2,400 children with multiple disabilities benefit from Children's Treatment Network support

    First of a kind 'single plan of care' model reduces waitlists and brings
    services closer to home

    ONTARIO, Nov. 26 /CNW/ - As governments and agencies across Canada
continue to search for solutions to improve our healthcare system, Children's
Treatment Network's single plan of care approach is showing great promise as a
new and effective way to better meet the needs of kids with multiple
disabilities. In its first year of operations, more than 2,400 children in
Simcoe County and York Region in Ontario benefited from additional
rehabilitation and support services provided closer to home.
    The Network is a new community-based services delivery model designed to
provide coordinated, integrated care services for over 4,500 children with
multiple disabilities and their families in the region. It is the first model
to link over 40 healthcare, education, recreation and social services agencies
including hospitals, school boards and rehabilitation providers so they can
take a team approach to each child's care. Together they have created a single
point of contact for a coordinated continuum of care designed to support each
child throughout their development - from birth to adulthood.
    "Parents of kids with multiple disabilities struggle to navigate the
healthcare, education and community systems to get the rehabilitation services
and support their child needs," says Bob Morton, CEO, Children's Treatment
Network, who estimates that there are over 180,000 children with disabilities
in Canada. "Parents are faced with long waitlists, traveling long distances
for services not available locally, having to brief numerous therapists on
their child's history, and coordinating services from multiple service
providers. These critical issues could not be addressed within the confines of
a fragmented and siloed services environment."
    Through the new Network model, partners have conducted an additional
19,000 rehabilitation therapy sessions, reduced wait times, and created the
new single plan of care tools, systems and processes needed to allow
professionals from many different agencies and ministries to collaborate on
each child's care. In its first 12 months, the Network and its partners also:

    -   Added 71 more professionals and physicians to increase capacity and
        reduce wait times
    -   Established six community-based resource centres (with four to be
        added) to bring more services and specialized equipment closer to
    -   Increased paediatric diagnostic assessment services, augmentative
        communication and feeding and swallowing resources within the
    -   Created a shared electronic record that allows professionals from
        multiple agencies and organizations to develop a single plan of care
        for each child, share clinical notes and monitor their progress

    "Together we're finding effective ways to remove barriers between
organizations serving kids with special needs in the region," says Mr. Morton.
"Governments and children's services communities across the country have shown
a great deal of interest in the progress that's been made so far."
    Janet Beed, CEO of Markham Stouffville Hospital says, "Thanks to funding
from Children's Treatment Network, Markham Stouffville Hospital in partnership
with York Central Hospital, has been able to expand its Paediatric Development
Assessment and Consultation Services. Families in our community can now
benefit from expertise in feeding/swallowing and alternative augmentative
communication closer to home. We value our partnership with the Network, and
believe these program expansions will move us closer to meeting the needs of
our special children and their families."
    Parents and service providers can access the Network through a toll-free
number. Over the next three years, plans are to transition all children with
multiple disabilities in Simcoe and York to the new services delivery model.
Under the new system, a team of professionals is focused on each child's care.
The Network coordinates services needed and monitors each child's progress.
    Theresa Meininger-Sanders, whose daughter Jessica has multiple
development and physical disabilities, is one of the first to transition to
the single plan of care model. "It has simplified the whole process for us.
Having a team that's working together and focused on Jessica is helping us
meet goals faster. The Children's Treatment Network is saving us from the
stress of starting from scratch to keep services going with new care providers
as she moves through different stages in her development. The timing of her
single plan of care couldn't be better."
    A three-year research study is currently being conducted by McMaster
University to measure the economic and clinical effectiveness of the new
system by comparing outcomes and costs against self-directed services.
Findings will be published and shared with professionals and Ministries to
support policy makers.
    Children's Treatment Network of Simcoe York is funded by the Ministry of
Children and Youth Services. For further information, please visit

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: or for interviews contact: Kathryn Boothby,
(905) 330-0943, kmboothby@sympatico.ca; Ellie Trainer, (905) 830-4475,

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