Government & Policy
Mississauga becomes the first Ontario Health Team
December 4, 2019
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – In late November, the Honourable Christine Elliott (pictured), Deputy Premier and Minister of Health was in Mississauga along with patients, families and community groups to announce the Mississauga Ontario Health Team (Mississauga Health) as the first of 24 Ontario Health Teams (OHTs) in the province. The minister soon after announced the Hamilton Health Team, as well.
“We are proud and humbled that Mississauga Health is being announced as one of the first OHTs in Ontario. This is a new day for healthcare and along with our partners, we have a tremendous opportunity to be a part of this once in a generation plan to transform the delivery of care and improve the health of residents in Mississauga and across Ontario,” said Michelle DiEmanuele, chair, Mississauga Health Interim Governing Council and CEO, Trillium Health Partners.
OHTs are a new model of organizing and delivering healthcare to better connect patients and providers in their communities and improve patient outcomes. Integrated care teams will ensure patients experience better coordinated healthcare that allows them to access and navigate the system more easily, and to be better supported as they transition from one healthcare provider or from one setting to another.
Mississauga Health is governed by a diverse group of partners including: CarePoint Health, Credit Valley Family Health Team, Home and Community Care, Metamorphosis Network, Summerville Health Team and Trillium Health Partners.
Over 90 organizations representing health and social service sectors have also joined Mississauga Health as members and affiliates. This group includes primary care, home care, community care, acute care, long-term care, associations and community organizations.
“Increasing capacity in primary care is essential to ensuring that all patients are able to receive access to healthcare services in the community that meets their care needs. Partnership with Mississauga Health will help to create a local health system where patients, families and caregivers can move seamlessly within one team of healthcare providers and services,” said Dr. Mira Backo-Shannon, primary care physician and executive lead, Mississauga Health.
Early priorities of Mississauga Health include: Expanding primary care access to urgent diagnostics and specialist supports in the community, reducing unnecessary Emergency Department visits; and Streamlining care and supports for people with complex care needs such as for those who would benefit from a palliative approach to care, creating better patient, family and caregiver experiences.
Mississauga Health is aligned with the Government of Ontario’s plan to build a connected healthcare system that is centred on patients, families and caregivers. Mississauga Health’s vision to improve the health of people in the community by creating an interconnected system of care from birth to end-of-life. This model will focus on addressing the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of patients through simplified care.
Mississauga Health will work to make sure patients, families and caregivers have better access to the care they need when they need it. It will allow them to have access to a team of trained healthcare professionals, who are coordinated and working together to make sure there are seamless transitions for patients from one care setting to another and supports for patients seeking after-hour services or community supports. Mississauga Health will also enable family practices in the community to have access to supports, including specialists, through digital tools.
The implementation of the OHT model will be an ongoing process over the next several years. In the year ahead, Mississauga Health will work to develop and implement plans to better coordinate health and community care providers to improve access to care for patients.
Over the next 20 years Mississauga Health’s catchment area will grow by 45%. Mississauga Health will initially focus on a population of 60,000 and over time will scale to serve the health needs of 878,000 people. Mississauga is one of Ontario’s most diverse communities with 53% of residents born outside of Canada. Over 39% of residents have two or more chronic diseases.
“Mississauga Health presents a unique opportunity to look at how we can better integrate home care, community support, mental health and addiction services to provide patients, families and caregivers with a more collaborative approach to care,” said Raymond Applebaum, co-chair, Metamorphosis Network Leadership Team & Mississauga Health Interim Governing Council.
Dr. Laura Harild, clinical co-lead Mississauga Halton Palliative Care Network, said: “Aligning with Mississauga Health will enable us to better address the increasingly complex needs of patients, families and their caregivers. We are excited to work with our partners across the healthcare system, and the Ministry, to build on the work that is already underway and advance care in the community and across the province.”