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New Near North Ontario Health Team to Provide Better Connected Care

December 7, 2019

NORTH BAY – Ontario is delivering on its commitment to end hallway health care and build a connected and sustainable health care system centred around the needs of patients. The province is introducing Ontario Health Teams, a new model of care that brings together health care providers to work as one team.

Today, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade and MPP for Nipissing, was at the EMS Headquarters, on behalf of Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, to announce the Near North Health and Wellness Ontario Health Team as one of the first 24 teams in the province to implement a new model of organizing and delivering health care that better connects patients and providers in their communities to improve patient outcomes. Through an Ontario Health Team, patients will experience easier transitions from one provider to another, including, for example, between hospitals and home care providers, with one patient story, one patient record and one care plan.

“This is an exciting time for health care in Ontario as we finally break down the long-standing barriers that have prevented care providers from working directly with each other to support patients throughout their health care journey,” said Elliott. “Together with our health care partners, the Near North Health and Wellness Ontario Health Team will play an essential role in delivering on our commitment to end hallway health care and building a connected and sustainable public health care system centred around the needs of patients.”

The Near North Health and Wellness Ontario Health Team has a vision to meet the individual health care needs of the entire population of the Nipissing-East Parry Sound region. This includes Francophone, First Nations, Inuit and Métis populations, as well as rural and remote populations. This team includes physicians playing a vital role in the health transformation process and more than 30 partners including primary care, hospital care, long-term care, mental health and addictions, and home and community care. They will be working closely together to provide the continuum of care, improve health outcomes and reduce health inequities.

“With our new Near North Health and Wellness Ontario Health Team, patients will benefit from better integrated health care, with a seamless experience when moving between different health care services, providers and settings,” said Elliott. I would like to thank all the health care providers and organizations that helped plan the Near North Health and Wellness Ontario Health Team; there is lots of work to be done, but with their dedication and hard work, we will continue to improve health care in our communities and ensure Ontarians get the care they deserve.”

As it continues its work to integrate care, the Near North Health and Wellness Ontario Health Team will put in place 24/7 navigation and care coordination services for patients and families. A focused group of patients will receive these services through their integrated primary care teams and the broader Ontario Health Team partners.  This work will be implemented in phases and over time will provide care for everyone within the Near North Health and Wellness Ontario Health Team’s population.

“The formation of a new comprehensive organization is designed to serve our community better by locating mental health, addictions and peer support services through one organization,” said Mary Davis, Executive Director of Nipissing Mental Health and Housing Support Services. “We recognize the value of integration as a means to simplify the system for the community. Clients will soon be able to access a full continuum of services through one door. We look forward to being a strong partner within our Ontario Health.”

The Near North Health and Wellness Ontario Health Team will begin implementing some of their proposed programs and services in 2020 and will communicate with patients and families about the changes and improvements they can expect in their community. The team is currently developing a website and will be implementing a one number access line for the community. Integration of care is also underway in Nipissing’s Mental Health and Addictions sector. Four local providers – Nipissing Mental Health and Housing Support Services, North Bay Recovery Home, CMHA – Nipissing Regional Branch and People for Equal Partnership – plan to be fully integrated by April 2020.

Ontario has a comprehensive plan to end hallway health care, which includes making investments and advancing new initiatives across four pillars:

  • Prevention and health promotion: keeping patients as healthy as possible in their communities and out of hospitals.
  • Providing the right care in the right place: when patients need care, ensure that they receive it in the most appropriate setting, not always the hospital.
  • Integration and improved patient flow: better integrate care providers to ensure patients spend less time waiting in hospitals when they are ready to be discharged. Ontario Health Teams will play a critical role in connecting care providers and, in doing so, helping to end hallway health care.
  • Building capacity: build new hospital and long-term care beds while increasing community-based services across Ontario.

Quick Facts

  • An Ontario Health Team will be responsible for delivering care for their patients, understanding their health care history, directly connecting them to the different types of care they need, and providing 24/7 help in navigating the health care system.
  • Ontarians can be confident that they can continue to contact their health care providers as they always have to access the health care they need.
  • The first wave of Ontario Health Teams is being approved after an extensive readiness assessment process, which involved significant time, collaboration, research and effort from partners across the health care sector.
  • The government will continue working with its partners to review their applications to become an Ontario Health Team.

Additional Resources

For public inquiries call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free in Ontario only)


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