Working Together for the Health of our Community
South Georgian Bay Ontario Health Team partners continue to collaborate and work together to achieve our shared purpose and strategic priorities. These are some of the many initiatives we are working on to improve the health and well-being of our community.
SGB OHT Annual Plan
Our Annual Plan showcases where we are heading and our current projects, including how we are redesigning access to health and social services so everyone in South Georgian Bay can get the help they need when they need it. View the plan below or download the PDF by clicking here.
Regional Housing Task Force on Affordable Housing
We are proud to support the work of the Regional Housing Task Force on Affordable Housing
A group of interested citizens spent almost a year studying the issue of affordable housing in South Georgian Bay and are now sharing what they’ve learned.
The regional task force, which included politicians, agency representatives and housing advocates, first collected data and then interviewed representatives from planning, development, construction, and the County to learn more about possibilities, innovation, and potential solutions. One of the things they learned is that the issue is highly complex with no easy fixes.
“We need to start by understanding the problem,” said Chairperson, Marg Scheben-Edey. Adding that they discovered that few communities in the region have collected appropriate data and have not set targets to meet the needs of our local communities. For example, they learned that renters on average, earn half of what homeowners do and this is significant when targeting rental rates. According to the 2016 census, the median household income in South Georgian Bay was $62,671; however, when broken down, homeowner households earned over $76,000 while renter households earned less than $40,000. They also learned that over 5500 households in the region were in core housing need meaning they were spending more than the accepted 30% of gross household income on shelter or, were in inadequate or unsuitable housing.
Community Information Exchange (CIE)
Improving the health and wellness of individuals and communities through a holistic health equity focus.
A focus of the work of the SGB OHT is to work together to reduce health inequities in the health system. Health equity is created when individuals have the fair opportunity to reach their fullest health and wellbeing potential, which includes the social determinants of health.
The SGB Ontario Health Team is partnering with 211 Community Connection to pilot the development of a Community Information Exchange (CIE). A CIE is an ecosystem comprised of multidisciplinary network partners that use a shared language, a resource database, and an integrated technology platform to deliver enhanced community care planning.
The goal of the Community Information Exchange (CIE) network with 211 Community Connection is to improve access to 24/7 coordination and system navigation services and improve the health and wellness of individuals and populations through a holistic health equity focus.
Many causes of health inequities relate to social and environmental factors including income, social status, race, gender, education and physical environment, which we are working to address through this CIE network.
Virtual Care in South Georgian Bay
Virtual care allows online appointment bookings and communication between the health and community care sectors. This helps to make sure referrals and transitions across the health and social system are easier and smooth, regardless of the needed care. Collaborative planning across sectors, using innovative digital health solutions, sees providers working together for the health of everyone in the South Georgian Bay community.
In the response to the pandemic, the Family Health Team understood the need for increased mental health counselling. Offering our patients virtual and remote counselling addressed this need.
The benefits of this approach to counselling were unique and allowed people to access regular counselling from the comfort of their homes, increased the level of accessibility for our patients and took down some of the barriers presented.
Some of the benefits that some patients were experiencing included not having to take time off for appointments to attend an in-person session which eased difficulties in juggling work and family responsibilities or attempting to coordinate schedules. This was especially helpful for single parents.
The specific nature of therapy itself (as opposed to other physical/medical treatments) is the added comfort of being able to have the appointment from the privacy and security of your own home. In therapy, it is common to discuss extremely emotional topics and people are often required to be vulnerable. For many, this is easier to do via video conference in comparison to an office setting that one is unfamiliar with. Being in your own home when a therapy session ends can also often facilitate a more conducive way to regroup and settle emotions post-therapy.
Accessing Virtual Visits and Online Appointment Booking
Our local Collingwood After Hours Clinic and many doctors in South Georgian Bay are now offering virtual visits to their patients when it is appropriate and can be supported by the patient. If you are interested in learning more, ask your doctor about how to be seen virtually.
Online Appointment Booking:
All primary care doctors in South Georgian Bay are currently being supported by the SGB OHT to offer their patients online booking! Click the link below to see if your doctor is offering this service. If your doctor doesn’t yet offer online booking, stay tuned, they are in the process of training and onboarding, and will be available soon!
COVID-19 Home Monitoring Program
Supporting patients as they recover from home
Partners of the South Georgian Bay Ontario Health Team Came Together to Bring the COVID-19 Home Monitoring Program to the South Georgian Bay Community
In the spring of 2020 when it became apparent that COVID 19 could cause dangerously low oxygen levels, or silent hypoxia, in patients that weren’t aware of it, South Georgian Bay Ontario Health Team (SGB OHT) partners including local nurse practitioners and physicians, the Georgian Bay Family Health Team, Home and Community Care, and Collingwood General and Marine Hospital developed the COVID Home Monitoring Program (CHMP), one of the first of its kind in the province. After looking at available resources and learning more about a similar program provided at London Health Sciences, the SGB OHT launched the CHMP in October 2020 and has supported almost 300 patients since then.