Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network Announces Funding to Address Consumer Priorities

    TORONTO, March 3 /CNW/ - The Board of Directors of the Toronto Central
Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) today announced nearly $5 million in
funding to address local health priorities identified by consumers and health
service providers.
    "In our extensive consultations with consumers, we heard that people,
particularly seniors, were having difficulty getting the services they needed.
They didn't know how to get help and they didn't know how to navigate their
way through the system," said Mohamed Dhanani, Chair of the Board of
Directors. "We also heard from health service providers that overcrowding in
emergency departments stems from challenges with patient flow. Patients need
to move more quickly and more efficiently from hospitals into rehabilitation,
complex continuing care, long-term care and community services."
    "The funding announced today is just the beginning of Toronto Central
LHIN's response to these concerns. With this funding, health service providers
will begin to connect more individuals with the services they need and enhance
the efficiency of our local health care system."
    A total of 16 projects were funded. They represent innovative,
collaborative approaches designed by health services providers across the
hospital and community sectors. Among them were:

    -   An investment of $1.3 million to support better co-ordination of
        care, as well as greater access to community services, through
        expansion of an existing electronic Resource and Referral Management
        system. This system is designed to move patients from hospital to
        community services quickly and efficiently.
    -   An investment of $443,000 to expand Toronto Ride, a service that
        provides frail elderly seniors with much needed transportation and
        helpful escorts to medical appointments, grocery stores and wellness
    -   An investment of $237,500 to develop a centralized access point for
        mental health and addictions housing and supports.

    "By expanding our services through partnerships with other providers, we
will reach into under-serviced neighbourhoods enabling us to help many more
frail, elderly seniors to stay well and maintain their independence. Most
seniors want to stay in their homes and our service is helping them to do just
that," said Jane Moore, Executive Director of SPRINT, a partner in Toronto
Ride. "This will also relieve pressures on the long-term care sector and
emergency departments."
    Mary Layton, a current SPRINT client, added "I have been using SPRINT's
transportation service for almost seven years. It has been a blessing for me
and will be, I am sure, for many others. Their drivers are very helpful
especially for people who have walkers and oxygen."
    "By funding organizations like SPRINT that are partnering with others,
and facilitating co-ordination between hospitals and community services, the
care gaps identified in Toronto Central LHIN's 2007 - 2010 Integrated Health
Service Plan are closing," said Mr. Dhanani. "We will be improving access and
navigation. We will be helping people receive care in more appropriate
settings - in the community - where they want to receive services. We'll be
diverting patients from emergency departments and in-patient hospital beds to
reduce reliance on these services."
    A full list of projects and health service providers receiving funding
from the Toronto Central LHIN is in the attached backgrounder.

    The Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) is a crown
agency responsible for planning, integrating and funding 196 health service
providers, including hospitals, long-term care homes, mental health and
addictions agencies, community support services, and the Toronto Central
Community Care Access Centre. Established under the Local Health System
Integration Act, 2006, as one of 14 LHINs across Ontario, the Toronto Central
LHIN administers an annual health service provider budget of $4 billion.


