Beach-East York Neighbourhood Voice: East Toronto groups form community-focused health-care network

East Toronto Health Partners is one of 24 in Ontario

By Joanna Lavoie, Beach-East York Neighbourhood Voice

A new integrated health-care network is now up and running in East Toronto.

Ontario’s Minister of Health and Deputy Premier Christine Elliott officially named the Toronto East Ontario Health Team, East Toronto Health Partners as it’s being called, as one of the first of 24 new health teams in Ontario. The announcement was made last month at the future home of the new Thorncliffe Park Community Hub.

According to a release, the new east-end health team is part of the Ontario government’s plan to “build a connected and sustainable health-care system centred on the needs of patients.”

“This is an exciting time for health care in Ontario as we finally break down the long-standing barriers that have prevented care providers from working directly with each other to support patients through their health-care journey,” Elliott said in a release.

“Together with our health-care partners, the Toronto East Ontario Health Team will play an essential role in delivering on our commitment to end hallway health care,” she added.

The new team consists of six anchor partners, all of whom have a long track record of working together. They are Michael Garron Hospital, Providence Healthcare, South Riverdale Community Health Centre, VHA Home HealthCare, WoodGreen Community Services and East Toronto Family Practice Network, which is the voice of 260 primary care physicians in East Toronto with the support of a number of organizations with similar offerings.

Some health and social services provided by the new health team include primary to acute care, food security, supportive housing, home-based health care and community support services, long-term care, birth and end-of-life, and settlement and employment.

For the last two years, the community-based groups that make up the new Toronto East Ontario Health Team have worked to develop what they’re calling a “Network of Networks” that aims to build a “model of seamless care” for the community. This fall, they combined their resources to come up with a comprehensive plan to provide community-based health-care services during the winter surge.

“We are incredibly proud of our partners and grateful for the collaborative work we are doing together to build a better, more integrated health-care system for patients, clients and families,” said Anne Babcock, WoodGreen Community Services’ president and CEO, in a release.

“It takes the creativity, flexibility and commitment of everyone involved to transform the delivery of local care to our communities.”