Ontario Community Support Association To Probe HR Issues in the Community Support Sector

    Project will enlighten health care planners and funders

    TORONTO, April 22 /CNW/ - A comprehensive survey funded by the Ministry
of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) is being launched by the Ontario
Community Support Association (OCSA) (www.ocsa.on.ca) to analyze health human
resources in the community support service sector in Ontario. The results will
ultimately benefit seniors and persons with disabilities or chronic health
issues who every day receive critically important services like attendant
services, home help, personal support, transportation to medical appointments,
Alzheimer day programs and assisted living in supportive housing.
    For the first time, this comprehensive survey will provide an in-depth
analysis of the health human resources situation in the community support
sector. It will also present insight into key issues and trends to better
manage the community's precious human resources and inform policy development
and program design in the Health Human Resources Strategy Division of the
MOHLTC. It is essential that we know as much about the health human resources
in this sector to ensure that Ontarians have access to the right number and
mix of qualified health care providers now and in the future, especially as
our population ages.
    "There is currently very little consolidated data on both managers and
the front-line workforce of Community Support providers", says Susan Thorning,
CEO of OCSA. "In addition, there is no reliable data about the amount and
nature of volunteer services provided through the agencies within this

    Upon completion in March 2010, the Health Human Resource project will
provide community support service providers and their stakeholders with:
    -   a better understanding of the backgrounds of the paid staff and
        volunteers which will inform decisions to develop leadership and
        skills training;
    -   the ability of service providers to enhance their Human Resources and
        strategic plans;
    -   the ability to develop benchmarks for community support service
    -   key data for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and Local
        Health Integration Networks (LHINs) about both the gaps in and
        strengths of the community support sector; and
    -   the opportunity for further policy discussions on the importance of
        data collection, storage and retrieval of human resource information
        across all health sectors in Ontario.

    "The transformation of our health care system depends to a great degree
on the maintenance and development of services like community supports to help
individuals age in their own homes and prevent ER visits and hospital
admissions", said Dr. Joshua Tepper, Assistant Deputy Minister of the Health
Human Resources Strategy Division, MOHLTC. "In order to plan and implement
change, it's critical that decision makers at all levels have a comprehensive
understanding of the Human Resources situation in the community. That's why
the Ministry, through the HealthForceOntario strategy, is pleased to sponsor
this Research Project being conducted by the Ontario Community Support

    About OCSA

    The Ontario Community Support Association represents the providers of
government funded community support services that assist seniors, people with
disabilities, and individuals who cannot function independently because of an
illness, or other limitations due to aging, mental health, or addictions.
These agencies have an estimated workforce of 25,000 staff and 100,000
volunteers delivering community support services.

For further information:

For further information: Lori Payne, Director, Communications, OCSA,
lori.payne@ocsa.on.ca, (416) 256-3010 Ext 242, website: www.ocsa.on.ca

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