St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital has unveiled a new Strategic Plan, setting priorities for the next four years.

Hospital President Robert Biron unveiled the plan to staff, physicians and volunteers at a launch event last week.

The plan is focused on four strategic directions, or themes, that will shape the organization in the coming years to better serve the community, enhance its performance and address current health system challenges.

The hospital has put the focus on partnering with patients, creating collaborative networks, empowering the hospital team and achieving operational excellence.

Biron believes creating collaborative networks may be the most important, "It's the importance of working together, as an integrated system, is really paramount now, more so than ever before."

Biron says the Ford government's move away from Local Health Integration Networks to local health teams can help achieve that.

"I'm cautiously optimistic that the direction that the current government is taking around creating these Ontario health teams is the right approach, looking at local solutions that will work for us. And, yes, there will be challenges along the way."

The 157 bed facility completed a $98-million expansion in January of 2018.