab on McConnell all the time. I use the appointment service, so I don’t waste time waiting.

  31. Hugger there is a lab in the back of the Riverside Hospital Campus and we went there a few times even for X-rays. We have the habit of going at the Kilborne Medical Centre. We went to the one at 381 Kent Street and my doctor doesn’t like their X-ray company at all and every time when my daughter and I would get X-rays done there he wanted the film itself to look at. Next Saturday my daughter will be going to the Kilborne Medical Centre and has to fast.

  32. Just to be clear Jules, the “lab” is not the “pharmacy” and would have nothing to do with the distribution of any form of medication, and for those who use labs on McConnell Ave and 13th Street, these are private labs which actually charge more to the health care system than a core lab at the hospitals can do the tests for. They also pick and choose which tests they wish to perform. If they find the equipment too expensive then leave it to the hospital. They pay less than hospitals and employ more Lab Assistants and less Medical Laboratory Technologists who must sign off on all tests performed. In the long run these private labs are all about the bottom line and profit while patient care .. not so much!

  33. Instead of getting an injunction, etc against the hospital shouldn’t the city be asking EORLA to explain why the jobs are being moved?

  34. Author

    I was given an interesting explanation off the record. I do agree it’s all about money though.

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