The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative Completes Site Visit With Ministry of Health
ORANGEVILLE, ON – November 6, 2019 – The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative welcomed a small team of representatives from the Province of Ontario and Ministry of Health this week for an in-person community visit. The site visit is 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.
For the remainder of the site visit, representatives from across Collaborative were asked a series of questions based on a detailed 151-page application for the approval of a Hills of Headwaters Collaborative Ontario Health Team. Questions ranged from understanding more about local physician leadership, detailing central intake for patients with complex care needs, defining what a Neighbourhood Model of care means and how the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative will integrate care for the multicultural, Francophone and Indigenous communities.
Another milestone was achieved the week prior on October 29th 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.
The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative submitted its full Ontario Health Team application on October 7, several days ahead of schedule, thanks to the tremendous efforts made by patients, caregivers, physicians, frontline staff, leaders and governors from across Dufferin-Caledon.
It is anticipated teams who are ready to implement the Ontario Health Team model will be notified of next steps and approval later this fall. Similar site visits are occurring across the province in 31 other communities that were asked to complete a full application in mid-July.
The health system changes underway will transform the way health and care is organized and delivered – based on the needs of patients and providers. The vision of Ontario Health Teams is for health care providers to work as one unified team; from hospital, to physicians to home and community care services in the community, all care will be seamlessly designed to support the well-being of patients, families and caregivers.
The 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 and Caledon.
Additional Responses from Members of The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative
Dr. Amy Catania, Family Physician in Shelburne and Chief of Family Practice at Headwaters Health Care Centre: “We have collected a lot of information about how physicians want to be involved and continue to build on that information. A group of physicians are in the early stages of the development of a Physician Association for the Hills of Headwaters that will support clinical, leadership and governance participation across Dufferin-Caledon. Knowing how physicians want to be meaningfully involved is invaluable as we work with our community partners and patients.”
Bob Borden, Patient Advisor, Dufferin Area Family Health Team: “The site visit was an opportunity for us to give them a real sense of what is underway here. I also see the benefits of being a patient whose family doctor provides me with full connectivity to my patient records. This is just one of many benefits I can see happening. I am optimistic we will see great things here in our future.”
Eileen Dahl, Patient Family Advisor, Headwaters Health Care Centre: “Sitting in the patient chair, you have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes. As patients and members of the community, we need to share information with one another and use our resources wisely. We have so much opportunity to be involved and to design what it is we need and when we need it.”
Kim Delahunt, Interim President & CEO, Headwaters Health Care Centre: “Our site visit was another watershed moment for us. We used our time with our site assessors to drive home the fact that we are already on the path to a shared model of care. We have seen an enormous commitment from so many across our group. We are ready, willing and able!”
Lianne Barbour, Executive Director, Dufferin Area Family Health Team: “I’m hopeful we were able to further demonstrate how well-we work together and that we do hold each other accountable. As I have said before, our plans are a road map to achieving what is outlined in the OHT application.”
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 redoubled its efforts 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 100 community member organizations in June. Other sessions have included 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 Collaborative was notified in July that it was selected to proceed to a full application as a next step in the OHT application process. Over 150 OHT submissions were received from across the province. The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative was one of 31 submissions selected to proceed to the full application stage. 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
The Ontario Health Team website provides more background on the Province of Ontario’s rationale and step-by-step process to becoming an OHT
Members of The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative
Jennifer Hamilton, MA, MBA Senior Communications & Stakeholder Engagement Partner, Headwaters
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