It was with interest we saw Dr. Eric Fonberg’s name appear in the Toronto Star over the weekend. Fonberg, along with 10 other colleagues from York Central Hospital, had decided the best place to have a meeting about hospital “accountability” would be Boca Raton, Florida. We can hear the snickers from here.
Fonberg is better known to us as the former Chair of Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health. Fonberg served in that role while the hospital was undergoing a number of cost-saving service changes last year, including layoff of 28 child and youth workers employed in a unique and intensive program for hard-to-serve youth.
While the layoffs were originally described as “evidence-based,” the evidence didn’t hold up to scrutiny when a former employee of the Centre decided to dig a little deeper. In the end it wasn’t so much an evidence-based decision as a “me-too” decision, following the lead of other hospitals which equally lacked solid evidence in which to make their decision.