Being a part of providing outstanding care


Windsor Regional Hospital’s recruitment and retention program is somewhat unique due to its geographic location being on an international border (Detroit, Michigan). However, many Canadian cities have similar neighbours around them.

For decades, the job market for nursing and other professions in the Windsor/Essex had huge opportunities to accept positions in the United States due to aggressive recruitment from hospitals across the border. Thousands of nurses were offered above benchmark salaries and signing bonuses, therefore agreeing to drive across the border every day to work in Detroit area hospitals. Currently, it is estimated that 3000 Windsor residents travel to Michigan daily for health-care employment.

However, things have changed dramatically over the last few years due to 9/11, homeland security, financial cutbacks and the devalued U.S. dollar being main factors. Nurses and other professions have been attracted ‘back home’ to Windsor Regional Hospital due to its aggressive ‘We Care’ promotion. However, we think it went well beyond that.

When the ‘We Care…that’s why we’re here’ campaign began, it displayed the faces of health-care workers from all sectors of the organization. The real faces of people were recognized for the outstanding level of care they gave to Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH) each and every day. The direct, positive message was transformed on billboards, including some placed in Detroit, and it worked. Nursing staff along with other professions have sought out WRH as an employer of choice.

“The We Care program proved to be every successful since being launched several years ago as it showed others who were thinking of working at Windsor Regional Hospital that we do appreciate and recognize our staff,” says David Musyj, President and CEO.

In his annual message in June of this year, Mr. Musyj says, “During the past year, we had an opportunity to celebrate the recruitment of two young, highly educated and exceptionally trained physicians who could practice anywhere they wished in the world. When a person in our community asked me, ‘Why would they come to Windsor Regional Hospital?’ I was taken back by the comment but quickly responded, ‘because Windsor Regional Hospital is becoming one of the best medical teaching facilities in the province of Ontario, let alone nationally and soon internationally.’”

Mr. Musyj further stated, “Hanging in my office is a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882): ‘If a man can write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mousetrap than his neighbour, though he builds his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door.’ This quote was the driving force behind the Mayo brothers founding and locating the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Rochester has a population of just over 100,000 but is home to one of the finest, if not the finest, largest and most well-respected medical facilities in the world.

David’s point is that an organization’s reputation should be a stand-alone factor in strong recruitment and retention of the best staff available. In the last three years, WRH has attracted approximately 50 highly educated and experienced nursing staff back from the United States. “There are so many things we can offer nurses who return back home and to Windsor Regional Hospital,” says Karen McCullough, Vice President of Acute Care and Chief Nursing Executive. “Along with an updated clinical setting due to recent construction and improvements, we offer lifestyle incentives that are very appealing as well.”

Windsor Regional Hospital, along with its ‘Above and Beyond-We Care’ program also has an award-winning Healthy Lifestyles Program that offers two modern full-equipped fitness gyms. Other healthy incentives include continued classes for yoga, running and walking clinics, ride your bike to work, weight watchers, workplace violence prevention and zumba fitness. These are appealing to staff who want a well-rounded working environment.

The hospital’s reputation as a leader in the province has been recognized more than once for winning the ‘best of the best’ leading practice awards for innovative ideas shared among hospitals and healthcare organizations across Ontario. As a NQI (National Quality Institute) Level III Silver Award winning facility, along side of R.I.M.(Research In Motion) the creators of the Blackberry; Windsor Regional Hospital is well positioned to step forward and recruit and retain the best!

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