Hamilton is one of the first communities in Ontario to move forward with establishing an Ontario Health Team. On November 26, 2019, the Honourable Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, announced the Hamilton Health Team as one of the first teams in the province to implement a new model of organizing and delivering health care that better connects patients and providers in their communities to improve patient outcomes.
Ontario Health Teams are groups of providers and organizations that are clinically and fiscally accountable for delivering a full and coordinated continuum of care to a defined geographic population. The Ministry intends that all providers in the province will be part of one of these teams with a single accountability agreement with Ontario Health.
The Minister’s announcement will enable the Hamilton Health Team to move forward with planning its early initiatives. This work focusses on three priority populations in Hamilton, based on data demonstrating a need to better integrate care for an aging population and provide more accessible mental health services:
- Adults with mental health and addiction concerns
- Children and youth with mental health and addiction concerns
- Older adults with multiple chronic conditions
The Hamilton Health Team is a collaboration of Hamilton health and social service partners and includes representation from more than 20 organizations, reflecting primary care, home care, hospitals, community agencies, long-term care, mental health, Indigenous health, post-secondary education, and the City of Hamilton (Healthy and Safe Communities Department, Public Health and Paramedic Services).
Organizational partners and collaborators include:
- Two patient representative co-chairs
- Alternatives for Youth
- Alzheimer Society of Brant, Haldimand Norfolk, Hamilton Halton
- Canadian Mental Health Association – Hamilton Branch
- Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton
- Centre de santé communautaire Hamilton Niagara
- Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton
- City of Hamilton Healthy & Safe Communities Department
- Compass Community Health Centre
- De Dwa Da Dehs Nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre
- Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University
- Dr. Bob Kemp Hospice
- Good Shepherd Centres
- Hamilton Family Health Team
- Hamilton Health Sciences
- Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Local Health Integration Network
- Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board
- Hamilton Wentworth District School Board
- Lynwood Charlton Centre
- McMaster Family Health Team
- McMaster University – School of Nursing Ontario Telemedicine Network
- SE Health
- St. Joseph’s Health System
- Thrive Group
- Wayside House of Hamilton
- Wesley Urban Ministries
Hamilton Health Team Background
An opportunity for health and social service transformation
In February, the Ministry of Health announced plans to better connect the health care system by implementing local Ontario Health Teams (OHTs). In April, the Ministry released a prescribed, multi-phased process for formal applications by health and social service agencies seeking to be selected an early implementer of the OHT concept.
On July 18, the Hamilton Health Team was invited by the Ministry of Health to submit a full application to create an Ontario Health Team (OHT). On October 9, the Hamilton Health Team submitted its full application to the Ministry.
On May 15, 2019 the Hamilton Health Team (HHT) submitted an expression of interest (a self-assessment proposal) to be considered as an early implementer of the OHT model.
Agencies and organizations across Hamilton have long been working to strengthen and better integrate services to better serve the community. Since 2016, a formalized group of health and social service providers, named The Hamilton Community Health Working Group (HCHWG) born out of Hamilton’s Anchor Institution Leadership Group (HAIL), has been working together to examine how to improve health and well-being of the population in Hamilton through better coordination of services – with a view to making patient care experiences more seamless and integrated.
Building on this, the Hamilton Health Team, co-chaired by two patient advocates, was formed to explore local implementation of the OHT concept, and to prepare and submit the initial expression of interest to the Ministry.
The Hamilton Health Team concept presents significant opportunities for Hamilton’s health and social service sector to be more coordinated and integrated than ever before - expanding the collective impact and efforts of the systems to advance ideas for stronger population health approaches.
The Hamilton Health Team self-assessment outlines a plan to work towards long-term improvements in the overall health and well-being of the whole community, while balancing a short-term focus on improving access to care, transitions between care settings (including back into the home and in the community). Initially, in the first year the focus will be on the overall coordination of care for priority populations in Hamilton. Those are:
- Seniors with multiple chronic conditions; and
- Individuals with mental health and addictions concerns (child, youth and adult).
While this transformation will take time, and more engagement with the community and with partner agencies is critical, at maturity Hamilton Health Team plans to serve the whole of Hamilton with a long-term population health approach that builds on successful work in the community and strong partnerships.
Upon review of the initial self-assessment proposals from across the province, the Ministry invited the Hamilton Health Team to move forward immediately in the next phase of the Ontario Health Team application and selection process by submitting a full application.
The Hamilton Health Team submitted its full application to the Ministry by the deadline, October 9, 2019.
Patient and partner engagement is central to the success of this initiative and a key area of focus in next steps. The team is committed to meaningfully engaging patients, families, caregivers, a broad array of partners and the communities we serve.
October 2019: HHT plans shaped by patients and local leaders
- HHT Update (PDF, 348 KB)
October 09, 2019: Update on Hamilton Health Team submission of its full application to the Ministry of Health.
- HHT Application Highlights
- Media Release: Hamilton Health Team builds on success of local partnerships
August 9, 2019: Hamilton Health Team proposal continues to build momentum.
- HHT Update (PDF, 424 KB)
July 18, 2019: Hamilton Health Team selected by the Ministry of Health to submit an application to create an Ontario Health Team (OHT).
- HHT Media Statement (PDF, 180 KB)
June 26, 2019: Update on Hamilton Submission for an Ontario Health Team
Reports and Documents
- Ontario Health Teams Update, Report to Board of Health – September 16, 2019 (PDF, 926 KB)
- Hamilton Health Team Self-Assessment Submission: May 15, 2019 (PDF, 752 KB)
News & Media
- Hamilton among 1st cities to implement 'health team' under Ontario Health - CBC
- Hamilton to be one of the first regions to have an integrated health team - CHCH
- Hamilton among 1st cities to receive local health team - Global News
- Hamilton gets go-ahead for health system transformation - Hamilton Spectator
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