Ministry of Health Announces 5 New Ontario Health Teams

On July 23, 2020, the Ministry of Health announce 5 new Ontario Health Teams (OHTs) bringing the total of new Ontario Health Teams to 29 across the province.  The new OHTs announced include:

  • Algoma OHT
  • Niagara OHT
  • Ottawa East OHT
  • Western York Region OHT
  • Western Ontario OHT

In addition, 17 Team proposers have been invited to complete full applications for approval.  View the Ministry announcement.

Implications for Occupational Therapists

Ontario Health Teams are geared to provide integrated services across sectors of care and are a signature component of the government's health system transformation.  OSOT has been enthusiastic about the potentials of integrated care models such as Ontario Health Teams. Occupational therapists can best work to full scope and contribute most value in integrated systems where transitions in care (where OTs are often most needed) are seamless. OSOT encourages members to actively monitor their organization's participation in an Ontario Health Team.

5 things every OT working in the public health care system should do:

  1. Familiarize yourself with information about Ontario Health and proposed Ontario Health Teams – OSOT can help! View the Ministry webcasts, sign up to receive ongoing MOH updates. Watch for OSOT updates in emails and on the website. We can all participate best and contribute to a change agenda when we are well informed! 

  2. If your organization is involved in an OHT, talk to your program leads, managers, PPLs, administrators to learn about how your organization is organizing around this system restructuring.  Find a list of OHTs and contacts here.  If not part of an approved OHT, what might be the opportunities for Ontario Health Teams in your region for your organization? Keeping apprised of your organization's strategic direction and interests enables you and your OT colleagues to best position OT services to complement desired directions.

  3. Think outside the box – chat with colleagues about how could OT services contribute to best management of the priority patient groups identified across a more integrated system. This can help you be ready, inspired to contribute to discussions/proposal development, etc. in your organization. Have fun thinking about what you or the profession could do if not fettered by the walls of existing organizational structures. How can OT contribute to the Ministry's vision for "Connected Care"?

  4. Look to the evidence. Are you aware of initiatives in other jurisdictions that are impacting outcomes, efficiencies, etc.? Let us know your questions and we’ll share what we have!

  5. Promote Occupational Therapy! This is a terrific time to be underlining the tremendous value an OT can bring to managing transitions across components of the health system. What better time to have your organization and the stakeholders who may become Ontario Health Team partners understand what OT is and the value we can bring to the clients you serve! This is our opportunity! Need resources? Check out the professional promotion resources on the website.

How about one more thing?  Send your questions and updates of issues and developments in your region to OSOT.  Understanding what you are hearing, not hearing, being asked to address, etc. helps OSOT to better support you and OTs across the province.