Waterloo Wellington LHIN eNewsletter - August 22nd Edition
The WWLHINformation eNewsletter is a bi-weekly update to keep you informed of the latest news, events, and successes in health care across the WWLHIN as we continue working together to build an integrated and sustainable health system for residents in Waterloo Wellington.
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Home First Video Demonstrates Positive Changes for Care of Frail Elderly
View a video that was just produced to highlight the successful work of LHINs and CCACs across Ontario on Home First and caring for the frail elderly at home, with proper care support. After all, home is where the heart is and to recover alongside family and friends is a very important step in a patient’s journey of care. The video itself features a client from Cambridge and staff from the Waterloo Wellington Community Care Access Centre (WWCCAC).
One of our health system’s biggest challenges is the number of patients waiting in hospitals for alternate levels of care (ALC). Home First is one of the many ways successes with lowering rates of ALC are taking place. In fact, here in the WWLHIN, through hard work by our LHIN, the WW CCAC, the community support services sector and our hospitals, the rate of ALC patients has gone from a high of 27 per cent in 2008 to 17.65 per cent in April 2011.
Home First is making a difference. In keeping with the Excellent Care for All Act, which passed in June 2010, Home First puts patients first and ensures their needs are met safely, comfortably, and with quality – in a preferred location – Home.
Enjoy the video. I encourage you to also read our Home First web page to learn about the successes taking place.
Advancing Critical Care Across the Waterloo Wellington LHIN
Dr. Francis Reinders takes the reins as Critical Care Lead
Guelph Family Health Team Expands Services
People in Guelph will now have more access to high quality health care with the expansion of the Guelph Family Health Team. Family Health Teams include doctors, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, social workers and dietitians working together as a team to provide seamless access to health care.
The Guelph Family Health Team’s expansion will offer benefits to their patients such as:
Residents of Guelph and the surrounding communities who are in need of a family care provider can contact the Guelph Family Health Team at (519) 837-4444. Click here for more information.
‘Home First’ Allows Families to Spend Final Days Together
Enhanced health care at home supports caregivers and reduces ALC days
Rhoda and Tony Bennett have three daughters, and five grandchildren. For 25 years, they shared everything. They worked together at a manufacturing company in Guelph, commuted together and were generally inseparable. When Rhoda went in for a routine colonoscopy and came out with news of a tumor that was likely cancerous, their whole world stopped. “It was like being hit by a truck,” said Tony.
Rhoda and Tony began a journey, navigating through the health system from testing and diagnosis to end-of-life care, and everything in-between. The cancer started in her ovaries but by the time they caught it, it had spread. There was little they could do for her except make her comfortable. “They told us that her body was too weak to survive chemotherapy,” said Tony. “It was heartbreaking. Learning you’re going to lose your wife, there’s nothing that can prepare you for that.”
Rhoda was diagnosed in December and her health deteriorated rapidly. She was admitted to Guelph General Hospital in January. “The care we received at Guelph General was incredible,” said Tony. “I can remember one day Rhoda had to be transferred for testing and we would be gone all day. One of the nurses arrived with a cooler packed with lunch for me because she knew it would be a long day. They went above and beyond in every way possible.”
When Rhoda was stabilized, her doctor and Waterloo Wellington Community Care Access Centre (WWCCAC) Case Manager spoke to them about next steps. They could send her to St. Joseph’s Health Centre or take her home and care for her with support there. “At first, I was scared to take Rhoda home,” said Tony. “We were afraid that it would be too emotional surrounded with memories of our life together. In the end, Rhoda and I decided that having her at home with us would be best. Our doctor told us we made the best decision and he was right.”
Click here to read the full story.
Opening of Sidney House - Addiction Supportive Housing in Guelph
An open house was held on August 17th to celebrate the opening of Sidney House, a welcoming home in a quiet residential neighbourhood in Guelph that provides supportive housing for those struggling with Addiction. The open house invited neighbours to meet with staff from the Stonehenge Therapeutic Community and the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Grand River Branch, as well as residents.
In 2010, Stonehenge Therapeutic Community opened a pilot transitional housing program that would serve as a bridge for those who complete treatment and need a place to live while they find work and get back on their feet, and focus on staying clean and sober.
With funding from the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network, and through a partnership with Waterloo Regional Homes for Mental Health, House of Friendship, and the Canadian Mental Health Association Grand River Branch, local residents now have access to permanent and transitional Addiction Supportive Housing units. There are now 8 units open in Guelph
Photo: Addiction supportive housing workers Liz Boston and Rachel Davies join Stonehenge Executive Director Heather Kerr and CMHA Grand River Branch Executive Director Don Roth at the opening of Sidney House.
LHINs well represented at Association of Municipalities of Ontario Conference
The annual conference of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) is taking place this week in London. Thanks to the South West LHIN, Ontario's LHINs will be well represented at the conference with a booth and presentation by South West LHIN CEO Michael Barrett. . Each LHIN, including Waterloo Wellington, provided information for the presentation and booth on recent accomplishments. For more information, follow conference updates on Twitter at #AMO2011.
On Track To Provide Better Health For All Ontarians
More than 7,000 doctors, who care for 6.5 million Ontarians, now manage their patients’ health information with an electronic medical record. That is just some of the significant progress outlined in the 2011 eHealth Progress Report.
Ontario is committed to electronic health because it saves lives and money, and improves care. Achievements include:
Increasingly, electronic health records will help us drive down wait times, reduce duplication and unnecessary tests, and put a stop to avoidable prescription drug errors. All Ontarians will have an electronic health record by 2015 and patients will own their electronic health records -- allowing them to take better control of their health.
For a local update, click here to read a recent story on ClinicalConnect. Through ClinicalConnect, more than 2 million patients across the Waterloo Wellington and Hamilton Niagara Halidimand Brant LHINs are receiving higher quality, more efficient care.
Improving Publicly-Funded Health Care For Ontarians
Ontario patients will see further improvements to their health care and taxpayers will get even better value for the health care dollars they spend through new initiatives agreed to by the Ontario Medical Association and the government.
The province and the Ontario Medical Association have improved the final year of the four-year Physician Services Agreement by making changes that will deliver better health care results for families, reduce the use of unnecessary medical procedures and allow for health dollars to be redirected into other front line services. These changes are the next phase of the government’s plan to work with medical professionals to ensure publicly-funded medicare services are based on the best possible medical evidence. New changes include:
These changes, combined with changes announced earlier this year, will result in $223 million in savings this year. Every dollar saved through these evidence-based changes will be redirected into other front-line health care services.
Ontarians Reminded To Protect Themselves Against Mosquitoes and Ticks
Mosquito pools testing positive for the West Nile virus are on the rise across the province and Ontarians need to continue taking proper precautions to reduce their risk of contracting the virus.
Dr. Arlene King, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, is reminding Ontarians to continue protecting themselves from mosquito bites by:
It is also important for Ontarians to reduce prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes by draining standing water from around their home on a regular basis. Cick here for more information.
Read the special conference scrapbook edition of the OACCAC newsletter. Click here to view the newsletter.
In this month’s issue, you will find:
WWLHIN Social Media: Feature Tweets and Posts