Annual Report 2015-2016

Chair’s Report to the Annual General Meeting of the

Members of The Vitanova Foundation, June 21, 2016

 

The fiscal year 2015 – 2016 was significant for The Vitanova Foundation, with the focus being on the goals and objectives laid out in our current (2014-2017) strategic plan. I am pleased to report that substantive progress was made on all fronts.

 

  • In response to the direction of our principal funder, the Central Local Health Integration Network (CLHIN), we brought to completion our two-year long Program Quality Improvement Plan—in respect of which benchmarks were established in year one (2014-2015), and targets set and met during this past fiscal year. Of the 27 quality improvement measures that were identified at the outset, more than 80% (or 22 targets) were either met or exceeded.
  • Our staff-volunteer working group continued to work diligently in preparation for accreditation by the Canadian Centre for Accreditation (CCA), whose team was on site last month for the final phase of the process. While that phase falls outside of the fiscal year that is the subject of this report, I do want to share with you that Vitanova met 25 of the 27 CCA’s organizational standards and five of the eight addiction services standards, necessitating some minor fine-tuning over the next five weeks, to achieve full accreditation. Congratulations are deserved all around!
  • Our executive director continues to mentor a successor, to ensure that Vitanova’s outstanding reputation is sustained well into the future
  • New initiatives have been undertaken with regard to fundraising, including a free-lance fundraiser and the holding of an additional fundraising event, namely a highly successful “summer festival” which will be repeated this year, on Sunday, August 21—a date to mark in your calendar.
  • This event serves a dual purpose, as it also functions as an “open house”—one of the many ways we have of reaching out to the local community and stimulating their interest in Vitanova as an important community resource.

 

Returning briefly to the question of accreditation, let me read you a few comments from the accreditor’s report:

“[Vitanova is] a healthy, effective organization that is delivering needed programs and services to its clients and community…[it] has a strong and committed board dedicated to the organization and ensuring quality services…The commitment and dedication of staff, volunteers, and especially Franca [Carella], the executive director, is just profoundly moving. All persons working within the organization go above and beyond supporting and advocating for their clients.”

 

Those are words that should make us all proud!

 

Respectfully submitted,

Michael Federico

Chair of the Board of Directors

Annual Report 2014-2015

Chair’s Report to the Annual General Meeting of the Members of The Vitanova Foundation, June 23, 2015

The fiscal year 2014-2015 was a busy one for The Vitanova Foundation on a number of fronts.

In respect of our current strategic plan—spanning the years 2014 to 2017—much progress has been made:

  • In an effort to improve the quality of our programs, staff identified 28 individual day program quality indicators, tracked each of them over the past fiscal year, and set targets to be achieved in respect of each of those indicators over the course of the current fiscal year. In addition, we have begun to solicit program evaluations from other-than-day-program clients; namely, family group members, clients in aftercare, and outpatients.
  • A staff-volunteer working group has been working diligently in preparation for accreditation by the Canadian Centre for Accreditation (CCA), which we hope to see completed by this time next year. To that end, indicators have been identified for each of the 300+ standards that CCA requires an accredited agency to meet.
  • An executive succession plan has been developed and approved by the board.
  • The hiring of a full-time fundraising coordinator has been approved by the board
  • As part of our community engagement strategy, a very successful open house was held in July of last year

Another element in our community engagement strategy, a documentary on Vitanova’s treatment model—made possible by a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation—was completed and broadcast this past January on Telelatino. Plans for the widespread distribution of the documentary are underway.

With respect to our premises, the main roof was repaired, and the derelict barn removed. And in regard to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), we commissioned an audit of the premises, to identify initiatives to be pursue to improve accessibility for our disabled clients.

Lastly, I want to pay tribute to our founder and executive director and her excellent staff who have once again gone the extra mile in making this past fiscal year at Vitanova such a success.