                               Projects funded

    Project/Organization      Amount   Purpose/Benefit
    Seniors - Improving Provision of Existing Services
    Toronto Ride - through   $443,000  To expand Toronto Ride to better meet
    Senior Peoples' Resources          current client demand for
    in North Toronto Inc               transportation with assistance where
    (SPRINT) with other                needed.
    health service                     Benefit: Greater independence and
    providers                          continued wellness for more seniors.
    Home At Last - through   $ 70,000  Enables seniors being discharged
    St. Christopher House              from hospital to get home with the
    in partnership with                supports they need immediately in
    hospitals, Toronto                 place.
    Central CCAC and                   Benefit: Facilitates earlier discharge
    community support                  from inpatient beds and emergency
    service organizations              departments. Helps seniors recover
                                       from illness or surgery at home,
                                       reduces re-admission rates and/or
                                       admissions to long-term care.
    Innovation and Integration - Seniors
    Coordinated Access for   $231,650  Developing common electronic process
    Community Services -               for admitting consumers to programs
    through WoodGreen                  and services in the community.
    Community Services in              Benefit: Improved and seamless
    partnership with health            referrals by streamlining operations.
    service providers and
    the Ontario Community
    Support Association
    Helping Seniors navigate $ 75,000  Development of a model for health
    the system - through               service providers to identify frail
    Regional Geriatric                 and marginalized seniors and enable
    Program, Sunnybrook                seniors to get the services they need.
    Health Sciences Centre             Benefit: Helps seniors and their
                                       caregivers find their way through the
                                       complex health system. Facilitates
                                       more equitable access to the system.
    Toronto Central LHIN     $ 87,500  Enhance web-based inventory by adding
    inventory of health -              mapping to locate health services.
    through Toronto Central            Benefit: Enhances existing information
    Community Care Access              and access for consumers by adding
    Centre                             maps to enable them to locate health
    Innovation and Integration - Mental Health and Addictions
    Coordinated Access to    $237,500  Development of electronic central,
    Mental Health and                  access system.
    Addiction housing and              Benefit: Streamlined referrals and
    supports - through LOFT            improved access to 3800+ mental health
                                       and addiction housing units through
                                       standard application and assessment
    Better information for   $162,500  Development of health promotion and
    providers and consumers.           prevention resources, an inventory of
    - through the Centre               integration initiatives, Emergency
    for Addiction and                  Room patient flow mapping.
    Mental Health                      Benefit: Better information for
                                       consumers and health service
    Psychogeriatric          $ 37,500  Inventory of psychogeriatric resources
    Framework Development              for health service providers, seniors
    for Seniors in the                 and caregivers.
    Community - through                Benefit: Helps seniors stay in the
    Community Mental Health            community.
    Program - Sunnybrook
    Health Sciences Centre
    Innovation and Integration - Rehabilitation
    LIFEspan - through       $315,610  Improve continuity of care for youth
    Toronto Rehabilitation             with disabilities as they transition
    Institute with Bloorview           to adult services.
    Kids Rehab                         Benefit: Improves access to adult
    Inpatient Rehabilitation $ 34,075  Implement a standard inpatient
    Referral Form - through            referral form for hospital referrals
    Toronto Rehabilitation             to rehabilitation and complex
    Institute partnering               continuing care.
    with Toronto Central               Benefit: Establishes common referral
    LHIN hospitals                     process that will help to move
                                       patients more quickly through the
    Innovation and Integration - Back Office
    Client Information       $ 15,000  Develop a consumer information
    management - through               management system which collects and
    Community Care East York           shares information.
    partnering with community          Benefit: Internal efficiencies and
    support agencies                   coordinated service management as well
                                       as data sharing across organizations
                                       and sectors.
    Community Partnerships:  $ 55,000  Determine the opportunities to pool
    Pooling Human Resources            human resources and legal services for
    and Legal Services -               five health service provider partners.
    through Toronto East               Benefit: Eliminates duplication of
    General Hospital                   effort and achieves cost reductions,
                                       with savings to be reinvested in
                                       improving patient/client care.
    University Health        $ 20,000  Implement measurement and evaluation
    Network with community-            tools for health system improvements.
    based health service               Benefit: Ability to measure progress
    providers                          of changes.
    System Pressures
    Patient Services         $388,236  Patient service enhancements.
    Runnymede Healthcare               Benefit: Improves clinical staff focus
    Centre                             on patient care and implements risk
                                       management initiatives to improve
                                       patient safety.
    Spasticity Clinic        $170,230  Address pressures for the operation of
    West Park Healthcare               the Spasticity Clinic, which helps
    Centre                             those who have severe muscle
                                       contractures due to strokes and other
                                       Benefit: Improves patients'
                                       independence, enabling individuals to
                                       live longer in the community.
    System Issues
    Coordination of care   $2,614,094  Match patients to the service they
    - through all acute                need in rehab/complex continuing care
    and rehab/complex                  hospitals or in-homecare. Expansion of
    continuing care                    electronic resource and referral
    hospitals and the                  management system to standardize and
    Toronto Central CCAC               integrate patient identification,
                                       referral and transfer from acute care
                                       to rehabilitation/complex continuing
                                       care and in-home care.
                                       Benefit: Ensures patients are
                                       transferred to the most appropriate
                                       care setting to receive the right
                                       level of care and improve use of
                                       hospital resources.
    Total Investment       $4,956,895

For further information:

For further information: Sandra Fawcett, Communications Specialist,
(416) 969-3281, Email :

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