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  • Stephen Lecce, MPP

Ontario Health Teams Now Providing Care In Every Corner of the Province

Updated: Jan 31

PARRY SOUND — The Ontario government, in partnership with Ontario Health, has approved the West Parry Sound Ontario Health Team, bringing the total number of teams to 58 and marking an important milestone in achieving full provincial coverage. Working together, these Ontario Health Teams break down barriers for people connecting to care by ensuring a seamless transition from one provider to another, with one patient record and one care plan being shared between their providers.


“Ontario Health Teams play a critical role in transforming the way people access health care by building a better-connected and more convenient health care system that puts people at the centre of their care journey,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “With the approval of the West Parry Sound Ontario Health Team, our government has reached an important milestone in bringing the support of an Ontario Health Team to every corner of the province, ensuring faster and easier access to the care they need, when and where they need it.”


Starting in April 2024, the government is investing up to $130.5 million to provide every Ontario Health Team with $2.25 million over three years to better coordinate people’s care by connecting people to different types of care throughout their care journey and providing 24/7 help navigating the health care system. Ontario Health Teams bring together a wide variety of health care providers from across health and community sectors, including primary care, hospitals, home and community care, and mental health and addiction services. By working as one collaborative team, providers can better coordinate care and share resources, while giving patients the choice in who they see for their care.


Since the introduction of Ontario Health Teams, health and community providers have come together to transform how people access care in their communities. Ontario Health Teams continue to design and implement new and innovative integrated models that are responsive to the unique needs of the communities they serve. For example:


  • The Algoma Ontario Health Team’s Community Wellness Bus service connects vulnerable patients to primary care and harm reduction, improving health outcomes and reducing gaps in mental health and addictions care.

  • Through their Neighbourhood Care Team, the North Toronto Ontario Health Team offers low-income seniors a range of services, including regular blood pressure checks, foot care, access to social workers, wellness checks, and connecting them to primary care.

  • Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC), as a member of The Noojmawing Sookatagaing Ontario Health Team has been successful in reducing the number of patients visiting emergency department in the 30 days after their surgery by 32 per cent, by allowing patients to recover at home while being monitored through a hospital to home virtual care team.

  • The Guelph Wellington Ontario Health Team is implementing an Integrated Patient Care Team model that integrates home care services (including those delivered by Home and Community Care Support Services coordinators and in-home service providers) into existing primary care teams. This integration of home care providers as dedicated members of the patient's care team will support better communication, improved care planning and delivery and better patient, caregiver and provider experiences.

  • Barrie and Area Ontario Health Team partners, including Mamaway Wiidokdaadwin Indigenous Interprofessional Primary Care Team and The Gilbert Centre, Barrie and Community Family Health Team, Barrie Community Health Centre, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, County of Simcoe and Home and Community Care Support Services successfully launched the Good Foot Forward program, which offers foot care to people who are without access to foot care services and meet the eligibility criteria. The program helps fill a gap in foot care services for equity-deserving populations including those without extended health benefits or the ability to pay for services.


As part of Your Health: A Plan for Connect and Convenient Care, Ontario Health Teams are delivering better connected and more convenient care to communities across the province. With the approval of the West Parry Sound Ontario Heath Team, Ontario has a total of 58 Ontario Health Teams and has achieved the goal of full provincial coverage, ensuring that every person in Ontario can access the supports and high-quality care they need, where and when they need it.


Quick Facts


  • An initial group of 12 Ontario Health Teams has been chosen to accelerate their work to deliver home care in their local communities starting in 2025.

  • This initial group of 12 Ontario Health Teams is also working on innovative solutions to provide people access to tools to navigate local health care services 24/7, including online information and referral services and telephone referral services. Over time, these local navigation services and Health811 will be connected, providing a seamless navigation experience.

  • As Ontario Health Teams mature, the Ministry of Health and Ontario Health will continue to work with them to advance their implementation and broaden their partnerships so they can deliver a full and coordinated continuum of care and meet the unique health needs of their communities.

  • Ontario is working with First Nations in the planning, design, delivery and evaluation of programs and services for their communities that respects Indigenous autonomy and self-determination.


Quotes


"It has been a pleasure for me to witness Ontario Health Teams grow – from the time they submit their full applications to when they begin to implement bold plans to deliver integrated patient care within their communities. I’d like to extend my congratulations to the West Parry Sound Ontario Health Team on this exciting milestone. With the province achieving its goal of full provincial coverage, I am thrilled to continue my work with Ontario Health Teams, strengthening authentic partnership, engagement, and co-design with patients, families and caregivers to support improved health outcomes."


- Betty-Lou Kristy

Chair of the Minister's Patient and Family Advisory Council


"I’m very proud of all the hard work by the many health system partners across West Parry Sound to achieve Ontario Health Team status. This announcement will bring residents an enhanced continuity of care, and patients will be better able to navigate their path within our health care system. The creation of the West Parry Sound OHT will bring health and social service providers closer together in ways that will directly benefit local care and individuals. Thank you to Minister Jones and the Ministry of Health for recognizing the importance of having an OHT in West Parry Sound to better serve local communities."


- Graydon Smith

MPP for Parry Sound-Muskoka


"Today’s announcement is wonderful news for West Parry Sound, and I am very grateful to the Minister for being here today to share it with us. West Parry Sound’s health and social service providers have a robust history of working together to integrate services whenever possible in order to better serve our communities. Today’s announcement will ensure that our partnerships have the resources and structure needed to do this in a more meaningful and effective way. Together we will build a better future for the care of all residents, citizens, patients, and families. "


- Donald Sanderson

Chief Executive Officer, West Parry Sound Health Centre, and Lakeland Long Term Care


"The OHT will enhance existing collaborations and partnerships of healthcare organizations in the area, that provide caring and compassionate care to our community."


- Dr. Peter Istvan

Executive Director, Parry Sound Family Health Team


"Having witnessed firsthand the extraordinary regional partnerships that exist within the health and social services sector, today’s announcement represents a very meaningful recognition of the value of our work. Those of us in Long Term Care are truly grateful to have been involved with this initiative from the inception. We appreciate that our OHT partners value our insight and know that today’s announcement will greatly further our work to enhance the experience of our valued Residents, families, and caregivers. Our community will benefit from having these existing partnerships acknowledged and supported by the Province."


- Kami Johnson

Administrator, Belvedere Heights Home of the Aged


"Hospice West Parry Sound is very pleased to have been a member of the team working towards the establishment of the West Parry Sound Ontario Health Team. We believe its establishment will help further our mission in providing excellent palliative care services to clients, families, and their loved ones. In addition, today’s announcement will further enhance the work our regional partners are doing to provide seamless care for all."


- Melissa Crossman

Executive Director, Hospice West Parry Sound


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