Meet our Physician Partners

Working Together for the Health of our Community

 

Dr. O'Halloran, orange background

 

 

Dr. Harry O’Halloran,

South Georgian Bay Ontario Health Team Co-Chair and Lead Physician of the Georgian Bay Family Health Organization

 

Dr. Harry O’Halloran is currently the South Georgian Bay Ontario Health Team Co-Chair and Lead Physician of the Georgian Bay Family Health Organization. He became a primary care physician in 1986 and opened his practice in Collingwood at that time.

“Our community is such a great place to live! Like many others, I came because I love outdoor activities like skiing, hiking, biking, and windsurfing (when I first came to town),” says Dr. O’Halloran. He says he stayed because of the incredibly congenial medical staff as well as the great opportunities in South Georgian Bay for family physicians. “It’s also such a wonderful community to raise a family. My four kids all loved growing up here and were very active in many school and community activities – from sports to music to academics”, he adds. “It’s a smaller centre which I always preferred to larger or more academic environments, and I’ve met so many amazing people along the way. Foremost my patients – over the years I’ve built really close relationships with so many of them.”

Working Together for Community Health 

Read Dr. O’Halloran’s thoughts on Primary Care, Collaboration, and the Ontario Health Team (OHT)

Primary Care and the OHT

The Ontario Health Team is the next step in how we provide care to our community. Dr. O’Halloran says that providers in all aspects of health in South Georgian Bay have “been working towards this formal collaboration for years.” In the South Georgian Bay region, we are fortunate to have strong primary care engagement as a result of Dr. O’Halloran’s leadership, and through the OHT we plan to continue to formalize this engagement to co-design care for the community.

Getting Involved

The OHT is an opportunity to formalize our existing collaborative relationships and ultimately should lead to more flexibility and say over how health resources are distributed locally. It allows us to remove some of the artificial barriers between organizations, which can sometimes get in the way of just getting things done in a collaborative way to deliver high-quality care to patients and their families.

We need physicians to be part of this collaborative work. In fact, we need physicians to be part of leading it. I’m happy to connect with anyone who has questions about getting involved. Change is hard, but it’s the only constant. We can either get on and steer the ship, or float in the water and complain as it goes by! I know our local physicians are very engaged and supportive and there’s always room for more to join.

Dr. Harry O’Halloran

Lead Physician, Georgian Bay Family Health Organization

Community Members and the Patient, Family/Caregiver Advisory Council (PFAC)

Co-Designing Health and Social Service Care in South Georgian Bay

Patients are also an essential part of the planning and direction for the SGB OHT.

There is an opportunity through the PFAC to support the design of health and social care in South Georgian Bay. There is currently room on the PFAC for those interested in being more involved.

COVID-19 Assessment and Planning

As part of his work, through his role as the SGB OHT Co-Chair and Georgian Bay Family Health Organization lead, Dr. O’Halloran leads clinical COVID assessment, the COVID-19, Cold and Flu Care Clinic and helps with vaccine planning for the region. He brings the perspective of primary care to conversations and updates the local primary care network in South Georgian Bay about the activities of the OHT and opportunities for engagement. He is the SGB OHT Co-Chair along with Norah Holder, SGB OHT Co-Chair, President and CEO of the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital.

Virtual Care for Physicians and Patients

Leading the Way with Information Technology

Virtual care allows online appointment bookings and communication between the health and community care sectors. Collaborative planning is also a focus of this OHT, which sees providers working together for the health of everyone in the South Georgian Bay community. This helps to make sure referrals and transitions across the health and social system are easier and smooth, regardless of the needed care.

Our work together is possible because we have a shared goal across community partners of what we’d like to see for our community. I feel very fortunate to be working with dedicated physicians and other health and social care leaders in this area. We continue to build and strengthen our relationships and are creating better systems for our patients. An example of this is our advancements in virtual care, led by the South Georgian Bay OHT Digital Health Lead Dr. James Lane. We are at a place now, in South Georgian Bay, where we can be adaptive and responsive to community health needs, like responding to some of the challenges posed by COVID-19 to keep our community safe.

Dr. Harry O’Halloran

Lead Physician, Georgian Bay Family Health Organization

A Leader in Primary Care

Representing the South Georgian Bay Region at the Local, Regional and Provincial Levels

Dr. O’Halloran is passionate about providing day-to-day healthcare to his patients, through his primary care practice, while working with other healthcare providers and specialists to ensure all residents in South Georgian Bay receive the best care possible.

He has been a leader in primary care locally and provincially for many years and frequently represents the South Georgian Bay region at influential consultations at the local, regional, and provincial levels.

I see the changes that we’ve made locally coming to life through our work together as the South Georgian Bay Ontario Health Team, which is a new model of organizing and delivering health care that better connects patients and providers in our community to improve patient health outcomes.

This means that we work together to make sure everyone gets the best possible care to keep them safe and healthy, whether that is support with getting COVID vaccinations, helping older adults find activities they can take part in, or figuring out which mental health services are available. Part of this work has been to connect and collaborate with our many local care providers to find ways that we can all provide better care for our community.

Dr. Harry O’Halloran

Lead Physician, Georgian Bay Family Health Organization

Support for Physician Leadership

Dr. O’Halloran feels that our area is very fortunate to have a culture that expects and supports this type of physician leadership, including physician involvement in leading provincial organizations. This means that the South Georgian Bay community has had strong representation and a respected voice over the years at many tables within the various organizations that oversee and support healthcare in Ontario.

North Simcoe Muskoka Primary Care Network

April 12, 2012

Dr. O’Halloran currently Chairs the North Simcoe Muskoka Primary Care Network, which is a group of physician leaders from our region that meet to share resources and information around primary care in the region. “Locally we all benefit from exposure to innovative practices and ideas that are disseminated in this way.  We also benefit from the relationships with other communities in our region,” says Dr. O’Halloran.

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Grassroots Think Tank, PC2025

August 17, 2020

He also Co-Chairs a grassroots Think Tank called PC2025  (https://www.primarycare2025.com/) which aims to advance and support the concept of a Patient Medical Neighbourhood provincially and sits on a panel on the appropriate use of virtual care. This is a group that has been set up by Ontario Health to provide guidance around the use of virtual care for the province – a much bigger issue since the pandemic began

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Simcoe Muskoka COVID Vaccination Advisory Committee

January 13, 2021

Simcoe Muskoka COVID Vaccination Advisory Committee As part of his work in ensuring that Primary Care is involved in helping to plan and coordinate the rollout of vaccines for our region, he is involved with the Simcoe Muskoka COVID Vaccination Advisory Committee. “We benefitted from our collaborative and integrated local system and were able to leverage our relationships to improve delivery and uptake of vaccine locally,” Dr. O’Halloran adds. Dr. O’Halloran feels that our area is very fortunate to have a culture that expects and supports this type of physician leadership, including physician involvement in leading provincial organizations. This means that the South Georgian Bay community has had strong representation and a respected voice over the years at many tables within the various organizations that oversee and support healthcare in Ontario.

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