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Toronto's First Indigenous Health Strategy

Reclamation of Well Being: Towards a Thriving, Healthy, Urban Indigenous Community

We are extremely excited to report that Toronto’s First Indigenous Health Strategy is ready to be shared. Developed by the Toronto Indigenous Health Advisory Council (TIHAC), this five-year strategic plan will guide the work of both the Toronto Central LHIN and Toronto Public Health (TPH) in improving the health outcomes of Toronto’s Indigenous community. The strategy speaks to the broader inequities faced by this community and provides policy and advocacy direction aimed at improving the social determinants of Indigenous health. 
Over the coming months, TIHAC will meet with key stakeholders to communicate key elements of the strategy. We look forward to working together and charting a coordinated path forward that harmonizes traditional and mainstream health programs and services to improve health outcomes for Toronto’s Indigenous community. For more information, please contact Ellen Blais.

A Fond Farewell to our Former Board Chair – Angela Ferrante

At the end of May we said good-bye to the Chair of our Board of Directors, Angela Ferrante. During her six years with the LHIN, she was instrumental in ensuring that governance best practices were adopted and practiced.  Angela played an important role advising the LHIN on its strategic planning efforts and providing advice as the LHIN’s mandate evolved to focus more on health system improvements.

Her diverse background in the private and public sectors was extremely valuable to the LHIN and her contributions have shaped the LHIN's work and success. Chairing a Board requires great leadership skills and dedication, and we were very fortunate that Angela was generous with both her time and intellect.  Best of luck in the future, Angela.
We are awaiting an Order-in-Council appointment to fill this important role. In the interim, we are pleased to announce that John Fraser, long-time Vice Chair of our Board, is currently our Acting Chair.

Enhancing our Integration Approach: What did we learn?

A more integrated health care system is better for patients, their families and providers. The strategic integration of services and organizations also strengthens the health system itself by helping us apply our finite resources more effectively and efficiently. Over the past few years, Toronto Central LHIN has supported 21 integrations.
All of the completed voluntary integrations to date have produced process efficiencies within the integrated organizations resulting in savings in ongoing operating costs. The projected savings for the community integrations are $1.3 million, and for hospital integrations are $8.8 million. These projected savings are reinvested in services for clients and patients on an ongoing basis.
We plan on building on past successes and continuing to support further integration within and across sectors. To ensure we are following the best path, we commissioned a third party review to assess our progress to date. 
We are happy to announce that the final report is complete, and is available on our website. The report outlines a series of recommendations to strengthen our approach going forward.  

This year, we will develop an action plan in response to these recommendations, so stay tuned!

Crisis Line for Seniors

Keep this number handy: 416-640-1459

This “one-number-to-call” Toronto-wide program provides a lifeline to services and supports for seniors experiencing a crisis. These additional supports often make the difference between seniors receiving the necessary supports at home or having to resort to emergency departments. 

Another great feature of the Seniors Crisis Line is that anyone can call. A senior, a family member, a health care provider, or a concerned neighbor or friend can call the number and request help on behalf of a senior in need. Once contacted, a staff member will assess the risk, and if needed, will dispatch a crisis team to the senior’s home.

In 2015/2016, an estimated 239 visits to emergency departments were avoided because of this service.

SCOPE: Seamless Care Optimizing the Patient Experience

The SCOPE Initiative is a great example of how working together produces better outcomes for patients and the system alike. This interdisciplinary model coordinates care across sectors for high-needs patients. Providers from primary care, acute care, and the community all work together to provide timely, integrated care for patients. Primary care providers call a single SCOPE phone number to access a variety of services and expertise for their patients. This number provides access to:

  • A resource nurse navigator and CCAC care coordinator to help with system navigation;
  • A general internal medicine specialist on-call for expedited phone consultation and referrals to an acute ambulatory care unit at Women’s College Hospital; and
  • A diagnostic imaging consultant on-call for advice on appropriateness of imaging, interpretation of results and expedition of urgent imaging. 

SCOPE enables patients to access timely services and care in the community, and often helps divert patients away from emergency departments. In fact, 62% of calls to SCOPE have prevented visits to emergency departments. Since 2012, SCOPE has received more than 5,000 requests for services. Due the success and popularity of the SCOPE program, we are planning to make it even bigger and better. More services will be offered through SCOPE and this impressive program will be available in more health institutions.

Strengthening Primary Care: A Key Priority for Toronto Central LHIN

A robust primary care sector is an essential component of an integrated, patient-centred health system. When properly supported, primary care can help connect patients, providers and community resources, ensuring people get the supports they need when they need them. So, what are we doing to strengthen primary care?  

  • We are listening and learning: We have held engagement sessions with local primary care physicians in each of the five sub-regions to hear about the opportunities and challenges facing providers and their patients.
  • We are establishing local governance structures: With communities and providers, we have begun to establish initial governance structures (e.g., Primary Care Transitional Steering Committee, Resource Partners Steering Committee) to guide local planning and re-design.

Hospital Report Manager

The magic of automation!

Hospital Report Manager is a technology that automatically transfers reports from a hospital’s system (e.g., hospital discharge summary) directly to primary care providers’ electronic medical records. This technology ensures that discharge summaries or patient notes are available immediately to primary care providers to enable timelier decisions and improve patient care. It supports the integration of communications and services, and strengthens the continuity of care.

