Rural health care providers unite to provide optimal health services

Wellington hospitals, Family Health Teams, Community Care Access Centres and Mental Health Services signed a collective agreement last Wednesday aimed at optimizing health and patient care in our rural communities.

The local rural health partners include Groves Memorial Community Hospital, North Wellington Heath Care, Minto-Mapleton, Mount Forest and Upper Grand Family Health Teams, Waterloo Wellington Community Care Access Centre and Trellis Mental Health and Developmental Services.

By entering into this agreement each partner commits to improving the overall efficiency and effectiveness of health care services through collaboration, joint planning and sharing.
“We are stronger working together than we could be independently,” said Jerome Quenneville, President and CEO of the Wellington Health Care Alliance. “By working together we can potentially leverage sources of funding to improve patient services.”
Shirley Borges, administrator for Minto-Mapleton Family Health Team said, “Through collaboration we are able to explore sharing of health care information systems and services. This will allow all partners to enhance the current level of health care available in our rural communities.”

“This agreement will strengthen the current collaborative approach and set in motion the evolution of existing capabilities and service roles to better meet the unique rural health care needs of Centre and North Wellington. The ripple effect of success in our relationship will drive further success by others,” said Lana Palmer, Executive Director, Upper Grand Family Health Team.

“The agreement between our seven organizations is just a beginning.  As part of building health care access and healthier communities, in future, we hope to work more closely with public health, community support services, social services, education providers, local citizens and our local municipalities,” said Suzanne Trivers, Executive Director of the Mount Forest Family Health Team.

These local rural health partners have created a working group they call “Rural Health Care of Tomorrow”.

The first order of business for the group is to work with community health and social support partners to further develop the vision of coordinated health services and work toward the physical structures that will support the vision.

“We are all committed to achieving and ensuring excellence in patient care,” said Kevin Mercer, CEO of the Waterloo Wellington Community Care Access Centre. “This Memorandum of Understanding helps mark a new beginning of efforts to work together to further improve service connections between our organizations.”
Fred Wagner, Executive Director, Trellis Mental Health and Developmental Services said, “Those living in rural areas have a close relationship with their local health care providers. By working together we will be able to improve upon that relationship.”

Posted from the Mount Forest Confederate, Sept.15, 2011

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