Durham health care providers on track to submit full Ontario Health Team (OHT) proposal

Posted on Thursday September 26, 2019

Proposal will set out how Durham partners will improve access to services and the patient experience

Durham – Since receiving the go ahead from the Ministry of Health (MOH) to submit a full application to become an Ontario Health Team (OHT) in July 2019, the 16-member Durham OHT has been working intensively to create a detailed proposal for improving access to health care in Durham Region.  

The full OHT application focuses on how the OHT partners will make decisions and collaborate in year one to transform services for local populations including sharing patient information and data.  It will also demonstrate how the OHT’s work will improve access to health services and outcomes for people including reducing hospital readmissions in the Emergency Department. 

In the first year, the Durham OHT proposes to focus on improving service delivery and care for two high needs groups: older adults living with frailty and individuals living with complex conditions including mental health and addictions. The submission will also include a special focus on home and community care and digital health.  As the Durham OHT evolves a Patient Experience Office will be established. 

An Oversight Committee of 16 organizations including primary care, acute care, and home and community care providers, along with regional government, community providers and patient, family and caregiver representatives will be signatories of the Durham OHT submission. In addition, four expert working groups with broader membership from across Durham Region including patients and caregiver representatives are supporting the development of a year one plan for a connected health care system:

  • A Clinical Working Group will develop initiatives to provide integrated care to the populations of need.
  • A Digital Working Group is focused on how to use digital health information and technology to enhance of care delivery, including virtual health options.
  • A Governance Working Group is developing an interim framework under which the OHT will operate in its first year.
  • A Home and Community Care Working Group is focused on the design of innovative service delivery, increasing accountability for performance and support efficient and integrated service delivery.

The Durham OHT will submit a full application by October 9. 2019, and the MOH is expected to announce the province’s first OHTs in late Fall 2019.


“It is exciting to see the tremendous commitment that partners, patients and caregivers have to creating a strong, integrated regional health system in Durham,” said Matthew Anderson, Lakeridge Health President and CEO.  “Through the OHT partnerships we will be collectively better able to meet the community’s growing and diverse health care needs.” 

"As part of a team of patient and caregiver representatives working on this initiative, we are very encouraged by the focus and productive work to improve the healthcare system that drives towards a seamless and manageable system of services for our communities,” said Randy Filinski, Patient and Caregiver Representative. “By engaging the complete range of services providers around clinical healthcare, social community needs and using digital capabilities to enhance our relationships, we are driving to a complete family oriented system for Durham residents."

“Individuals deserve a healthcare system that is easy to navigate and brings service providers together to deliver care that is seamless and connected.  The partners of the Durham OHT are committed to improving the system of care to meet the unique needs of our growing population,” said Denyse Newton, Alzheimer Society of Durham Region Executive Director.

“It is a privilege to be working with our health care partners, patient advisors, and caregivers to advance an integrated system of healthcare in Durham Region through the creation of an OHT.  We look forward to continuing this important work for the for the benefit of our community and all those we serve,” said Stephen Gray, Medical Associates of Port Perry CEO.

“It is an honor to be an integral part in the development of the Durham OHT. By collaborating with so many engaged partners, strong relationships are being formed to ensure a successful plan for our future in health care. Partners in Community Nursing is fully committed and confident that the Durham OHT will complete a solid plan to provide integrated care for the entire Region,” said Heather Smith, Vice President, Partners in Community Nursing.  

About Durham OHT

Ontario Health Teams (OHTs) are a critical component of the Ontario Government’s plan to reorganize health care services and will provide a new way of organizing and delivering health care services in local communities. Through OHTs, health care providers will work as one connected team making it easier for people to access services and transition between providers, and empowering patients and families in their personal health care.

The Oversight Committee for the Durham OHT is comprised of partners from across the care continuum, including primary care providers, hospitals, patient and caregiver advisors, mental health, home care and community organizations.

The Durham OHT submission received 39 letters of support from partner organizations in the health, social, education, and private sectors. 

For more information on the OHT process, please visit the Ministry of Health website.

Media Contacts

Lisa Kitchen

Durham OHT support

Phone: 905.576.8711

Email: lkitchen@lh.ca


Durham Ontario Health Team Signatory Organizations

  • Alzheimer Society Durham Region
  • Brock Community Health Centre (CHC)
  • Carea Community Health Centre (CHC)
  • CBI Home Health
  • Community Advantage Rehabilitation Inc.
  • Community Care Durham
  • Complex Injury Rehab
  • Grandview Children's Centre
  • Lakeridge Health
  • March of Dimes Canada
  • Medical Associates of Port Perry
  • North Durham Family Health Team (FHT)
  • Partners in Community Nursing
  • The Regional Municipality of Durham
  • St. Elizabeth Health Care
  • Victorian Order of Nurses for Canada, Ontario Branch, Durham Site