A group of organizations in Orillia have announced their intention to submit an application for a local Ontario Health Team (OHT), according to a news release from the Couchiching Family Health Team on May 24.
Local health organizations across the province are working together to submit proposals to show how they can provide services under the structure of a local OHT as part of changes prompted by the new People’s Health Care Act. Up to 50 OHTs could be approved across Ontario in the coming years, according to the release, which will result in the phasing out of Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). The Couchiching Regional Planning Table has worked with over 20 community agencies to complete the self assessment process and will continue to engage with these and other agencies to guide them through the OHT process. The formal alliance includes The Couchiching Family Health Team, County of Simcoe, Huronia Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic, Helping Hands, Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, ProResp and Care Partners.
“The Couchiching Sub Region has been actively moving toward an integrated health system and exemplifies trusting patient and provider partnerships, coordination of care, measured performance and quality improvement,” said Lynne Davies, executive director of the Couchiching Family Health Team. “Health leaders across Orillia and area are genuinely excited about the opportunities that the establishment of an OHT will bring to patients and families.”
OSMH President and CEO Carmine Stumpo echoed Davies’ sentiment, saying that OSMH is pleased to participate in the exercise and is committed to continuing their partnerships with local health care providers to ensure the project’s success. The province will invite select groups to submit a more in-depth application by July 12 and the first Ontario Health Teams will be announced in the fall.
“It is great to see local leaders joining together for the betterment of our community and our families’ health” said Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North. “Meaningful change in our healthcare begins and ends with improved frontline services. I look forward to working shoulder-to-shoulder with these local groups to ensure the families of our region have integrated and better connected public healthcare.”