The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative is selected to be an Ontario Health Team

The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative is selected to be an Ontario Health Team
Collaborative launches website and social media channels to exchange information
ORANGEVILLE, ON – December 6, 2019 – Today the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative was chosen as one of the Province’s 24 Ontario Health Teams. Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General and MPP for Dufferin-Caledon, was at the Dufferin County Paramedic Service base in Orangeville, on behalf of Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, to announce the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative Ontario Health Team (Hills of Headwaters Collaborative) as one of the first 24 teams in the province to implement a new model of organizing and delivering health care.
The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative partners are already working with one another to create a local system that is designed locally with patients, families, caregivers and providers to meet the needs of our specific community.
Improving the health status of the population will involve positive changes at each step of the health and care journey, with a commitment to improve the entire health, community, home and social and human services experience for the people in Dufferin-Caledon year, over year.
You can find out more on the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative website.
The Collaborative is expected to focus on these areas during the first year:

  • The creation of a Palliative Care Team to expand services and improve care
  • Improving and expanding access to Mental Health and Addictions Services
  • Integration of care for patients with complex care needs and improve their home and community care experience
  • Better connection of primary health care (family physicians) and specialized care to health, community, home, social and human services so that patients do not have to re-tell their story.
  • Aligning to and adopting a health equity perspective to ensure everyone in Dufferin-Caledon has a fair opportunity to be as healthy as possible.

The Collaborative developed a website and social media channels as additional ways to support information sharing and exchange. The Collaborative also launched a Community Wellness Council which is made up of community members, Patient and Family Advisors who will work together with service providers to identify areas of focus for the Collaborative. Its second meeting is on November 26 in Caledon.
The approved application for the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative aligns to a shared commitment by all partners to create one community working together to improve the health and well-being of everyone who lives and works in Dufferin-Caledon.


Additional Responses from Members of the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative 
Allan Thompson, Mayor, Town of Caledon: “This is great news for the Caledon Community and for our partners at Headwaters,” said Mayor Allan Thompson. “I’m confident that the Hills of the Headwaters Collaborative Ontario Health Team will serve as a successful model for other OHTs.”
Ashley Dann, Patient Family Advisor, Headwaters Health Care Centre: “I became a Patient Family Advisor because of the experiences I had when my Mum was hospitalized. This is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to be part of the team and help to make the long-term changes that will benefit not just me and my family, but everyone in the community.”
Bob Borden, Patient Advisor, Dufferin Area Family Health Team: “I had a strong feeling we were going to be selected and I am so happy about it. The sky is the limit as we work together to see positive changes that will benefit so many of us. The more I get involved, the better I feel. It is a movement I’m committed to being part of.”
Dr. Amy Catania, Family Physician in Shelburne and Chief of Family Practice at Headwaters Health Care Centre: “In mid-November a group of 18 family and specialist physicians met to establish a Physician Association for Dufferin-Caledon. Those in attendance were overwhelmingly positive about the opportunity to work together to improve the lives of our patients and families.”
Dave Smith, CEO, CMHA Peel-Dufferin: “The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative is a fantastic demonstration of great people from across the health system, working with families and patients, and already making a difference in care. From a mental health perspective this means much closer working to get the right mix of services working for people quicker and with fewer gaps. We welcome this progress.”
Jennifer Moore, Executive Director, Dufferin Child and Family Services: “We are proud to be a partner in the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative.  We look forward to continuing to improve local services alongside our community partners and those with lived experience to ensure our health and social systems are as supportive, streamlined and helpful as possible.”
Karen Hope, Patient Advisor, Dufferin Area Family Health Team: “As a Patient Advisory Committee member and a long-term patient of a family health team I see the new plan for health care becoming inclusive to all. It will reduce – if not eliminate the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ – in our population. All our population will have access to the same quality of health care I have enjoyed for many years. It will take the burden off the patient and the General Practitioners as the whole system will become much more seamless and easier to navigate. It’s truly a plan for community wellness!”
Kim Delahunt, Interim President & CEO, Headwaters Health Care Centre & Co-Lead, Hills of Headwaters Collaborative: “We are thrilled to be chosen as one of first group of Ontario Health Teams. This endorsement gives us the green light to continue on our path of a shared model of care. We know where we want to go, and we are committed to doing that together.”
Lianne Barbour, Executive Director, Dufferin Area Family Health Team & Co-Lead Hills of Headwaters Collaborative: “We are already witnessing how much more we can achieve collectively, than separately. There is great commitment from community partners, patients and physicians to see this work through. That is what will best serve the Dufferin Caledon community.”
Sonya Pritchard, Chief Administrative Officer, County of Dufferin: “We are looking forward to being part of the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative and strengthening connections between primary health care, community care, and human services to better serve our residents.”
Tom Reid, Chief, Dufferin Paramedic Service: “This is an exciting opportunity for our community. Now we get to roll-up our sleeves, work on our plans and put those into action.”



  • On February 26 of this year, the Minister of Health, Christine Elliott, announced significant restructuring of the health care system, integrating multiple provincial agencies and specialized provincial programs into a single agency and introducing Ontario Health Teams as a new way of organizing and delivering services for patients in communities across Ontario.
  • The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative is a local partnership which consists of patients, physicians, health, social and municipal agencies. While there is a rich history of collaboration in Dufferin-Caledon the group strengthened their resolve shortly after the Minister’s announcement and subsequent March 1 visit, to witness first-hand the level of integration within Dufferin-Caledon.
  • The Collaborative successfully held a Hills of Headwaters kick-off symposium bringing together over 85 patients, physicians, leaders and governors in June to co-design a shared purpose and vision for the community. Another session in September included over 100 frontline staff and managers. Several community working groups have also been formed to advance on-the-ground improvements in mental health, palliative care and for other populations with complex health and social services needs.
  • The Ministry of Health received over 150 OHT readiness assessments from across the province. The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative was one of 31 teams notified in July that it was selected to proceed to a full application as a next step in the OHT application process.
  • Submitted on October 7, the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative’s 151-page OHT application provides a framework for integrated care in the Dufferin-Caledon context; from patients with complex care needs to individuals with palliative care needs as well as mental health and addictions. The plan is comprehensive and built out over several years.
  • Another milestone was achieved on October 29 when the Collaborative held an inaugural forum for the various patient, family, caregiver and client advisory committees from across 30 health and care partners in Dufferin-Caledon. This was not only a local milestone but a provincial one as well as it is believed to be the first-time collective group of patient advisors have gathered to consider how to redesign the health and care system. A second session is being planned for November 26.
  • On November 4, the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative welcomed a small team of representatives from the Province of Ontario and Ministry of Health for an in-person community visit.  The site visit was the final stage in the Ontario Health Team application process.  Over 60 people representing frontline staff, patients, primary care physicians, leaders and governors participated in the site visit.
  • Various partners representing the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative provided a presentation on key aspects of the application, as well as an account of the development locally. The meeting included a video prepared by the Collaborative that showcased the rich partnerships and focus on the future of care across Dufferin-Caledon.

Additional Resources
The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative Website
The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative Video
The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative full OHT Application
The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative Appendices
The Ontario Health Team
Media Contact on behalf of the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative
Jennifer Hamilton, MA, MBA Senior Communications & Stakeholder Engagement Partner, Headwaters Health Care Centre | Cell/Text: 519-278-5085| Email:


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