Hospitals unite to improve access to emergency care, rehabilitation

    Means better health results, shorter acute care wait times

    TORONTO, Feb. 21 /CNW/ - Two north Toronto hospitals are teaming up to
improve access to health care - from the emergency department through to
specialized rehabilitation. Beginning in March, North York General Hospital
and St. John's Rehab Hospital will integrate their inpatient rehabilitation
services to a focused, specialized program at St. John's Rehab. This
represents one of Ontario's first major health integration projects since the
advent of Local Health Integration Networks.
    Most patients at North York General Hospital who would benefit from
rehabilitation will be transferred to St. John's Rehab upon completion of
acute care treatments. North York General Hospital is converting its 15-bed
inpatient rehab program into beds for patients with acute care needs.
North York General Hospital will now be able to admit more patients to
hospital, thereby reducing wait times in the emergency department.
    St. John's Rehab Hospital will use newly added resources to admit
patients with additional medical needs. With this integration project, St.
John's Rehab will have the capacity to provide the equivalent of over 5000
additional days of rehabilitation annually, equal to providing care to almost
14 more patients at any one time.
    The integration into a single, specialized rehabilitation centre will
give patients the care they need at the right time and in the right setting.
The partnership means both hospitals can use their respective expertise to
improve patient outcomes and maintain already high levels of quality care.
    "Ultimately, this is about providing more people with both life-saving
care and the care to return home sooner and in better health," says
Malcolm Moffat, President and CEO, St. John's Rehab Hospital. "This
partnership will allow St. John's Rehab Hospital to return more people to the
community with renewed independence and quality of life."
    "North York General Hospital is always looking for ways to offer our
patients more timely access to the quality care we work so hard to provide,"
says Bonnie Adamson, President and CEO, North York General Hospital. "This
initiative is another example of how we work within a continuum of care to
ensure our patients get the right care, at the right place, and at the right
    This partnership demonstrates how health care providers can come together
to improve access to care and deliver on local health priorities established
by the Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). The two hospitals are
working together to define the process for patient referrals, establish an
appropriate program of care, educate clinicians, and ensure adequate resources
are in place.
    "We are pleased and excited to have supported the first substantive
voluntary integration proposal for the Central LHIN," says Hy Eliasoph, CEO,
Central LHIN. "We congratulate both organizations on being pioneers, and
setting the bar high in terms of finding ways to collaborate that best serve
the interests of patients."

    North York General Hospital, affiliated with the University of Toronto,
is one of Canada's leading community teaching hospitals. We offer our
culturally diverse community a wide range of acute care, ambulatory and
long-term care services across three sites. The hospital embraces health by
providing innovative and compassionate care for the whole person throughout
all stages of life.

    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.

    Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) is one of 14 LHINs
established by the Government of Ontario as community-based organizations to
plan, co-ordinate, integrate and fund health services at the local level. One
of the most populous and diverse LHINs, Central LHIN encompasses the majority
of York Region, as well as north Toronto and south Simcoe. Through its
Integrated Health Service Plan, Central LHIN is dedicated to improving the
accessibility, coordination, quality and efficiency of our health system, to
help people lead healthier lives.

For further information:

For further information: Courtney Sorger, Manager, Media Relations,
North York General Hospital, (416) 756-6725,; Marcus
Staviss, Manager, Strategic Communications, St. John's Rehab Hospital, (416)
226-6780 ext. 7002,

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