The following are highlights of the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) Board of Directors meeting held in Ottawa, Ontario on June 22, 2016.
Distribution of Orthopedic Services in the Champlain Region
The Champlain LHIN Board of Directors made a decision to seek public input on a proposed integration that would change how orthopedic services are distributed across the Champlain region. The aim is to better align orthopedic care with the needs of communities in various geographical areas.
Orthopedics involves the inpatient and outpatient treatment of injuries and conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system. Repairing broken bones and replacing hip and knee joints, for example, are part of orthopedic services.
Champlain LHIN CEO Chantale LeClerc explained that as a result of changing demographics and evolving patient needs, it was crucial to start a conversation about a redistribution in orthopedic care. “The demand for orthopedic services - as the population gets older, as we’re living longer, as we start to replace our body parts more frequently – is going to put more pressure on our services and therefore we have do things differently,” she said. “Otherwise, there is absolutely no way we are going to meet demand with existing resources and without more injection of funds to grow our services.”
The proposed integration describes three distinct levels of hospital-based orthopedic care:
- Full-service hubs offering 24-hour emergency orthopedic coverage for inpatients and outpatients
- Outpatient centres providing day-surgery performed by surgeons from full-service sites
- Satellites in rural hospitals operating under the auspices of a full-service hub hospital
Specifically, this proposed integration recommends a new full-service hub at Pembroke Regional Hospital, as there are currently insufficient orthopedic services for people in Renfrew County. Other hospitals in the region would adjust the number of orthopedic procedures they perform. In addition, Kemptville District Hospital would continue as an outpatient orthopedic centre, and would be able to provide in-patient services as a satellite of a full-service hub.
LHIN staff will consolidate public feedback on the proposal and present it to the LHIN Board of Directors at its July or August 2016 meeting. The legislation calls for a 30-day consultation period for this type of integration, but the LHIN may extend the timeframe to allow for as much input as possible, given that some people may be away on summer vacation. The Board will then determine whether to require the integration or orthopedic services as proposed or with some amendments.
This work supports the Champlain LHIN’s strategic direction of access: to ensure health services are timely and equitable.
For information on the how to provide input on the proposal, please click here.
French-Language Health Services Strategy 2016-19
The LHIN Board approved a three-year strategic plan developed by the Champlain LHIN, the South-East LHIN and the French Language Planning Entity for eastern and south-eastern Ontario (French Language Health Services Network of Eastern Ontario).
The main goal of the 2016-19 plan is to allow better access to health services for people who wish to receive their care in French. The plan contains three key strategies:
- Promote the active offer of services in French (i.e. not expect clients to request French-language services but rather offer them before being asked)
- Promote the availability and importance of French-language services to health service providers and the Francophone population
- Measure the performance of French-language services, including client satisfaction.
The implementation of the plan will be successful if more Francophones are able to receive care in French, if they know about and use French-language health services more frequently, and if they are provided with more opportunities to express their level of satisfaction with French-language services.
The plan aligns with the Champlain LHIN’s strategic goal of providing culturally and linguistically appropriate care.
Redevelopment of the Emergency Department at St. Francis Memorial Hospital: Pre-Capital Proposal
St. Francis Memorial Hospital, located in Barry’s Bay in Renfrew County, is proposing to expand and renovate its emergency room to meet current standards for infection control, privacy and overall patient care.
An expansion is needed because the emergency room is now serving 10,000 patients per year, whereas the space was originally designed to accommodate 3,000 patients annually. The total cost would be under $10 million. Ninety per cent of the cost would be covered by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and 10 per cent would come from hospital reserves and fundraising.
The LHIN Board endorsed the program and service elements in this pre-capital proposal. Redeveloping the emergency room in Barry’s Bay would help reduce wait times, improve the patient experience in a rural and relatively isolated area, and assure sustainability of the local health system. The LHIN endorsement at this stage indicates sufficient rationale exists to pursue further planning.
The proposal will now be shared with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for its review.
Community Engagement Report (2015-16) and Plan (2016-19)
The LHIN defines community engagement as "the meaningful involvement of stakeholders in the work of the LHIN and its health service providers, ranging from priority-setting and planning to decision-making, implementation, review and evaluations."
