Friday, 26 July 2019

Ontario Health Teams: a collaborative partnership model for health care

Muskoka and area will be at the forefront of Ontario’s health system transformation as a group of local health care providers, including MAHC, has been selected among the first wave of applicants seeking to establish an Ontario Health Team (OHT).

Ontario Health Teams are being introduced by the provincial government to provide a new way of organizing and delivering health care services in local communities. The concept is that under Ontario Health Teams, the health care providers you see (including hospitals, doctors and home care providers) will work as one coordinated team – no matter where they provide your care. It is part of the provincial government’s plan to improve health care in Ontario by building a more connected system that improves the patient and caregiver experience and strengthens local services.

I am excited about the recent announcement that Muskoka and area has been invited to submit a full application for an Ontario Health Team. Patients throughout our region will benefit from health care that is integrated and coordinated locally, centered around primary care, and positioned to improve social determinants of population health.

Muskoka and area is one of just 31 groups selected by the provincial government to move forward to the next stage of application, and this is all thanks to the hard work of the Muskoka and Area OHT partners. We at Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare are proud to be a partner in this work, joining a full spectrum of health and community organizations, including the 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, District of Muskoka, Alzheimer’s Society of Muskoka, and

In our collective completed application, which is due this fall, we will demonstrate how our 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. We must also establish effective governance with providers and community-based representation, including patients and families. If you are interested in becoming part of this local governance model, I encourage you to send your expression of interest to Janine van den Heuvel, Executive Director of the Algonquin Family Health Team at

This is very exciting news for Muskoka and area that builds on the great work of the Muskoka and Area Health System Transformation group to revolutionize local health care to make it easier for patients to navigate the system and to centre care around people. I hope that with continued hard work and the support of all our partners, later this fall Muskoka and area can be among those named by the province as the first Ontario Heath Teams.

If you would like to learn more about how Ontario is connecting care through Ontario Health Teams, please visit