Frontenac Lennox and Addington Ontario Health Team plans to improve the health and wellbeing of residents

Kingstonist file photo.

The Frontenac Lennox and Addington Ontario Health Team (FLA OHT) has released a five-year plan titled Achieving our best health which focuses on addressing gaps in the local health care system.

According to the release from FLA OHT, the plan will see enhanced collaboration and partnerships across the health, social services, and wellness sectors, and includes a series of targeted initiatives that aim to solve some of the big challenges facing patients and residents across the two counties.

“In our region, emergency departments are overwhelmed, hospital beds are full, thousands of people are without a family doctor, and people are not able to access the care they need when, where, and how they need it,” said Dr. Kim Morrison, Executive Lead of the FLA OHT. “With the launch of our plan, we are uniting with a common purpose to redesign our health care system to overcome challenges and seize opportunities to create stronger, more connected systems, and healthier communities.”

According to FLA OHT, the plan was co-created through extensive community engagement with over 1,000 people participating, including FLA OHT partners, Francophone and Indigenous community members, and the general public to address the unique health and wellness needs of all community members.

Highlights of the five-year plan for Achieving our best health, include:

  • Addressing the Primary Care shortage: ensuring that everyone in Frontenac, Lennox and Addington has a People-Centred Health Home — a home base for easy access to all health care and wellness services.
  • Coordinating care across sectors: targeting priority areas that will help people to age well at home; improve access to primary care, palliative care, mental health and addiction care; and coordinate care following discharge from hospital.
  • Improving access to mental health services: launching the AccessMHA program to make it easier for people to find mental health and addiction care and support.
  • Empowering patients with technology: implementing technology to ensure people experience smooth transitions in care, empowering them to self-navigate services and programs, and giving them access to their own digital health records.
  • Empowering providers with technology: Creating one digital health record system across the six hospital partners in southeastern Ontario, allowing providers to easily access people’s health information regardless of where they go for care; introducing technology to help providers improve how they make referrals and communicate with one another.  

“We recognize that people with lived experience in the health care system, as well as their family members and care partners, provide essential perspective and ideas on what needs to be improved in our systems,” continued Dr. Morrison. “Their involvement in co-designing our strategic plan, has ensured that our plan is truly reflective of the needs of the communities we serve.”

For that reason, the FLA OHT said it continues to look for more community members to share their voices and experiences and to help us “design the system that we all need and deserve.” Community members can get involved by joining the Community Council, participating in focus groups, or sharing their experiences with one of the project groups. 

“To really change the way care is delivered and organized, community voices need to be part of early planning and decision making,” said Allan Katz, FLA OHT Community Council co-chair. “As a Francophone community member, knowing that I am providing advice about health care programs and services that can be improved is empowering.”

The FLA OHT is one of 54 teams formed in Ontario to improve local health care delivery under the umbrella of Ontario Health and the Ministry of Health. Since its formation in 2021, the FLA OHT has already seen great progress, the organization said. Learn about some of the work achieved on the FLA OHT website. The website also has further information about the FLA OHT plan for Achieving our best health 2023-2028, and how community members can get involved

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