Increased access to primary care in Kapuskasing area

May 07, 2018

TimminsToday article published on May 4, 2018 TimminsToday staff NEWS RELEASE NORTH EAST LOCAL HEALTH INTEGRATION NETWORK People will have greater access to high-quality health care closer to home thanks to a new team of health care professionals coming to Kapuskasing and a new Indigenous Interprofessional Primary Care Team that will serve Indigenous Northerners. On Thursday, the North East Local Health Integration Network (NE LHIN) along with local partners announced:

  • A new Family Health Team for Kapuskasing ($755,600)
  • The creation of an Indigenous Interprofessional Primary Care Team ($2.3 million) based in Cochrane which will serve Indigenous Northerners, including in Kapuskasing and area.

The new Family Health Team will connect people in Kapuskasing with a range of health care professionals, such as nurse practitioners, social workers, and physiotherapists to address a broad range of healthcare needs, including mental health and chronic disease management. The family health team will also complement and extend services presently provided by primary care physicians with the Riverbend Family Health Organization The creation of the Indigenous Interprofessional Primary Care Team is in keeping with the North East LHIN’s Aboriginal Health Reconciliation Action Plan, published in 2016, to increase access to care for Northerners. Indigenous Interprofessional Primary Care Teams are Indigenous community-led, primary health care organizations. They provide a combination of traditional healing, primary care, cultural programs, health promotion programs, community development initiatives, and social support services. Team-based health care clinics help empower patients and their families and encourage them to be active participants in living healthy lives. Ontario is creating new and expanded primary care programs and services in order to respond to the health and social service needs of communities across the province, including Franco-Ontarians, newcomers and seniors. For many years, Kapuskasing has had challenges securing access to primary care health providers. The NE LHIN worked closely with local physicians, health service providers and other key stakeholders in the community to address the challenge. The LHIN also assisted the Kapuskasing Interprofessional Primary Care Committee with the development and submission of the business case for establishing the Family Health Team. The development of a Family Health Team will help to improve primary care service capacity and delivery in Kapuskasing. The Centre de santé communautaire de Kapuskasing et region, Riverbend Family Health Organization and Sensenbrenner Hospital worked collaboratively to increase access to specific interdisciplinary services to residents in the area. This partnership has increased access to the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN), clinical nutrition counselling, blood pressure monitoring, and clinical pharmacy consultations, amongst other services. Quotes “Our government is committed to ensuring everyone in Ontario has access to high-quality primary care, closer to home. The support of interprofessional primary care teams in the community is an important and significant step toward achieving this goal.” - Dr. Helena Jaczek, minister of Health and Long-Term Care “The North East LHIN is pleased to have worked collaboratively with health service providers and community members in Kapuskasing to develop a successful business case for the new family health team. This new team will support on-going efforts to recruit and retain primary care providers in the community. The addition of a new Indigenous Interprofessional Primary Care Team will also improve access to care for Indigenous people living in the area and is in keeping with the North East LHIN’s Aboriginal Health Care Reconciliation Action Plan.” - Jeremy Stevenson, CEO, North East LHIN "We are thrilled by the news that Kapuskasing will be gaining a new Family Health Team. This new resource will be a great support to both patients and current primary care physicians in the community, and we appreciate the work of the North East LHIN and area partners to make this happen." - Dr. Julie Boucher, lead physician with the Riverbend Family Health Organization Quick facts

  • Kapuskasing Family Health Team will receive $755,600 to support the establishment of interprofessional primary care as part of Ontario’s commitment to expand access to interprofessional primary care across the province.
  • The Shkgamik-Kwe Aboriginal Health Access Centre will receive $2,280,000 to support the establishment of the Indigenous Interprofessional Primary Care Team, which will serve Indigenous Northerners from communities from Cochrane to Constance Lake.
  • There are currently 294 interprofessional care teams across Ontario delivering care to more than four million people.

Learn more

Click here to access the TimminsToday article