Hospital Report Manager also helps the system. This technology saves the system time and money by reducing the manual processes (e.g., printing, filing, scanning) associated with paper reports. As of March 2016, five hospitals were sending reports to more than 600 primary care providers in Toronto Central LHIN. This number will continue to grow, with the majority of hospitals expected to implement Hospital Report Manager by the third quarter of 2016/17.

What's Happening in Health Equity?

Developing a Health Equity Strategy: Improving the Health of Toronto and Closing the Gaps 

In the fall of 2015, Toronto Central LHIN hosted a Health Equity Symposium. Since this time, we have been developing a Health Equity Plan for the LHIN.
Our Health Equity Plan leverages a population health approach. This approach is helpful in a number of ways because it allows us to focus on the needs of LHIN sub-regions, making it easier to plan for local needs.

Understanding the unique challenges and opportunities of communities and specific groups of people also allows us to tailor our planning efforts and ensure we are truly meeting the needs of everyone - not just the “average” patient – and working towards closing the gaps in health that are experienced by many. A population health approach requires us to work within and outside of health care to address the upstream causes of poor health.

We may not be able to eradicate illness, but collectively we can foster greater health. While we work on making it easier for everyone to see a primary care provider and get the help they need, we will also devote more resources to keeping people healthy. This means working inside health care and providing health promotion and prevention programs, as well as outside health care with the City of Toronto and our partners and contributing to a healthier Toronto.
Over the coming months, we will be consulting with groups about our Health Equity Strategy and will be soliciting your advice and feedback, so stay tuned.

Health Equity Data Collection Update

We need data to understand where we should target our efforts and resources to improve the health of those experiencing poor health outcomes. That is why we are committed to championing the collection of health equity data at the point of care. This work is not only important (data is an essential component of a population health approach), but it is also unique in Canada. However, collecting data is not enough. We need to use it. Ultimately, the success of our data efforts will depend on the uptake of data by health service providers. So, what are we doing to ensure success? Currently, we are:

  • Working with St. Michael’s Hospital and Sinai Health System to assess the reliability of the information being provided by patients via the Health Equity Survey. As part of this work, we are researching ways providers may use the information gathered to improve patient care.
  • Reviewing the implementation of the Health Equity Survey in emergency departments to provide further support (e.g., creation of tools) and advice to improve data collection efforts
  • Working with the research collaborative to plan a dissemination session for interested providers.

 We are very excited about this work. More information on the above will be available this fall.

Medication Management Training for Personal Support Workers

More than ever, Personal Support Workers (PSWs) are assisting clients with clinical care activities. Helping clients manage their medications is one important way PSWs help people live safely at home. To ensure PSWs receive standardized, appropriate and consistent medication management training, Toronto Central LHIN has developed a training tool. Developed in partnership with five community support agencies, the Medication Management Training Tool (MMTT) integrates video clips demonstrating the proper way to carry our various tasks. Personal Support Workers from the five agencies provided valuable insight into current medication management practices and also shared their challenges around medication management and how their respective organizations support their efforts.
We would like to give a big THANK YOU to the staff at St. Clair West Services for Seniors, West Neighbourhood House, West Toronto Support Services, VHA Home Healthcare, and Les Centres D'Accueil Héritage for sharing their expertise and time to help develop this important tool.

Recent Engagement with Community Support Services Providers

This past year, Toronto Central LHIN engaged its stakeholders in the strengthening of the community support services (CSS) sector, to discuss what changes would be required and conditions that need to be in place to facilitate the successful implementation of the Toronto Central LHIN Strategic Plan.  

Toronto Central LHIN engaged nearly 200 stakeholders, comprised of CSS providers, the TC CCAC, patients, caregivers and families. We have recently received a draft report with key recommendations.
Over the coming months, we will be reviewing the recommendations received from various committees and work groups. These recommendations will inform our cross-collaborative approach to planning in order to enable better alignment and deliver a more seamless patient experience across the Toronto Central LHIN and beyond. 
We value the incredible work, support and guidance provided by partners, and will continue to call on this leadership and participation to achieve a vision of a healthier Toronto for our patients, clients, caregivers and residents.


Toronto's First Indigenous Health Strategy

A Fond Farewell to our Former Board Chair - Angela Ferrante

Enhancing our Integration Approach: What did we learn?

Crisis Line for Seniors

SCOPE: Seamless Care Optimizing the Patient Experience

Strengthening Primary Care: A Key Priority for Toronto Central LHIN

Hospital Report Manager: The Magic of Automation

What's Happening in Health Equity?

Health Equity Data Collection Update

Medication Management Training for Personal Support Workers

Community Support Services Engagement


We hosted 5 Cross-Sector Collaborative Meetings

These meetings were well attended by our health service providers and Citizens' Panel members, and were focused on discussions on the "one-team" approach to meet patients' needs. You may access the materials here

Congratulations to Planned Parenthood and Davenport Perth CHC! 

These community health centres received a Transformative Change Award from the Association of Ontario Health Centres last week for their EdgeWest service integration. Read more about this amazing work here

Toronto Central LHIN French Language Services have received honorable mention!

In his 2015-2016 Annual Report, the French Language Services Commissioner recognized two Toronto Central LHIN initiatives among the honorable mentions heralded this year. Partners in these accomplishments include Reflet Salvéo and Action Positive
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425 Bloor Street East, Suite 201
Toronto, ON
M4W 3R4
Media inquiries can be directed to the Communications Specialist:
Ryan Joyce 

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