David Jeffery, Executive Director of Chigamik CHC, speaks at the 2017 Transformative Change Awards after accepting honours for the North Simcoe Community Health Link.

The Transformative Change Award recognizes leaders, innovators, collaborators and health champions who have been working at the forefront of transformative change helping us achieve our vision of the best possible health and wellbeing for everyone living in Ontario. On June 7, the Board of AOHC recognized the work of the North Simcoe Community Health Link, co-led by Chigamik CHC, for the difference it is making in the lives of complex clients in their Georgian Bay community, and the potential their work has to transform Primary Health Care across Ontario.

The North Simcoe Community Health Link, co-led by Centre de santé communautaire Chigamik Community Health Centre and the North Simcoe Family Health Team, has applied a rigorous Comprehensive Primary Health Care approach to reduce avoidable illness and hospital utilization in their region. The key to their success? They developed a deep understanding of the social, financial and cultural challenges faced by people with complex medical conditions. Using a “Be Well” survey that is based on Canadian Index of Wellbeing indicators, the Health Link implemented coordinated care plans to address high levels of poverty and social isolation. Over the course of one year, hospital utilization rates dropped 40 per cent. Chigamik carefully documented its efforts. In September 2016, a groundbreaking report revealed how a Comprehensive Primary Health Care approach pays off for people with complex needs, as well as Ontario’s health system. Similar reporting from AOHC members could be a game changer by shifting the conversation about how to improve health – and Ontario’s health system overall.

Related Links

Ontario's Community Health Centres: A Transformative Solution to Improve Health and Wellbeing

Transforming Primary Health Care in Ontario: Spotlight on Reducing Social Isolation