The following are the highlights of the Champlain Local Health Integration Network Board of Directors meeting held in Ottawa, Ontario on June 28, 2017.

Local Elder Leads Thanksgiving Address and Smudging Ceremony

To celebrate National Aboriginal History Month, the Champlain LHIN invited local Elder and Mohawk Traditional Teacher, Paul Skanks, to deliver opening and closing remarks. Mr. Skanks was raised in Kahnawake, a Mohawk Nation in Québec, and is of the Turtle Clan. He currently resides in Gloucester, Ontario.

Mr. Skanks has served as an Elder and community leader for issues affecting Aboriginal youth. He is currently a board member of the Wabano Aboriginal Health Centre, and also provides traditional teachings, ceremonies and personal counselling.

Mr. Skanks opened the meeting by inviting board members and guests to form a circle and join in a traditional smudging ceremony. He acknowledged that the meeting was taking place on unceded Algonquin territory. He then shared a Thanksgiving Address, named Ohenton Karihwatehkwen. “These are the words that come before all else,” he explained. The address is shared to greet and give thanks to the natural world.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Skanks described the Aboriginal Health and Wellness model and the importance and interconnectedness of physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual well-being. “In a holistic model, all these elements have to be considered in the process of healing,” he said.

He concluded the meeting by bringing participants into a circle to give thanks for the time together and acknowledge those who volunteer their time and dedicate their lives to helping others.

Board Members

With the expiry of previous board members’ terms and expansion of the LHIN Board membership under the Patients First Act, 2016, this marked the first meeting with the new full complement of board directors.

Board Chair Jean-Pierre Boisclair noted that the Champlain LHIN Board is unique in Ontario. The new Champlain board brings impressive clinical strength. Among all 14 provincial LHIN boards, 8 directors have clinical backgrounds -- 6 of whom are members of the Champlain LHIN board.

Mr. Boisclair emphasized that the mission of the LHIN is to improve the health system and ensure its sustainability and deliver high-quality home and community services. He added that the board makes important decisions, and therefore it is critical to include members who have an appreciation for and understanding of what services looks like on the ground.

The robust experience of the Board will support effective oversight and governance of the LHIN, including its new responsibilities outlined in the Patients First Act, 2016.

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Planning for Immigrants’ Health and Well-being

Hindia Mohamoud, Project Director of the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership (OLIP), gave a presentation to the Board about challenges faced by newcomers, the role of OLIP and the need for immigrant-conscious health and community planning.

OLIP Project Director, Hindia Mohamoud,
presents to the LHIN board

The OLIP is a multi-sectoral collaboration of 60 organizations. The shared vision of its partners is to work together across jurisdictions to build a prosperous, vibrant and inclusive national capital, strengthened by the contributions of immigrants.

The Champlain LHIN has served as a member of OLIP since it was founded in 2009, and is the Co-Chair of its Health and Well-being Sector Table.

The Canadian population is shifting, explained Ms. Mohamoud. As of 2011, almost 60 per cent of the population of Ontario is either a first-time immigrant or the children of immigrants. Over time, the proportion of Canada’s population growth due to immigration has increased.

Immigration now accounts for roughly 70 percent of Canada’s population growth and this number is expected to rise. Moreover, the majority of newcomers are now arriving from countries such as Africa, South America, East Asian and Sub-Saharan Africa.

“These are the people for whom we are planning,” said Ms. Mohamoud. “The increasing importance of immigration shifts who we are. It shifts our preferences, it shifts our habits, and it shifts our needs.” These changes have implications for how we plan community and health services and consider the experiences of our population, she added.

Working together to build community-wide capacity

OLIP and its partners, including the LHIN, are working together to build community-wide capacity to attract, settle and integrate immigrants. Local initiatives focus on education, economic integration, health and well-being, language training and interpretation as well as socio-civic integration capacity.

Ottawa is one of the most progressive cities when it comes to health, said Ms. Mohamoud. However, newcomers continue to face challenges related to health deterioration and the social determinants of health. Newcomers have expressed they need more information to navigate the health system, better access to family physicians, more mental health counselling for people who have experienced trauma in conflict zones, access to dental care and services for immigrant seniors.

Future newcomer health initiatives

“The LHIN has done tremendous work that has made a difference in the lives of individuals and the capacity of the system,” said Ms. Mohamoud. In fact, the LHIN recently funded a study on needs of immigrant seniors in the community, including challenges related to isolation. The findings from this study will inform future newcomer health-initiatives in the community.

The LHIN also worked with partners to help create the Ottawa Newcomer Health Centre. This centre, funded by the LHIN and operated by Somerset West Community Health Centre, provides services such as the Newcomer Health Clinic, Multicultural Health Navigator Program and Ottawa Language Access, which provides access to free interpretation services for community-based health providers.

OLIP’s work to build capacity and redress local gaps and challenges for immigrants has seen tremendous success and progress in a few short years. In the future, OLIP will be directing its attention to sharing what it has learned as well strengthening immigrant health planning by focusing on shared data and measurement, research and evaluation.

Annual Business Plan 2017-18

The Champlain LHIN’s Annual Business Plan (Plan) outlines the initiatives and projects that are led and funded by the LHIN to achieve its strategic objectives. In March 2017, the LHIN Board reviewed and approved a draft of the 2017-18 Plan. The draft was then submitted to the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care (Ministry) for its review.

Cal Martell, Champlain LHIN Vice-President of Integration, spoke to a revised version of the Plan, which was presented for Board approval. The Plan was updated since March to account for the transition of the delivery of home and community care services to the LHIN, incorporate the Minister of Health’s Mandate Letter to the Champlain LHIN, account for initiatives outlined in the provincial budget, and include Board and Ministry feedback.

Seven initiatives were added to the 2017-18 Plan, four of which had previously been included in the Action Plan of the former Champlain Community Care Access Centre. Initiatives were also added that related to the Ministry’s inter-professional spine assessment and education referral program and services to enhance the local capacity in response to the opioid crisis.

The Board approved the amended Plan, which was submitted to the Ministry at the end of June 2017.

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Previous Annual Business Plans

Service Accountability Agreement for Bruyère Continuing Care

Every year, the Champlain LHIN works with health service providers to finalize their service accountability agreements. The agreements, effective April 1, 2017, set the obligations and requirements between the LHIN and its funded providers for the fiscal year.

In March 2017, the Champlain LHIN Board approved an extension to Bruyère Continuing Care’s Service Accountability Agreement. The extension allowed time for the LHIN to collect additional information from Bruyère about the provision of services within its allocated budget.

Chantale LeClerc, Champlain LHIN CEO, advised that although risks to achieving the plan remain, it was recommended that the Board execute the proposed new service accountability agreement, which includes a pathway for Bruyère Continuing Care to deliver on its commitments and to balance its budget this year. 

The Board then approved an amended motion to implement the service accountability agreement for Bruyère Continuing Care, adding a specific target related to maintaining high occupancy levels.

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Service Accountability Agreements


  • Planning for Immigrants’ Health and Well-being
  • Annual Business Plan 2017-18
  • Service Accountability Agreement for Bruyère Continuing Care

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