December Newsletter

The Guelph and Area OHT (G&A OHT) is developing a new way of organizing and delivering care centred on patients, families and caregivers. Locally, we are building on what we already do well – collaborating to meet the needs of patients. We know that together, we will be able to achieve much more than we could separately.

All of us are committed to strengthening our local health system and available services, improve client experiences and ultimately, make the community healthier. While OHTs are being developed, community members can be assured their existing health services will remain available and accessible.

In this issue (with links):

What’s new at the G&A Ontario Health Team

Guelph and Area OHT Strategic Governance Council

Working Group Updates:

Recent and Upcoming activities

What’s new at the Guelph and Area Ontario Health Team

Some of those on hand for the big announcement were (l-r) Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie, Minister Christine Elliott, GGH President and CEO, Marianne Walker and the Executive Director of the Guelph Community Health Centre, Raechelle Devereaux.

On Nov. 29, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott visited Guelph to announce that the Guelph and Area Ontario Health Team (OHT) has been selected as one of the first 24 OHTs in the province. Partners of the Guelph and Area OHT are thrilled to have the opportunity to lead the transformation of the health care system and to continue to work together to dramatically improve how the residents of our communities experience and benefit from our local health care system.  

This transformation is grounded in ‘Integrated Primary Care Teams (IPCT)s which when fully developed will deliver all primary care to patients (in-home and in-office). Providers on each IPCT will share a coordinated care plan and use digital health tools to deliver care and communicate with their patients and each other.

Every patient with have a “go-to person” on their IPCT who they know and trust and who will help them manage and coordinate their care.  As patient care needs change, providers with the required skills and expertise will be invited to join the patient’s care team to ensure that the patient gets the care they need in the most coordinated and timely manner.

Guelph and Area OHT Strategic Governance Council

In September 2019, governors from each core partner organizations came together for a visioning session.  The group agreed to form a representative ‘Strategic Governance Council’ to support the following Year 1 objectives:
1. Oversee a joint strategic planning process for the Guelph and Area OHT
2. Design of a governance structure to support the Guelph and Area OHT towards full maturity

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Working Group Updates:


Communication activities will evolve along with the OHT. Early communication will focus on internal audiences and key external stakeholders, including:

  • Regular and timely information with partners via monthly email newsletter
  • Up-to-date website will anchor all communication activities
  • Basic social media presence on Facebook and Twitter
  • Survey internal partners to both as certain available communication channels and identify communication needs
  • Work with local media both proactively and reactively

Data and Performance Measurement

In Year 1, this working group will both support the G&A OHT to understand the health of its attributed population and will make recommendations to better integrate Decision Support services for the mature G&A OHT.

Digital Health

The Digital Health Working Group is focusing in the design/development of interfaces between existing Electronic Medical Record (EMR) platforms that are used by our partners to enable sharing of patient care plans. The solution will enable two-way, near real-time sharing of critical information about the patient’s goals of care and treatment plans.

This group is also working to increase the adoption of virtual visits, Telemedicine consults and eConsults to support timely and efficient access to care for patients.


As the Finance Working Group drafts its Terms of Reference, the following objectives have been identified:


1. Development of an understanding of current finance functions and processes across G&A OHT partner organizations and identification of improvement opportunities amongst OHT partner organizations.

OHT Funding

2. Development of processes to receive and allocate funds to G&A OHT partners in the future.
3. Receive information from/provide information and make recommendations to the Ministry of Health regarding OHT funding frameworks/formulas.

OHT Development/System Design

4.  Inform/influence the design of the structure of the G&A OHT beyond Year 1 to ensure Finance functions are optimized within the G&A OHT.

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Human Resources

The Human Resource Working Group has identified the following objectives for its work in Year 1

  • Contribute collective skills and expertise to ensure the G&A OHT remains compliant with all collective agreement and legislative requirements
  • Develop a summary of the current state of relevant human resource features/structures of each G&A OHT member
  • Develop an ‘Organizational Development Plan’ to support the development (as defined in the Year 1 Strategic Plan) and realization of the desired culture for the G&A OHT
  • Identification of shared learning/educational and organizational development opportunities
  • Provide advice and guidance to ensure human resource considerations are included in clinical models as they develop
  • Support engagement of and communication with G&A OHT partners related to HR and LR issues including transparent, timely, comprehensive and consistent disclosure and communication with partners, employees, unions etc. 

Patient Partnership & Community Engagement

This working group is currently developing its terms of reference including the following objectives:

  • Support engagement of community and supportive & collaborative partners
  • Keeping all stakeholders up to date on how we integrate and extend opportunities to patients and community members.
  • Advise with regards to opportunities for patient and community feedback
  • Support the development of the G&A OHT Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC)
  • Provide support and capacity building of all working groups in the OHT to leverage patient and community feedback in their work in meaningful ways.

Priority Population

In our last update, we described the progress of the Palliative and Mental Health Working Groups.  These groups continue to advance the work to achieve the described targets.

Our third priority population/clinical work stream is the development of ‘Integrated Primary Care Teams’ (IPCTs).  IPCTs will be developed by expanding the scope of existing primary care teams to deliver all primary care to patients of the Guelph and Area OHT including primary palliative care, primary mental health and addictions care and integrated care coordination.  Early in 2020, this group will be working with existing primary care practices to identify the needs of each practice to enable them to achieve the full set of functions of a mature IPCT.

Working Groups to be developed in Early 2020

  • Quality Improvement & Continuous Learning
  • Caregiver Support  
  • Privacy
  • Strategic Planning

Recent and Upcoming activities:

December 17, 2019 – Webinar introduction to the Health System Performance Network, the team that will be leading the provincial evaluation of the Ontario OHT initiative
December 18, 2019 – First meeting of the G&A OHT Strategic Governance Council
January 27, 2020 – Supporting Collaborative Community Partner Engagement Meeting

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