KAWARTHA LAKES: It was recently announced that the City of Kawartha Lakes Ontario Health Team has advanced to the next stage as it seeks to better coordinate health care and services offered in the area.

Recently, the provincial Ministry of Health announced that the submission to form the local agency has progressed to ‘In Development’ status. This moves paves the way for the province to provide additional resources to the Ross Memorial Hospital and Community Care Health and Care Network as they work to create a new Ontario Health Team (OHT).

“We’re excited to see our plan for a local Ontario Health Team progress to the next stage of readiness,” the hospital’s interim president and CEO Veronica Nelson explained. “Our partners are committed to strengthening our local system to ensure the most vulnerable residents in our community receive the best health care and services available.”

Ontario Health Teams are groups of providers and organizations that are clinically and fiscally accountable for delivering a full and co-ordinated continuum of care to a defined geographic population.

Co-led by the hospital and Community Care, collaborating partners for the new agency include local residents, representatives from the Kawartha North Family Health Team, Extendicare Kawartha Lakes and Lakeland Village, Brock Community Health Centre, the Canadian Mental Health Association Haliburton-Kawartha-Pine Ridge, and CarePartners.

“Community Care looks forward to our collaborative efforts to advance development of an OHT for the City of Kawartha Lakes, while continuing to keep our many community-based programs and services strong and accessible,” added Community Care CEO Barb Mildon.

The new team’s initial focus will be enhanced co-ordinated care and services to seniors over 65 years who live alone or have a poor support network, and who have been hospitalized within the last year. The scope of care and services, as well as the focus, is expected to expand as the group’s work evolves.

Photo courtesy of Kawartha North Family Health Team.