In 2015-16, the Champlain LHIN participated in, facilitated and supported 75 ongoing and more than 200 one-time engagements. The LHIN engaged with over 10,000 people, and roughly 40 per cent of them were members of the public. The engagement gave a voice to users of the health system, health professionals and others, effectively advancing the LHIN’s planning and transformation efforts.
The community-engagement plan for the next three years focuses on supporting specific LHIN planning activities. Dialogue with patients, clients, caregivers and providers plays an essential role in informing the work of the LHIN, helping to determine health-care goals and strategies.
For instance, the LHIN and partners will involve the public in a review of home and community care across sub-regions in Champlain. The LHIN will also engage with seniors in immigrant communities to better understand their health needs and existing gaps in services. Similarly, people with mental health conditions and addictions will assist the LHIN and partners in developing tools and processes to improve coordination of care and access to services. In another important example, the LHIN will continue to collaborate with the Indigenous Health Circle Forum to guide the planning and implementation of services for First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.
From an overall perspective, the LHIN will learn from participant feedback, adapting to changing health needs and priorities of the population. It is also critical for the LHIN to continually improve its engagement approaches with a variety of audiences. As in past years, the LHIN will track progress and report annually on community-engagement activities.
The LHIN Board approved the Community Engagement Report 2015-16 and Community Engagement Plan 2016-19. Both documents will soon be available in English and French on the LHIN website.
Mental Health and Addictions – Progress and Planning Update
The Champlain LHIN has made significant investments in recent years to plan, integrate and fund services for people with mental-health conditions and addictions. The LHIN Board heard an overview of recent activities, results, and upcoming work in this key area of health care.
Much has been accomplished during the past several years. Here are just a few examples:
- Targeted Emergency Diversion program prevented roughly 1,700 emergency room visits last year. This community-based program provides care to some of the most vulnerable people in the region, many of whom are homeless
- Familiar Faces program has improved care for people with mental-health conditions. This initiative, targeting people who visit emergency rooms repeatedly, links clients to appropriate services in the community
- Ottawa Addictions Access and Referral Service, a coordinated central-intake model, has reduced wait times by two weeks for people requiring treatment for substance-use issues.
The work of building a more integrated mental-health and addictions system of care continues. The LHIN is driving improvements in processes related to client screening and assessments. Another priority is ensuring young people participating in youth-directed services can transfer seamlessly to adult health providers. As a first step toward improving services locally for Indigenous people, a review of healing centres for Indigenous communities in other geographies will be conducted. The LHIN will also foster partnerships between mental-health and addictions agencies and primary-care networks, as clients often visit their family physician or nurse practitioner to seek assistance for these health conditions.
This work aligns with the Champlain LHIN’s strategic direction of integration: improving the patient and family experience across the continuum of care.
Champlain LHIN CEO Chantale LeClerc Awarded Honorary Degree
With great pride, Board Chair Jean-Pierre Boisclair announced that on June 21, 2016, Champlain LHIN CEO Chantale LeClerc was awarded an Honorary Degree at Algonquin College’s convocation ceremony for the School of Health and Community Studies (Algonquin College video link to the conferral of Chantale's degree).
Jean-Pierre explained that the prestigious honour was well-deserved, adding that on countless occasions, Chantale has reached out to communities and individuals, educating the public about the health system and improving health services by creating new and important partnerships.
As stated by Algonquin College's Vice President Academic, Claude Brulé at the ceremony, “Each year, Algonquin extends invitations to men and women who exemplify the mission, vision and values of the College. Individuals, who by their commitment to the College’s values of caring, learning, integrity and respect, serve as shining examples of the power each of us possesses to make a significant difference in the lives of fellow citizens.”
Pictured: Chantale (left) with Algonquin College President, Cheryl Jensen
Departure of Board Member
David Somppi is leaving the Champlain LHIN Board of Directors, as his term has ended. David, who was a member of the LHIN Board for six years, was particularly interested in access to services for people in rural areas and regularly spoke about the needs of those living with mental-health and substance-use issues.
In addition, he chaired the Board’s CEO Performance Evaluation and Compensation Committee and was a member of the Finance and Audit and Governance Committees.
LHIN Board Chair Jean-Pierre Boisclair thanked David for his commitment to the LHIN and thoughtful analysis of issues, adding that David was “guided by a passion for what the organization does” and will be missed.