The North West Local Health Integration Network’s (LHIN) new Leadership Award acknowledges outstanding contributions to health system transformation in Northwestern Ontario. The first ever recipient is the City of Thunder Bay Integrated District Network (IDN) Health Link Steering Committee, which was recognized for its Commendable Approach to Collaboration.
Health Links bring providers from numerous organizations and sectors together, such as primary care, emergency services, mental health and addictions, long-term care, and housing to better coordinate care for individuals with the greatest health care needs. Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) participates on this important Committee.
Dr. Stewart Kennedy, Executive vice President, Medical and Academic Affairs, Dan Ward, Resident Inventory Specialist, and Marga Bond, Patient Family Advisor, represent TBRHSC. The Committee reflects a broad spectrum of health care providers and related organizations and also includes Cheryl D’Angelo, Kim Ferris, Rob Kilgour, Janet Sillman, Heather Murchison, Rick Almond, Wendy Talbot, Paula Donylyk, John Hatton, Sharon Pitawanakwat, Dana MacMillan, Dana MacMillan, Norm Gale, Natalie Paavola, Nathaniel Izzo, Janniefer Moore and Julie Campbell.
“Our goal is to improve access and experiences for patients and we are very honoured to be part of the initiative. This award speaks to the commitment and vision of our committee members. They have every reason to be proud,” said Dr. Kennedy.
The Steering Committee’s approach has been successful for a number of reasons. First, Health Link clients remain at the centre of care through the development of a Coordinated Care Plan. The Coordinated Care Plan outlines the goals that clients consider to be most important to their health and is followed by every member of the Health Link team to ensure clients are at the forefront of all care decisions. Another reason for success has been the creation of a Health Coach position, to offer personalized support as clients implement their Coordinated Care Plans.
In addition, the Health Link has produced significant cost savings for the health care system in the City of Thunder Bay, most notably through reductions in visits to the Emergency Department, hospital admissions, and avoidable ambulance trips.
The North West LHIN also recognized Arlene Thomson, Director, Cardiovascular and Stroke Program at TBRHSC, as a Leadership Award finalist. For over twenty years, Thomson has been integral to advancing services in Northwestern Ontario, including the establishment of a comprehensive cardiovascular program.
“Arlene Thomson has been the backbone of our progress. It is wonderful to see her dedication acknowledged,” said Dr. Bill McCready, Interim President & CEO, TBRHSC and Interim CEO at Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute. “I am proud of Arlene and the City of Thunder Bay Integrated District Network Health Link Steering Committee for all they have accomplished.”