Dear Northerners,

With the election over, new government sworn in and the budget passed, it’s great to pick up our conversation where we last left off.

When last we chatted, I introduced you to a few people the LHIN has met who are making a difference, and some of our successes over the past year.

Looking ahead, through the remaining summer and into the fall, we’ll be working on several key files including:

  • The recommendations of our Clinical Services Review. This review realigns services provided at our 25 hospitals so that care provided to Northerners is more standardized across the region. While some procedures will move to the larger hub hospitals, these hospitals will also provide specialist support to the smaller ones. The recommendations will improve patient care provided for everything from recovering from strokes, to cataract operations, to dealing with hip fractures. We’ve struck a working group to implement new guidelines, with a physician lead and manager for each one. We’re very excited to see Northerners benefit from these changes that really put patients first.  One of the more significant changes will be where people receive their hospital care when they are suffering from serious episodes of Heart Failure (CHF), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Hip Fracture.  Rather than smaller hospitals admitting and stabilizing people and then transferring them to a larger or a hub hospital, high acuity patients will instead be transferred directly from a smaller hospital’s emergency department so that their care can begin immediately in the larger centre which typically has more specialists available for care.
  • New models to care for high needs patients, especially those with complex or chronic illnesses who need many professionals from different parts of the health care system to work together as a team to manage their illness.  There is lots of momentum afoot on this and to read more about how these models are positively affecting patient care in your area, click here.
  • Helpful ways to involve patients and clients in health care decision making.  So far, we’ve offered two learning sessions for health service providers – one in North Bay, one in Sault Ste. Marie. As a LHIN, we believe that people who have experienced the health care system need to have a voice in helping to improve it.   We plan on continuing to engage with Northerners in our work as we deliver on our three-year strategic plan’s four priorities: increasing access to primary care; improving transitions of care; making mental health and substance abuse services more accessible; and targeting the needs of culturally diverse populations. Now at the halfway point through this strategic plan (2013-2016), we are also looking ahead to the next one. We’ll be turning to you for help with this as well!
  • Working with the North East Community Care Access Centre and helping them implement the 16 recommendations of the recent review of their operations.  Our two organizations share a strong interest in better meeting the homecare and community needs of our aging loved ones now and in the future.
  • And finally, talking to you about a history – with future – that we’ve put together on our region’s community hospitals. To be released this fall, this publication looks at the ever-evolving role these hospitals have taken on in their communities. It’s a great way to begin a conversation on what they could become in the future. These hospitals are the heart of many Northeastern communities – we want to make sure they continue to have a strong beat.

Oh, and so much more!

Enjoy the rest of our few ‘’summer’’ days and let’s hope for a great Fall! Stay in touch!