2018 Conference Themes

June 20, 2018

Relationship Design with Starfield in Mind


The AFHTO 2018 Conference program is built around 6 core themes.

Concurrent Theme Descriptions

Download a printable PDF of the theme descriptions here.

  1. Mental health and addictions
  2. Healthy relationships, healthy teams
  3. Expanding your reach
  4. The “How to” stream
  5. Why hasn’t this expanded: scalable pilot programs
  6. The future of the regional approach to healthcare

1. Mental health and addictions

The importance of mental health to the overall health of both individuals and the communities in which they live has never been more apparent. Primary care teams are grappling with complex issues as exemplified by Ontario’s opioid crisis and need to discern among the tools and approaches available to address patients’ (and their families’) needs effectively. Topics of interest include:

  • Addressing needs of specific populations
  • Mental health care integrated with interprofessional primary care teams
  • Partnerships that work
  • Reducing disparities
  • Mental health using a health equity lens

2. Healthy relationships, healthy teams

To fully leverage the advantages of interprofessional primary health care, team members need to be able to rely on and trust one another. Without these fundamentals, true collaboration can’t take place. Topics of interest include:

  • Leveraging the team to meet patient and community needs
  • Achieving full scope of practice for all team members
  • Managing conflict within the team
  • Engaging all team members in care and coordinating/advocating care for patients
  • Introducing new interprofessional team members
  • Behaviour change (e.g. going from solo to team practice)
  • Employee engagement
  • Communication strategies for FHO/FHT partnerships

3. Expanding your reach

Only 25-30% of Ontarians currently have access to interprofessional team-based primary health care and disparities in health outcomes persist throughout the province. The latter may not be a direct result of the former, but evidence suggests collaborative team-based care can help reduce these disparities. It’s in our communities’ best interests to sustainably increase access to primary care teams. Topics of interest include:

  • Effective program planning
  • Teams as a vital part of the community
  • Ongoing and proven efforts to improve access, including small and rural teams
  • Integrating our community partners as part of the team
  • Brainstorming ideas, needs assessment, evaluation and marketing – how we can reduce the disparities

4. The “How to” stream

This is an open-ended stream. The topics need only be actionable and relevant to interprofessional primary care teams. Topics of interest include how to:

  • Talking about your work – what are you doing to make a difference for your patients?
  • Approaching new partners – what’s in it for them? How to create collaborative relationships with your community.
  • Applying for grants – how to take an idea and watch it spread
  • Addressing social determinants of health – making meaningful difference for your patients
  • Moving from Strategic to Generative – how to reframe the conversation with your Board

5. Why hasn’t this expanded: scalable pilot programs

Canada has been called a land of pilot projects and Ontario’s primary care teams are no exception. This stream focuses on those ideas that have struggled to spread despite overwhelming evidence of their effectiveness. Topics of interest include:

  • Highlighting great ideas across the province that should be scaled up
  • Canadian and international innovations that could be integrated here within a realistic timeframe

6. The future of the regional approach to healthcare

Implementation of Patients First continues to have implications for primary healthcare. Teams need to navigate the changing landscape and position themselves to mitigate its challenges and make the most of opportunities as they arise. Topics of interest include:

  • The ongoing development of LHIN sub regions
  • Relationships with LHINs and the Ministry
  • Health Links going forward
  • Making the Patient Medical Home a Reality in your Community