New Durham Ontario Health Team to Provide Better Connected Care for Patients

Posted on Monday December 02, 2019

Ontario Health Teams Part of Province’s Plan to End Hallway Health Care

November 29, 2019 11:39 A.M. 

OSHAWA — Ontario is delivering on its commitment to end hallway health care and build a connected and sustainable health care system centred around the needs of patients. The province is introducing Ontario Health Teams, a new model of care that brings together health care providers to work as one team.

Today, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, was at the Grandview Children's Centre in Oshawa to announce the Durham Ontario Health Team as one of the first 24 teams in the province to implement a new model of organizing and delivering health care that better connects patients and providers in their communities to improve patient outcomes. Through an Ontario Health Team, patients will experience easier transitions from one provider to another, including, for example, between hospitals and home care providers, with one patient story, one patient record and one care plan.

"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 throughout their health care journey," said Elliott. "Together with our health care partners, the Durham Ontario Health Team will play an essential role in delivering on our commitment to end hallway health care and building a connected and sustainable public health care system centred around the needs of patients."

As part of the Durham Ontario Health Team, patients will be able to more easily navigate the system and experience smooth transitions between health care providers from across Durham Region. The team will integrate several services including primary care, hospitals, mental health and home and community care, while focusing on improving care for older adults living with frailty and people living with complex conditions and mental health and addictions.

"With our new Durham Ontario Health Team, patients will benefit from better integrated health care, with a seamless experience when moving between different health care services, providers and settings," said Elliott. "I would like to thank all the health care providers and organizations that helped plan the Durham Ontario Health Team; there is lots of work to be done, but with their dedication and hard work, we will continue to improve health care in our communities and ensure Ontarians get the care they deserve."

As the team continues its work to integrate care, the Durham Ontario Health Team will put in place 24/7 navigation and care coordination services for patients. This work will be implemented in phases and will expand over time to the entire Durham Ontario Health Team's patient population. These new services will dramatically improve the patient experience and make navigating the health care system easier and more convenient.

"Ontario Health Teams are important to support Durham Region partners to build a connected health system singularly focused on the people we serve in Durham Region," said Matthew Anderson, President and CEO of Lakeridge Health. "Through the Durham Ontario Health Team, we will be better able to collectively meet the community's growing and diverse health care needs. Thank you to the Government of Ontario for providing us with the opportunity to be one of the first Ontario Health Teams, as we look to build a more people centred and sustainable health care system."

"These are such promising times for patients and caregivers in Durham Region with the strong commitment of the Durham Ontario Health Team to improving care and support for our community," said Anne-Marie Yaraskavitch, Patient, Family and Caregiver Advisor. "The proposed changes, which include a true team approach in addressing a Durham resident's health care and support needs while ensuring patients and caregivers are fully supported in moving between different parts of the health care system are, in my view, a major milestone in improving the health care experience and health care outcomes."

"As one of the primary care partners of the Durham Ontario Health Team, we are looking forward to working with all our partners and the Ministry of Health to implement the vision of the Durham Ontario Health Team," said Steve Gray, CEO of Medical Associates of Port Perry and the North Durham Family Health Team. "Creating an integrated system to support the health and well-being of all Durham residents is a collective responsibility. We are committed to our role in that effort."

"We are so excited at Partners in Community Nursing to be at the forefront of shaping an integrated system that truly works for the patient," said Theresa Henderson, President of Partners in Community Nursing. "The partnerships that we continue to expand and solidify within Durham Region will be instrumental to meet the diverse needs of our community. We are thankful for the opportunity before us and look forward to the transformation to come throughout the health care system in Ontario."

The Durham Ontario Health Team will begin implementing some of their proposed programs and services in 2020 and will communicate with patients and families about the changes and improvements they can expect in their community.

Ontario has a comprehensive plan to end hallway health care, which includes making investments and advancing new initiatives across four pillars:

  1. Prevention and health promotion: keeping patients as healthy as possible in their communities and out of hospitals.
  2. Providing the right care in the right place: when patients need care, ensure that they receive it in the most appropriate setting, not always the hospital.
  3. Integration and improved patient flow: better integrate care providers to ensure patients spend less time waiting in hospitals when they are ready to be discharged. Ontario Health Teams will play a critical role in connecting care providers and, in doing so, helping to end hallway health care.
  4. Building capacity: build new hospital and long-term care beds while increasing community-based services across Ontario.


  • An Ontario Health Team will be responsible for delivering care for their patients, understanding their health care history, directly connecting them to the different types of care they need, and providing 24/7 help in navigating the health care system.
  • Ontarians can be confident that they can continue to contact their health care providers as they always have to access the health care they need.
  • The first wave of Ontario Health Teams is being approved after an extensive readiness assessment process, which involved significant time, collaboration, research and effort from partners across the health care sector.
  • The government will continue working with its partners to review their applications to become an Ontario Health Team.