HALIFAX, Nov. 26, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) with the participation of 17 regional health authorities and the support of four Atlantic provincial Health departments, today announced the launch of the Atlantic Healthcare Collaboration for Innovation and Improvement in Chronic Disease (Atlantic Healthcare Collaboration), a three-year initiative that runs to June 2015.
"Our government is committed to improving the health of Canadians and to make sure they receive the best care possible," said Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq. "The funding that we provide through the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement is proof of that commitment. The initiative being announced today, in collaboration with the Atlantic provinces, will result in better treatment for Canadians with chronic diseases such as diabetes, mental health and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease."
"This is one of the most important healthcare collaborations ever to take root in Atlantic Canada," says Chris Power, President and Chief Executive Officer, Capital District Health Authority, Halifax, Nova Scotia. "The Atlantic partners want to create a patient- and family-centred approach to manage and prevent chronic diseases, and we believe we will have far greater success by sharing information, than by working in isolation."
CFHI recognizes that the provinces and territories have primary responsibility for delivering health services. Finding viable ways to enhance health delivery is at the heart of this process which will initially involve eight of the regional health authorities tackling 11 improvement projects. Participants will delve into a gamut of challenges touching the patient/family continuum of care: everything from how to enhance education for healthcare providers tasked with early diagnosis, to improving the navigation system for clients, to identifying gaps in care.
"CFHI, along with our partners, believes we can realize health improvements through collaboration on this scale, for a modest investment," says Maureen O'Neil, President, Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement. "The most significant investment is the leadership and commitment of our Atlantic partners."
According to the latest data released from Statistics Canada, Atlantic Canada experiences higher rates of self-reported chronic diseases (mental health, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, etc.) than the rest of the country.
Mortality from cardiovascular disease is higher in Atlantic Canada as compared to other parts of the country (33% versus 30%). The prevalence of diabetes is also higher (7% versus 6%). Among the Atlantic Provinces, Nova Scotia ranks highest for respiratory ailments (6.3%) and reports more new cases of cancer (0.5% versus 0.4%). When it comes to mental health, more people in New Brunswick rate their mental health as fair or poor as compared to the Canadian average (5.7% versus 5%).
Between now and December 31, 2013, the participating regional health authorities will contribute up to $250,000 to support the Atlantic Healthcare Collaboration, in addition to CFHI's contribution of $325,000 and the in-kind support of the Health Association Nova Scotia.
Teams will take the first steps in implementing their improvement projects at a workshop organized by the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement on November 26 and 27 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. For more information on regional projects and timelines, visit the Atlantic Healthcare Collaboration.
The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (cfhi-fcass.ca) is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to healthcare improvement and transformation for Canadians. CFHI collaborates with governments, policy-makers, and health system leaders to convert evidence and innovative practices into actionable policies, programs, tools and leadership development. CFHI is funded through an agreement with the Government of Canada.
 Source: Statistics Canada. 2012. Health Profile. Statistics Canada Catalogue No. 82-228-XWE. Ottawa. Released June 19, 2012. http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/health-sante/82-228/index.cfm?Lang=E
SOURCE: Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement
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