Message being sent on behalf of Sara Dalo, Board Chair and President, Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario
On behalf of the Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario (AFHTO), I am writing to let you know that our CEO Kavita Mehta has made the difficult decision to leave AFHTO to spend more time with family and explore future ventures. Kavita first joined AFHTO as a Board member in 2009 and was the first non-physician President and Chair in 2012. She was then subsequently hired as the CEO of AFHTO in December 2016 and has been critical in helping to support the organization in advancing its mission and mandate to advocate for expansion of team-based primary care in Ontario.
This news brings mixed emotions for all of us who have had the pleasure of working with Kavita these many years. As many of you may know, Kavita has been working at advancing primary care, specifically team-based care, for over 17 years starting first at the policy-level at the Ministry of Health in the Primary Health Care Branch before moving into a role as an Executive Director in a Family Health Team in East Toronto. During that time, she has been able to leverage her strong partnership skills and deep knowledge in primary care to advocate and advance AFHTO as a strong collaborator and a trusted voice for the sector.
Having served on The Change Foundation Board of Directors for five years, Kavita has always been a strong supporter of integrated care through ensuring that interprofessional team-based primary care be the foundation of health system reform, with a focus on patient co-design and improving the patient and caregiver experience. In addition, Kavita saw the value in establishing more formal partnerships to further demonstrate and promote the capabilities of team-based care through evidence-based research. Her advocacy meetings with elected officials are always grounded in member stories about the impact of team-based care with patients and the community to ensure that they truly understood why every Ontarian deserved access to an interprofessional primary care team.
Over the last two years she convened and chaired the Primary Care Collaborative, an alliance of our comprehensive primary care organization partners (AFHTO, Ontario College of Family Physicians, Alliance for Healthier Communities, Indigenous Primary Health Care Council, Nurse Practitioner-led Clinic Association, OMA Section on General and Family Practice) who were joined together by common purpose to build on the collaborative work during the COVID-19 pandemic and onwards with health system transformation and integration. Through her leadership, the PCC was able to provide a collective and cohesive voice to the Ministry, Ontario Health and the government with the purpose of influencing policy by creating a unified voice towards resolving barriers or challenges that prevent comprehensive primary care from being the foundation of the health system.
Through her collaborative spirit and strategic direction/focus, Kavita leaves AFHTO in a strong position with our primary care partners, the Ministry of Health, Ontario Health and other sector partners. These partnerships are central to AFHTO’s work and will be critical in ensuring her legacy remains as we work towards creating a stronger health care system for all Ontarians.
On behalf of the Board, we want to thank Kavita for her ongoing commitment to AFHTO, to interprofessional team-based care and to primary care. We will miss Kavita’s leadership, both at AFHTO and in the primary care sector, but I am sure you join me in wishing her well in her future endeavours. Kavita’s last day with AFHTO will be on March 10th, 2023. The Board will be undertaking a search for the new CEO and further details will be forthcoming.
Board Chair and President, AFHTO