The group of 15 local health care providers collaborating to become the Chatham-Kent Ontario Health Team (CKOHT) has officially submitted its full application to the Ministry of Health.
After completing a self-assessment earlier this spring, the CKOHT group, along with 30 other applicants from across the province, was chosen to move on to the Full Application stage of the process, working with a deadline of October 9, 2019.
Over the last two months, a steering committee and six work streams made up of leadership and staff from partner organizations as well as patient advisors have been working to complete the application. The CKOHT’s submission was roughly 100 pages and received support from the boards of each of the partner organizations, as well as Chatham-Kent Council.
“Completing this application was truly a collaborative effort involving more than 100 people and underscoring the strong relationships that already exist amongst partners,” said Lori Marshall, CEO of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance and one of three co-chairs of the CKOHT Steering Committee.
“The hard work and countless hours that have gone into this initiative really demonstrate the dedication of the health care professionals currently working in our local system.”
Marshall continued: “What we learned during this process is that the history of collaboration between partners provides us with a strong foundation to build upon to co-design a local health care system with improved access to care, enhanced system navigation and a more seamless experience for patients.”
Patient advisors and primary care professionals, including physicians and nurse practitioners, played key roles in completing a well-rounded application.
“More than two dozen patient advisors have been taking part in the steering committee and all work streams to ensure the voice of patients, families and caregivers is loud and clear in all CKOHT goals and objectives,” said Judy Gragtmans, co-chair and a patient advisor.
“We have been included in this journey from the beginning.”
“Many patients enter the health care system through primary care and it is a relationship that often continues throughout their life,” added Dr. Jim Wheeler, also steering committee co-chair.
“As a primary care physician, it has been a rewarding experience to be involved in completing this application. Physicians and nurse practitioners will continue to be instrumental in the ongoing design, planning and decision making of the Chatham-Kent OHT.”
In addition to reviewing applications, the Ministry of Health will now make site visits to each of the groups in the full application stage before announcing the successful candidates in early 2020.
“That does not mean our work stops in the meantime,” said Marshall.
“It is important we continue to engage our communities so people understand what the CKOHT is and the role we will play in the health care system, and to make sure we are co-designing a local health care system we can all be proud of.”