Respectfully submitted,

Michael Federico

Chair of the Board of Directors


 

Annual Report 2013-2014

Chair’s Report to the Annual General Meeting of the Members of The Vitanova Foundation, June 17, 2014

The fiscal year 2013-2014 was in many ways an extraordinary one for The Vitanova Foundation, with a number of key initiatives brought to fruition. These include the development of a new strategic plan to guide Vitanova in the years immediately ahead; our embarking on the multi-year process of achieving accreditation, which we expect to be successfully completed in the spring of 2016; the publication of University of Toronto professor Richard Volpe’s quite positive quantitative and qualitative analysis of the Vitanova treatment model, and the publication of The Vitanova Manual—a detailed description of every aspect of our treatment model for use by other community-based groups seeking to establish centres along the line of Vitanova.

As part of the lead-up to accreditation, a general review of policies in several important areas is under way, including human resources, volunteers, and asset-management.

The year was also noteworthy for our success in securing one-time funding for a number of important initiatives. These included a $75,000 grant from the Central Health Integration Network, to permit the upgrading of our main kitchen to institutional status; a $63,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, to produce a documentary film about Vitanova and its treatment model (to be completed in the fall of this year); and a $25,000 New Horizons for Seniors grant that allowed us to engage local seniors in instructing clients in how to prepare nutritious meals. The fruits of that project will be shown in a forthcoming publication (called Meals for Multitudes: Recipes to Feed 25, 30, 40 and 50 or More…). Of course, these successes build on the fundraising efforts of our volunteers, the Friends of Vitanova, via our annual Celebration of Life, as well as two other events organized this past year by local business persons in aid of Vitanova.

Your board and staff continue to devote their attention to important issues, as demonstrated by the development of a Quality Improvement Plan, the indicators of which are now being bench-marked. As well, the board’s Risk Committee has completed a comprehensive risk review, which will form the basis of follow-up risk management initiatives over the course of the new fiscal year. We are also this year embarking on a new outreach initiative—an open house that is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, July 15, from 4 to 8 pm, and to which all of you, along with the general public, are, of course, invited.

Lastly, I want to pay tribute to our founder and executive director and her excellent staff who have once again gone the extra mile in making this past fiscal year at Vitanova such a success.

Respectfully submitted,

Michael Federico

Chair of the Board of Directors


 

Annual Report 2012-2013

Chair’s Report to the Annual General Meeting of the Members of The Vitanova Foundation, June 18, 2013

The fiscal year that ended March 31, 2013, was notable in the history of The Vitanova Foundation on a number of fronts, all relating to initiatives that will better position Vitanova in the field of community-based addiction and mental health services in the coming years.

The first was your board’s decision to pursue accreditation—the certification by an external authority that Vitanova, in its programs and overall operations, meets a common set of standards expected of high performing agencies and institutions. The point in pursuing such certification is that in a world of diminishing funding, every group receiving financial support by way of public and private money must be in a position to demonstrate that such money is well spent. Indeed, there are indications that accreditation—until now not generally an expectation of community-based organizations such as Vitanova—will be a requirement of future funding by all sources, especially provincial ministries and private-sector groups.

Complementing accreditation as a long-term strategy for the positioning of Vitanova as a leader in the field of community-based addiction and mental health is the plan the board has adopted for the dissemination of the report by Dr. Richard Volpe of the University of Toronto, this being a quantitative and qualitative analysis of Vitanova’s addiction recovery program. As I reported last year, the report is highly positive, and is notable on that score alone. In the lead up to its publication, a preliminary assessment of the impact of the report from third party reviewers was of even more interest. What struck them was the boldness of this agency in submitting its programming to so comprehensive an external review—something that is rarely if ever undertaken by agencies of our size. Much like the pursuit of accreditation, this development positions Vitanova as a leader in the field of community-based addiction and mental health services.

A third development in this regard has been the creation of what is to be provisionally titled The Vitanova Manual, a detailed description of the model that has been developed at Vitanova over the past quarter century. The manual, to be published in this fiscal year, is intended to serve other agencies now being formed elsewhere in Canada who have been in contact with Vitanova, and wish to adopt the best features of this now proven model of addiction recovery programming.

These three initiatives, taken together, will effectively shape the future direction of Vitanova, as a mentor in the field. Of course, none of this could have been achieved without the leadership of our founder and executive director, Franca Carella, and her hard-working and committed staff, who, day in and day out, demonstrate an exemplary dedication to the welfare of our clients. On your behalf I extend to them both our congratulations and thanks for a job well done!

Respectfully submitted,

Michael Federico

Chair of the Board of Directors