Increased LHIN engagement would strengthen communication lines

OLTCA encourages homes to play leading role in LHIN engagement

November 27, 2013 — Deron Hamel 

OMNI Health Care president and CEO Patrick McCarthy says he hopes to see increased engagement between the organization’s 17 long-term care homes and the five Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) they’re within.

Members of a panel discussion discuss the role the long-term care sector can play engaging with the 14 LHINs.

Members of a panel discussion discuss the role the long-term care sector can play engaging with the 14 LHINs.

This, he says, would create stronger communication lines as well as build upon successes already being seen by OMNI homes that are strongly engaged with their LHINs.

For instance, Rosebridge Manor in Jasper is involved with many of the South East LHIN’s mental health initiatives. Through its engagement with the LHIN, the home can listen to the mental health issues that come forward. Some of these issues have even made their way to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

McCarthy’s comments were made Nov. 25 in an interview during the Ontario Long Term Care Association’s (OLTCA’s) Fall Symposium, an annual educational event that features keynote speakers, panel discussions and networking.

“It’s a two-way communication,” he said of home-LHIN engagement, following a panel discussion on the issue. “We can help (the LHINs) with resources at the home level (and) they can help us by informing us as to what the issues are on the ground that have a system-wide impact.”

When it comes to long-term care homes engaging with LHINs, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, given the breadth of different needs and resources homes have, McCarthy notes.

For example, OMNI has several homes in the Champlain LHIN. But the two OMNI homes in Ottawa, Forest Hill and Garden Terrace, have different needs and available resources than Woodland Villa, which is located in Long Sault, just outside of Cornwall.

Even the physical structure of homes comes into play. For example, if an OMNI home wants to participate in a program that deals with mental health, does it have the capacity and staffing levels to do it?

OLTCA CEO Candace Chartier also emphasizes the importance of an individual approach to LHIN engagement.

“(The homes) know the residents they’re looking after and they know the community they’re in and they know the issues that they’re facing,” she said.

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