As the next step in developing an integrated health care model for Muskoka, East Parry Sound and Algonquin, The North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network (NSM LHIN) Board of Directors has approved the formation of a Muskoka and Area Health System Transformation (MAHST) Council.
This newly-created body will enable local experts, health and social system partners to develop, lead, facilitate and deliver a final report to the NSM LHIN that will include recommendations for a Transformed Health System Model for Muskoka and Area. The comprehensive model will be aligned with the NSM LHIN’s strategic plan, evidence-based, reflect best practices, implementable and in the best interests of the people of Muskoka and area.
“I am pleased that working together, our communities and health agencies all across Muskoka, East Parry Sound and Algonquin Park have moved past identifying problems to create solution that will preserve and enhance the health services for all citizens,” said Mayor Scott Aitchison.
“This initiative is a true example of a community coming together to achieve great goals. The health service partners are committed to change and see the tremendous potential through better service integration,” added Rick Williams, Commissioner of Community Services for the District Municipality of Muskoka. “Muskoka is in many ways a perfect location to model change – we are relatively small in population, services and needs are transparent, and we see the risks of not improving services.”
The Health System Transformation Council will be comprised of a LHIN-appointed Chair and Co-Chair along with six Executive Committee members and 11 general members who will be selected as part of an expression of interest process. It is anticipated that the first meeting of the Council will take place in August 2016.
“The work of the Council aligns perfectly with our 10-year Care Connections – Partnering for Healthy Communities journey which began back in 2010,” said Jill Tettmann, CEO of NSM LHIN. “Including health care services along with community and social services is critical to an integrated health care system. We will be following the work of the Council closely as the Transformation Model may be one that could be replicated in other communities across North Simcoe Muskoka.”
Prior to review and approval by the NSM LHIN Board, the formation of the Transformation Council was endorsed by the Muskoka Health Care Task Force and Muskoka Health Link Steering Committee. Both groups saw the benefits of a body comprised of local and regional experts as the logical next step in furthering the discussion of not only the provision of health care by the hospital sector but of all service sectors; including long-term care, mental health and addiction, community support services, home and community care, social services and primary care.