C-K organizations approved for next step in health team creation

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A group of health-care organizations in Chatham-Kent has been approved for the next stage of the application process to create an Ontario health team as part of changes the province is making to the system.

The Chatham-Kent Ontario Health Team, which includes 11 organizations led by the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, is expected to complete a full application by Oct. 9.

The group had submitted a self-assessment evaluation to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care this spring. The ministry found that submission “demonstrated a strong commitment to all of the OHT model components and a high degree of readiness to complete the full application,” according to health alliance CEO Lori Marshall.

“What I would say our distinguishing factor here is the high degree of collaboration amongst all of our partner organizations, the degree of trust that has been built in this community and our track record of working really well together,” she said.


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Across the province, 31 self-assessments were approved to this stage. Others, like the Windsor Essex Ontario Health Team, were put in the “in development” stage, meaning they will work with the ministry to prepare for a future application submission.

Marshall said the main difference between the health teams and the Local Health Integration Networks is they are made up of agencies that currently deliver care and service. She acknowledged the Erie St. Clair LHIN does provide home care, but “their more overarching role” is planning for the health-care system through disbursing funds.

Although some agencies in Chatham-Kent already collaborate, Marshall said the idea behind these health teams is to encourage greater collaboration to tackle hallway medicine.

“This is really about seeing whether or not there are different things that can be done that will further allow patient flow (to improve),” she said.

Phase 1 of the team’s plan will focus on “older adults with chronic disease and those who are frail and have complex needs,” a news release from the health alliance said.

Marshall said this strategy was chosen because it is an extension of the existing CK Health Links and is an area which involves all of the organizations on the team.

The partners for Phase 1 include the health alliance, Chatham-Kent Community Health Centres, the Chatham-Kent Family Health Team, the Chatham-Kent Hospice, the Erie St. Clair LHIN Home and Community Care, March of Dimes Canada, the St. Andrew’s Retirement Residence, the Thamesview Family Health Team, the Tilbury District Family Health Team and the Westover Treatment Centre.


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TransForm Shared Service Organization will also provide “procurement and digital infrastructure” to support the health team, the release said.

Future phases would include different patient populations until the whole community is covered. The Ontario Health Team model is meant to include primary care, hospital care, rehabilitative care, home and community care, long-term care, and mental-health and addictions.

Marshall said the government has ensured them their funding levels will not change during the first year. By the maturity of the team, she said she expects there to be “one envelope of funding for the whole team” and funds would be disbursed based on the highest need.

She said the full application will focus on “specific interventions” for their targeted population and the expected outcomes of their plan.

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