Congratulations to the Bright Lights 2020 Award Winners!

bright lights 2020 logo

On October 8 AFHTO named the winners of our annual Bright Lights Awards at our first ever virtual ceremony. These innovators have improved primary care through their leadership, outstanding work and significant progress made toward improving the value delivered by interprofessional primary care teams throughout Ontario. Bright Lights Award winners are innovators and team players whose work has an impact on the healthcare system and in the lives of their patients and communities.

The review committees made up of AFHTO members chose the winners from among dozens of nominations. AFHTO gave awards for each of our five conference themes, as well as two spotlight awards for excellent response to COVID-19. The winners in the conference themes will receive a $750 education grant each courtesy of Boehringer Ingelheim.

In addition, AFHTO’s board presented a special award to a teacher whose contribution helped prepare families for a return to school during a pandemic.

Board Award: Darren Abenstein

In recognition of: Preparing Families for a Return to School During a Pandemic
This year, the board has recognized Darren Abenstein, a high school teacher for the York Region District School Board who worked with his wife, a Markham FHT physician, to create a practical guide for concerned parents on how to prepare for back to school.

The five theme recipients of Bright Lights Awards and the winner of the spotlight award are listed below. Click on the links to read a summary of their achievements:

1.    Central Brampton Family Health Team

  • Award Category: Mental Health and Addiction Support in Primary Care
  • Achievement: Coping Conversations webinar series

Central Brampton FHT created a webinar series that succeeded in keeping them connected with their patients despite restrictions due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which evolved to fulfil more needs through their feedback.

2. Amherstburg Family Health Team

  • Award Category: Integrating Digital Health and Virtual Care
  • Achievement: Increased daily appointments and after-hours access with platform that incorporated EMR

To combat COVID-19’s impact on patient care, Amherstburg FHT used virtual care to increase same day/next day appointments from 25 to 60 percent throughout the pandemic and more than double after-hours access to care.

3. Ontario Health West Teams

  • Award Category: Integrated Care and Community Responses
  • Achievement: Created web-based COVID-19 assessment system

FHTs in the Ontario West Region and their partners created the COVID Population Health Navigator (Navigator), a web-based system that allows for virtual assessments of all patients -- with minimal wait times -- and makes it possible to collect population health data to better understand analytics and pandemic spread in each region.

4. Delhi Family Health Team

  • Award Category: Public Health and Primary Care
  • Achievement: Created inter-county Primary Care Response Team to address COVID-19 cases among seasonal agricultural workers

An interdisciplinary, mobile Primary Care Response Team (PCRT) assisted migrant farm workers in need, providing early intervention and reducing hospital admissions.

5.    Couchiching OHT Social Determinants of Health Working Group

  • Award Category: Addressing Social Determinants of Health
  • Achievement: Creation of community-wide COVID-19 response strategy

Various agency partners of the Couchiching Ontario Health Team created a COVID-19 response working group that adopted a response strategy for the Couchiching area. The partners’ response resulted in zero cases of COVID-19 in congregate living settings.

6. The Spotlight Award: Essex County Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic

  • Award Category: Demonstrating a Community Response to COVID-19
  • Achievement: WE Health lending program

As the pandemic took hold, Essex County Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic initiated WE Health, an electronic device lending program that allowed its vulnerable populations including the elderly, and high-needs patients access to services online when it wasn’t safe or possible for them to take advantage of in-person services.

7. The Spotlight Award: Couchiching Family Health Team

  • Award Category: Demonstrating a Community Response to COVID-19
  • Achievement: Well-being program for area seniors

Couchiching Family Health Team partnered with others to create and implement a program to ensure that their seniors’ health was addressed during COVID-19..

Congratulations to all our winners and nominees! You can watch the ceremony here. And to see all our nominees please visit the 2020 Hall of Fame.

The call for nominations for the 2021 Bright Light Awards will go out in June 2021. All AFHTO members are welcome and encouraged to participate.