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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Muskoka Ontario Health Team Bid Moving Forward

Muskoka | by Matt Sitler  

A group of Muskoka and Area health care partners answered that call and submitted a self-assessment for an OHT in May.

Muskoka and area is one of just 31 groups selected by the provincial government to proceed to full application for an Ontario Health Team (OHT).

By integrating and organizing to deliver services locally under a collaborative partnership model, it's expected the Muskoka and Area OHT will provide seamless care for patients and clients.

As the first step toward the creation of the new Ontario Health Teams, the Provincial Government opened the call for self-assessments by groups interested in forming an OHT on April 3, 2019.

A group of Muskoka and Area health care partners answered that call and submitted a self-assessment for an OHT in May.

The Muskoka and Area OHT brings together a full spectrum of health and community organizations, including: Cottage Country Family Health Team, Algonquin Family Health Team, Midwives of Muskoka, North Muskoka Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic, Closing the Gap Health Care, North Simcoe Muskoka Home and Community Care, North East Home and Community Care, CarePartners Muskoka, Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare, District of Muskoka, Alzheimer’s Society of Muskoka and; along with letters of endorsement from various clinicians and key supporters, including Paramed Home Health Care and many others.

“This is wonderful news for Muskoka and Area as we hope to lead the way with many health care providers and administrators committed to a vision to better coordinated care that supports our unique communities,” says Dr. David Mathies, Chair of the Muskoka and Area Ontario Health Team Steering Committee. “I want to thank and commend all of our signatories and broader partners for their commitment and support to demonstrate our ability to implement an OHT model for Muskoka and Area.”

Completed applications are due this fall and are expected to demonstrate how the OHT will enhance coordination of care and improve transitions of care, and effectively engage primary care providers and leaders, as well as Indigenous partners by further illustrating solid relationships across the continuum of care.

A further expectation is the establishment of effective governance with providers and community-based representation, including patients and families.

To that end, the Muskoka and Area OHT continues to seek community applicants who are interested in becoming members of the local governance model. Applicants can send their contact information for consideration to Janine van den Heuvel, Executive Director of the Algonquin Family Health Team at

“Patients throughout Muskoka will benefit from health care that is integrated and coordinated locally, anchored in primary care. I am looking forward to upcoming clinical and community engagement to help build a health care system that is uniquely Muskoka.” Dr. Keith Cross, Cottage Country FHT Lead Family Physician. “We are hopeful that with continued hard work and the support of all our partners we can be among those named as the first Ontario Health Teams later this fall,” adds Dr. Mathies

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