Collingwood Today article published May 27, 2019
By Orillia Matters Staff, Collingwood Today
If past success is any indicator, local organizations seeking to establish an Ontario Health Team (OHT) in Orillia have an excellent track record of collaboration to showcase in their application.
As part of sweeping changes to the Ontario health care system prompted by the new People’s Health Care Act, local health organizations across the province are coming together to submit proposals illustrating how they can provide services under the structure of a local OHT.
As many as 50 OHTs could be approved across Ontario in the coming years, which will eventually result in the phasing out of Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs).
Orillia and area includes broad representation from primary care, long term care, hospitals and municipalities with a clear message that ‘we are ready and capable of engaging in this health system transformation’.
“This new model is a natural fit for everyone at the table. We’ve been working in partnership in the best interest of patients for several years,” said Dr. Kim McIntosh.
The Couchiching Regional Planning Table has engaged over 20 community agencies to complete the self assessment process.
This includes a formal alliance with The Couchiching Family Health Team, County of Simcoe, Huronia Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic, Helping Hands, Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, ProResp and Care Partners. Continous engagement with these and other agencies will guide us through the next steps of the OHT process.
“The Couchiching Sub Region has been actively moving toward an integrated health system and exemplifies trusting patient and provider partnerships, coordination of care, measured performance and quality improvement,” said Lynne Davies, Executive Director of the Couchiching Family Health Team.
Davies points out that “health leaders across Orillia and area are genuinely excited about the opportunities that the establishment of an OHT will bring to patients and families.”
“OSMH is pleased to participate in this important exercise and we are committed to continuing our partnerships with local health care providers to ensure its success,” said Carmine Stumpo, OSMH President and CEO.
“It is great to see local leaders joining together for the betterment of our community and our families’ health” said Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North.
“Meaningful change in our healthcare begins and ends with improved frontline services. I look forward to working shoulder-to-shoulder with these local groups to ensure the families of our region have integrated and better connected public healthcare,” Dunlop added.
The province will invite select groups to submit a more in-depth application by July 12.
The first Ontario Health Teams will be announced in the fall.