The following are highlights of the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) Board of Directors meeting held in Ottawa, Ontario on February 22, 2017.

Pre-Capital Submission for The Ottawa Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit – Decision

The Ottawa Hospital proposed a capital project to renovate and enlarge the area of its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at its General Campus.

This proposal is at the beginning of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s (Ministry) capital planning process: the pre-capital phase. The LHIN’s review focuses on the program and service aspects of the proposed project to ensure that it aligns with community needs.Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Dr. JoAnn Harrold (Division Head for Newborn Care at The Ottawa Hospital, General Campus and Champlain LHIN Newborn Care Lead), and Elizabeth Woodbury (Champlain LHIN Director of Health System Accountability) presented the proposal to the LHIN Board.

Renovating the unit would include:

  • Creating 24 single-patient neonatal intensive care rooms that follow current guidelines, parent sleep rooms, support services spaces, and a central nurses station
  • Upgrading infrastructure (e.g. emergency power, air handling).
A few factors contributed to this proposal:
  • The 24-bed high-intensity, critical-care unit is the only one in the region that provides initial care to infants under 30 weeks gestation. It serves the most fragile and low-gestational age infants from this region, Northern Ontario, Western Quebec and Nunavut.
  • Current space does not meet patient, family or staff needs related to infection control, privacy, and space for equipment.
  • The project aligns with the LHIN’s strategic priorities, and the provider’s role is defined in the LHIN’s maternal newborn plan. The unit’s capacity is needed to meet current and forecasted demand for the level of care provided.

When explaining the need for the renovation, Dr. Harrold said “It is not just about survival; it’s about the best possible outcomes for these babies, and what we can do to help them be their best in our environment.”

These renovations address important quality and safety issues in the medium term. A longer-term, previously proposed development of a fully-integrated critical care unit would still be considered, as part of the Champlain Maternal Newborn Regional Program.

The LHIN Board endorsed the proposal, which now goes to the Ministry for review. Should the Ministry approve it, the LHIN would review subsequent pre-construction planning documents.

Voluntary Integration for Meals on Wheels in South Dundas – Decision

Meals on Wheels is an important, community-based meal-delivery service for clients who are often home-bound, such as isolated seniors and adults with disabilities. Hot or frozen meals are delivered to clients’ homes or to community sites, depending on clients’ needs. Another vital aspect of this service is that meals are delivered by volunteers who provide regular social contact for clients, and check on their health and safety.

Home Support Services – Morrisburg and District (HSSMD) is a small LHIN-funded provider with a mandate to offer Meals on Wheels in South Dundas. Williamsburg Non-Profit Housing Corporation (WNPHC) is a larger LHIN-funded provider with a mandate to offer a variety of health care services in South Dundas, including Meals on Wheels, client transportation, adult day programs, caregiver support and more. Many clients receiving Meals on Wheels from HSSMD were also receiving other services at WNPHC.

Over the last year, the two agencies worked together to find the best way to ensure quality services were sustained for people in their community. After each agency completed its due diligence according to the LHIN-Health Service Provider Governance Resource and Toolkit for Voluntary Integration Initiatives, including extensive engagement with their clients and community, they concluded that a voluntary integration was the best option.

Janet Levere (WNPHC Executive Director), and Colleen Taylor (Champlain LHIN Senior Accountability Specialist) co-presented the rationale behind the proposed integration, and work done to date. The integration would have WNPHC absorb HSSMD’s volunteers and responsibility for serving their clients. HSSMD would then be dissolved.

Colleen Taylor Janet Levere
 Colleen Taylor and Janet Levere

The board voted unanimously to allow the integration to proceed. As such, on April 1, 2017, the agencies will transfer services to WNPHC, at which time HSSMD will proceed with corporate dissolution.

Board Chair Jean-Pierre Boisclair thanked the agencies for their hard work and commitment. “These kinds of integrations are never easy. They require a lot of thought and investment by agency staff and volunteers; everyone has a stake in it. We are always impressed when people come to us after finding a way among themselves to make it happen.”

CEO Report

Champlain LHIN CEO Chantale LeClerc updated the Board on a number of initiatives that are advancing health system integration, access and sustainability – the strategic priorities of the LHIN.

  • Services related to addictions: Ms LeClerc shared with the Board that the LHIN is involved in community discussions about the current situation involving substance use and opioid overdose among youth.
  • 2017-18 Service Accountability Agreements - Update: These agreements are an important means of ensuring sustainability and improving alignment of health services across the region. They define the obligations and responsibilities between the LHIN and each of its funded health service providers, and must be finalized before LHIN distributes funding.

    Specifically, the LHIN has been working with hospitals and community health service providers to develop the 2017-18 agreements, negotiating performance targets and reviewing the requisite 2017-18 planning submissions.

Board Chair Jean-Pierre Boisclair pointed out that under Ms LeClerc’s leadership, the LHIN continues to fulfill its regular mandate, and - as a result of the Patients First Act, 2016 – manage the transition needed for its upcoming merger with the Champlain Community Care Access Centre.

“The important balance is being maintained between our current obligations and our new tasks. This is critically important and being very well handled,” he said.


Topics

  • Pre-Capital Submission for The Ottawa Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit – Decision
  • Voluntary Integration for Meals on Wheels in South Dundas – Decision

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