$4 million per year for weekend rehab reduces wait times, rebuilds more lives



    TORONTO, May 19 /CNW/ - Survivors of life-altering illnesses and injuries
will spend less time in the hospital and more time with their families and in
the community thanks to a government investment of $4 million per year.
    Today, the Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) announced that
it has invested in rehabilitation to help reduce growing Alternative Level of
Care (ALC) pressures at acute care facilities.
    The funding will allow St. John's Rehab Hospital to expand rehab services
to seven days per week. St. John's Rehab will now provide inpatient therapy,
admissions and discharge on the weekends. The hospital has also extended its
outpatient service hours to increase capacity throughout its continuum of
rehabilitation care.
    By providing service on the weekends, the hospital will now have the
capacity to care for 147 more patients each year. This will allow patients
waiting for care to access rehabilitation, in turn freeing up space at acute
care hospitals. Patient flow through the health care system will be improved,
allowing 400 more patients to get the immediate care they need at our partner
hospitals. This will help those hospitals also reduce their wait times for
care.
    Importantly, patients no longer have to wait idly through the weekend
before being admitted to, or discharged from the hospital. Patients can also
continue their rehab therapy sessions through the weekends.
    "This funding improves the continuum of care, and allows our
interprofessional team to provide the same excellent rehabilitation every day
of the week," says Malcolm Moffat, President and CEO of St. John's Rehab
Hospital. "Patients can be admitted from our acute care partners earlier,
participate in rehabilitation sooner, and return to their communities."
    In January, the Central LHIN funded a pilot project for the expanded
services. Since then, St. John's Rehab staff has been diligently trialing the
expanded services on various units in the hospital. Starting this month, St.
John's Rehab Hospital will begin implementing the expanded services across all
inpatient units.
    We're already seeing results - in less than a month, the hospital
eliminated its wait list for priority outpatient care. With the expanded
services, St. John's Rehab is getting people back to work, families and their
lives sooner and in better health.
    Growing pressures on the health care system prevent patients from
receiving the right care, at the right time and at the right place. ALC
patients have finished the treatments they require at one hospital, but cannot
be discharged to the facility they need. This also prevents acute care
hospitals from admitting other patients waiting for care. This project is an
example of how investment in all levels of health care can improve capacity
throughout the system.
    "We are pleased to improve access to rehabilitation services in Central
LHIN, and this expansion at St. John's Rehab Hospital is an excellent example
of an innovative solution to contribute to relieving our increasing Emergency
Room/Alternate Level of Care pressures." says Kim Baker, Acting CEO, Central
LHIN.

    About St. John's Rehab Hospital

    St. John's Rehab is the only hospital in Ontario solely dedicated to
specialized rehabilitation. This North Toronto facility is a community
affiliated teaching site of the University of Toronto and is recognized as a
high-performing hospital by the Ontario Hospital Association's Hospital Report
Series. Home to Ontario's only burn and Canada's only organ transplant
rehabilitation programs, we care for people with complex, life-changing
illnesses and injuries. With a unique focus on the whole person - body, mind
and spirit - St. John's Rehab Hospital is rebuilding people's lives.

    About Central LHIN

    The Central LHIN is one of fourteen regional networks in Ontario created
to plan, integrate and fund local health services. It is responsible for
leading the transformation of the local health care system and works closely
with over 140 health service providers including hospitals, the Central CCAC,
long term care facilities and consumers and their families to integrate health
care practices into a model that works for the people of York Region, North
Toronto and south Simcoe.





For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Leslie Mitchell, Advisor, Media
Relations and Strategic Communications, St. John's Rehab Hospital, (416)
226-6780 ext. 7089, lmitchell@stjohnsrehab.com

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ST. JOHN'S REHAB HOSPITAL

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