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Thursday, September 27, 2012

LHIN is Working for You

Regional | by Rick Stow  

CEO of South West LHIN defends spending money for better health care in region.

The South West Local Health Integration Network wants to spend two billion of your tax dollars wisely.

Speaking in Goderich on Thursday -- Michael Barrett, the CEO of the South West LHIN, says the LHIN has recently completed a series of public engagement sessions to be used in putting together a new three-year strategic plan.

It will receive the 2013 to 2016 Integrated Services Plan at its November session.

The South West LHIN Board rotates its meetings through the region.

The Goderich session was held at Alexandra Marine and General Hospital.

It focused on the Network's efforts to contain the costs of treating dementia as baby boomers age.

Barrett notes each LHIN's population is different, and our area has a higher number of retirees among its nearly one million residents.

The LHIN CEO says Queen's Park chose the South West as the venue to roll out the Behavioural Supports Ontario program.

He says stress on the health care system is postponed the longer a person can live at home.

Four speakers on the program's front lines touched on mental health, Alzheimer's and behavioural issues within the region.

Based in London, the LHIN serves the largest territory outside Northern Ontario -- it stretches from Long Point to Tobermory.

Barrett notes the South West LHIN provides programs and services for residents of several counties and five First Nations.

He says the administrative budget is five million dollars -- a minimal percentage of the over two billion dollars the LHIN spends serving nineteen public and one private hospital, as well as seventy-eight long term care facilities.

Barrett says his staff of 33 people provide value for the money, channelling 99.75 per cent of the provincial funding to its target.



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