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Naming Directive Restricts Hospitals’ Discretion to Change Their Corporate and Business Names

December 12, 2017

by Ken Mayhew

On Oct 12, the Hospitals Branch of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in Ontario issued a directive restricting the naming of hospital corporations and, in some instances, individual hospital sites.

Together with the Ontario Hospitals Association (OHA) and the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, a number of AFP members have been quite active on this issue, and we are disappointed by this outcome. Please read and share the joint formal submission linked below. We will continue to work on this and other issues impacting AFP members.

Excerpt from OHA email

Today, the Hospitals Branch of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (Ministry) issued the first Minister’s Directive on Hospital Naming.

The Naming Directive sets out restrictions on hospitals’ discretion to change their corporate and business names. This includes a requirement to seek endorsement of both their LHIN and approval of the Ministry for any proposed corporate or business name changes of a hospital corporation; hospital site; individual buildings where the building comprises all or substantially all of a hospital site; and alliances, partnerships and other associations between or among hospital corporations.

Proposed corporate and business names for these entities cannot include a corporate or business name of a corporate donor, or the name of an individual or family.  The Directive permits the Minister, on receiving an application in writing from a hospital, to grant exemptions to the process requirements set out in the Directive where the Minister deems it necessary or appropriate.

The issuance of the final Naming Directive comes after months of advocacy between the Minister’s Office and the Ministry, and the OHA, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy. This included a substantive joint formal submission provided to the Ministry earlier this year which highlighted a number of significant concerns, including:

  • the encroachment on matters of hospital governance;
  • the inequity of its application to hospitals but not in other public-sector institutions; and
  • the potential chill on philanthropic giving in the hospital sector.

For more information please contact Cynthia Quigley

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