Dear members, colleagues, partners, and friends,
It is hard to put down in words just how difficult it was to write this message to an amazing group of people who I have had the pleasure of working with, and learning from, over my many years in primary care.
I don’t even really know where to start. I started my journey in primary care, specifically with primary care teams, 17 years ago and it has been an absolute privilege to be part of a sector that continually does everything they can to provide exceptional care to patients, their families, and communities. We know primary care is the foundation of the health care system and working from the policy angle from my time at the Ministry to the operational level during my time as an Executive Director of a family health team to now here at AFHTO with an advocacy lens, it just highlights to me that a sustainable health care system MUST start and end with strong primary care.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your best wishes as I step into this next chapter of my professional life. Your emails and phone calls have been truly uplifting and I appreciate your kind words – these relationships matter a lot, and I am thankful for the opportunity to have met so many great people along the way.
- To everyone on our member teams - it is always astounding to see how much primary care gets done, even when there are not a lot of supports or even understanding of what primary care truly is. Thank you for your leadership, your engagement, and your ongoing commitment to AFHTO – your stories, your innovations, your passion is what drives the organization and for that I am truly grateful.
- To the many partners I have had the privilege of working with - I want to thank you for your partnership and collaboration as we work towards creating a much more integrated health care system. I especially want to thank my partners in the Primary Care Collaborative. Working together to create that unified voice with like minded individuals who are truly passionate about creating a sustainable and equitable health care system that is foundationally based in primary care is truly motivating and inspiring.
- To my colleagues in the Ministry of Health and Ontario Health – thank you for always being readily accessible and available as we collectively navigate towards rebuilding our health care system where primary care, through the lens of the quintuple aim, is prioritized and supported. I know it is not an easy task and I am grateful for your ongoing commitment at ensuring we have a voice.
- To the AFHTO Board members, new and those who have been around for a while – thank you for always being there, always willing to jump in and provide support and guidance when it was needed and when times were tough, always being that compassionate ear.
- And then finally, to the small but mighty AFHTO team! We say that a lot, but I think a lot of people are always surprised by how much we get done with such a small team. It has been a true honour to work with each and every one of you and I know that your collaborative spirt and willingness to always jump in to support our members is as important to you as it was to me. There are no other words than thank you.
Without our member teams, our amazing board members, our partners and most importantly, the AFHTO team, it would have been very difficult to do this job. After all, we always say #ItTakesATeam to deliver the best care but it also takes a team to develop solutions and work towards policy that ensures we develop roadmaps to deliver better care, with primary care at the centre. Now, more than ever, we are seeing a lot of discussion around creating more primary care teams and I feel that there is momentum like we have not seen in many years. The pendulum is shifting!
I am truly grateful for everyone’s support, guidance and partnership over the years – health care is a truly small space so I am sure our paths will cross again. Please take care of yourselves and each other and a very warm thank you!