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Support for Health Links

Archived Backgrounder

Support for Health Links

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care


"Patients need the health care system to respond quickly and seamlessly to their health care needs, especially those with complex conditions. Health Links is a major step towards a much needed comprehensive approach to care. CARP has called for a One Patient model - a comprehensive, well-coordinated, and integrated health care system that is easy to navigate and considers the full spectrum of health care needs as people age."

Susan Eng, CARP

"Integrating and improving health care for those who need it most is one of the ways we'll improve our ability to provide the best care possible to patients and help to identify efficiencies in our health care system. We look forward to working with the ministry on this initiative to support doctors and the patients they see. "

Dr. Doug Weir, President, Ontario Medical Association


"Health Links is a considerable opportunity for the health system to bring real-time, positive improvements, such as reducing ER wait times, to Ontario. Supporting community-specific needs and bottom-up integration offer significant potential for better integrating local health services. The Ontario Hospital Association is encouraged by the introduction of Health Links to the province."

Pat Campbell, President and CEO, Ontario Hospital Association

"Health Links offers an opportunity for the providers in the system to work together to improve the care delivered to clients.  This approach will not only result in better outcomes and an improved health care experience for clients, but also will improve access to primary health care and mental health services for people with the highest needs."

Camille Orridge, CEO, Toronto Central LHIN

"Family Health Teams are excited by the potential for Health Links to give patients with complex needs a comprehensive care team.  Family Health Teams bring together family doctors, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, dietitians, nurses, social workers and others to strengthen primary care - the first level of care over a person's lifetime. Health Links promise to extend the care team - they will strengthen links between primary care providers and specialists, hospitals, and other community support agencies, to give high needs patients the wrap-around care they need."

Dr. Val Rachlis, President, Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario.

"Family physicians in Ontario are always looking for ways to improve care for complex needs patients.  Health Links is an opportunity to foster better working relationships with other local health care providers which will result in better outcomes for patients."

Jan Kasperski, Ontario College of Family Physicians

"Ontario's nurses do not want to see any patient lost in the system and support initiatives designed to more closely link care providers so that each and every one of our patients receive the quality care they deserve and count on in their transition between providers." 

Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, President, Ontario Nurses' Association

"Health Links brings to Ontario communities essential new elements - an emphasis on primary care within broad coalitions of health providers and on better coordination across healthcare transitions for seniors with chronic conditions.  Since 2007, The Change Foundation has devoted itself exclusively to helping Ontario create an integrated patient-centred healthcare system driven by the needs of the people who use it, and using their experience to design and improve it.  We see Health Links as an excellent step in the right direction, and we look forward to seeing where it takes Ontario."  

Cathy Fooks, President and CEO, The Change Foundation

"I believe that the Health Links approach is the right one because it is focused on coordination of all elements of care around the needs of the individual patient. When fully implemented it will allow patients to be supported in the community with access to specialists and hospital care when needed."

Robert Bell, Chief Executive Officer, University Health Network

'HealthLinks promises to be an effective strategy for those Ontarians with the greatest health care needs to access primary care quickly, reduce unnecessary ER visits and hospital admissions,  and enhance their ability to live safely at home'

  Sue VanderBent, Executive Director, Ontario Home Care Association.

"Our members, which include Ontario's Community Health Centres,  Community-governed Family Health Teams, Aboriginal Health Access Centres and Nurse Practitioner-led Clinics, are very enthusiastic to be Health Links early adopters and we look forward to full participation as Health Links rolls out across the province.  AOHC believes everyone should have access to coordinated, integrated and comprehensive services, starting with those with the most complex conditions. AOHC supports Health Links and sees its potential to deliver people-centred services that promote the best possible health and well-being for all."

Adrianna Tetley, Executive Director, Association of Ontario Health Centres

"Health Links - a new way of caring for people - are a tremendous opportunity for Ontario's health care system. By working in teams, physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, care coordinators and other care providers will bring the benefit of comprehensive care coordination to supporting the patients who need care the most, whether they are in the hospital or at home or in the community. By encouraging a diversity of local approaches, Health Links also open new doors for innovation in health care delivery."

Dan Burns, CEO Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres

"Health Links will mirror what we in the long-term care and community care sectors strive to do every day: ensure that seniors and those with complex needs are receiving compassionate, appropriate and comprehensive care each and every day. We look forward to working with our partners in front-line care through these new Health Links to make a real difference in the lives of Ontario seniors - at home, in long-term care, and in the community."

Debbie Humphreys, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Association of non-Profit            Homes and Services for Senior

"We are committed, with our partners, to this transformation of patient-centred care.  People need and deserve comprehensive, coordinated care at all points on their journey.  Through Health Links, we will build on our strong partnerships with primary care, hospital and community providers to better integrate the health care system.  By leveraging our strong partnerships and sharing one care plan, we will truly wrap support around our most vulnerable residents to ensure they get the right care, at the right time, in the right place.  Together, we will make our health care system even stronger."

Cathy Hecimovich, Chief Executive Officer, Central West Community Care Access    Centre

"Health Links presents an exciting opportunity to collaborate and work together with our community health partners, including primary care, to put patients first. This enhanced model of care will ensure higher-quality of care and improved access for our communities."

Liz Ruegg, President and CEO, Headwaters Health Care Centre

"The Health Links project will be an important step in assigning resources to primary care, in helping us manage our most vulnerable patients. We applaud this initiative and will continue to collaborate with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to advance strategies that will further the quality of health care our patients receive."

Frank Martino, Chief of Family Medicine, William Osler Health System Primary Care Lead;    Primary Care Lead, Central West LHIN; President, Ontario College of Family Physicians

"The proposed North Etobicoke-Malton Health Link is a welcome initiative that will serve our clients well and will improve the linkages between primary care, acute care and home care. We look forward to working with our health service provider partners to create this new Health Link in our community."

Gord Gunning, Chief Executive Officer, CANES Community Care

"The Central West LHIN is truly excited about the Minister's Health Links initiative. We see local health service providers across the spectrum improving access by building on their strong collaborative relationships and putting people at the centre of high quality care, particularly those who need it most. The LHIN is very pleased with the starting point of two Health Links being established in the Central West LHIN, with the expectation that we will see more Health Links here very soon."

Maria Britto, Chair, Central West LHIN

"The approval of the Timmins Health Links Partnership as an early adopter for the new provincial initiative, Health Links, is good news for the people of Timmins and area.  The collaborative work of local health care providers has positioned us well to take this new responsibility on.  We welcome it thoroughly.  Providers of all levels are keen to strengthen and integrate our local health care system so that people can navigate it to get the care they need more quickly and easily."

Dr. Eric Paquette, Primary Care Physician with the Timmins Family Health Team

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