Concurrent Sessions

F1 Merging Two Family Health Teams: Lessons learned

Theme 1. Effective leadership and governance for system transformation

Presentation Details

  • Date: Thursday, October 26, 2017
  • Concurrent Session F
  • Time: 11:45am-12:30pm
  • Room:
  • Style: Presentation (information provided to audience, with opportunity for audience to ask question)
  • Focus: Practical (e.g. Presentation on how to implement programs and/or practices in the team environment)
  • Target Audience: Leadership (ED, clinical lead, board chair, board member, etc.)

Learning Objectives

In this session, participants will learn about the journey embarked on by the Garden City and Niagara on the Lake Family Health Teams as they underwent a voluntary merger to form the Niagara North Family Health Team. Lessons learned, planning and implementation of this merger will be discussed.


On April 1, 2017 the NOTL and Garden City Family Health Teams joined to form the Niagara North Family Health Team. This merger involved a change in name, dissolving a family health team, changes in governance structures, resource allocation, human resources management as well as many process changes. In this session, we will present on not only the process that brought us to the decision to merge, but also on the development of the implementation and communication plan for the project. We will share the legal, financial and communication challenges that we encountered in order to prepare other family health teams considering this type of merger. In addition, human resources issues will be presented with their associated resolution. We will present on the past and current organizational structures and well as the changes in governance. The Patient’s First legislation challenges us to think about how we can integrate and enhance our services to patients. The overall goals of our merger were to facilitate change, increase access to programs and services and to provide a platform for enhanced integration into our communities.


  • Mary Keith, Executive Director, Niagara North Family Health Team

Authors & Contributors

  • Dr. Jorin Lukings, Vice-Chair Niagara North Family Health Team
  • Dr. Brian Kerley, Board Chair, Niagara North Family Health Team
  • Dr. Lou Ricciardi – Merger Committee, NOTL Family Health Team
  • Dr. Tim Bastedo, Merger Committee NOTL Family Health Team