Picture Your Health: Your Future

 

"What We Heard" in Communities Across the North West LHIN

The North West LHIN has held a number of Community Workshops across the region. In an effort to be transparent, the LHIN will be sharing summaries of feedback received at each workshop. Please see below summaries of the Community Workshops hosted to date, and check back in for more as we continuously update this page.
Please note that these are summaries.

A comprehensive report with complete notes of all comments and feedback received both online and offline will be produced and input will be considered when writing the Integrated Health Service Plan 2019-2022.

 

MARATHON

Top priority areas Identified

  1. Home Care (i.e. help with home maintenance)
  2. Increase access to services in French
  3. Housing options for patients coming from the region for specialized services 

Other key themes discussed:

  • Access to low-cost housing for people needing special medical care
  • Improved patient transportation for those coming to and from Marathon to health hubs for specialized services
  • More coordinated patient transfers
  • Increased caregiver supports 
  • More Long-Term Care Homes in Marathon

CITY OF THUNDER BAY (MARCH 21)

Top priority areas Identified

  1. Long-Term Care Support
  2. Home and Community Care
  3. Mental Health Support 

Other key themes discussed:

  • Personal Support Workers: 
  • Need to be regulated
  • Need to be offered more money in order to increase incentive to work as a PSW, thus reducing worker shortages
  • Increased nursing supports
  • Overworked staff in Long-Term Care & Home and Community Care; need more staff
  • Need for increase coordination at the hospital so patients don’t have to tell their story over and over again
  • Stop the privatization of health care (hospitals and long-term care services)
  • Addressing the social determinants of health, including poverty and access to housing
  • Prevention through public education to people 65+
  • Positive experiences: 
  • Home and community care 
  • Care for seniors at St Joseph’s Care Group
  • New Nurse Practitioners at Lakehead Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic (formally McKellar Hospital)
  • Care at Pinewood Court Long-Term Care Home

 

KENORA

Top priority areas Identified

  1. Mental Health and Addictions
  2. Integrated Care
  3. Access to Care Closer to Home

Other key themes discussed:

  • Access to a primary care: 
  • Access to a primary care physician — many in Kenora do not have a family doctor
  • Access to primary care seven days a week
  • Need a primary care clinic for those who cannot get access to a doctor
  • Increased coordination among physicians to ensure continuous patient care
  • High rates of suicide among youth in the region 
  • Reduce rigid processes and requirements that prevent people from getting the care they need when it comes to mental health services
  • Addictions Services:
  • Need a crisis centre for youth and adults experiencing a mental health crisis. Without one, patients are forced to use the emergency department
  • Need detox treatment facilities closer to home
  • Culturally appropriate health care:
  • More traditional cultural based healing/health care
  • Providing culturally competent care to Kenora and surrounding communities
  • Trouble recruiting and retaining health care professionals in the region
  • Improved patient transportation
  • Access to services locally/care closer to home
  • Improved physician recruitment and retention
  • Make Kenora a diagnostic hub

 

THUNDER BAY (FRENCH) 

Top priority areas Identified

  1. Access to Services in French
  2. Mental Health and Addictions
  3. Home and Community Care

Other key themes discussed:

* All comments made that were not specifically related to an experience of health services not available in French are still to be considered as having a language barrier and is therefore still an issue for availability of health services in French.

  • Need for reduced wait times for patients to access mental health services
  • Positive Experiences:
  • Mental Health & Addictions Nurses in schools
  • French speaking mental health nurse in Thunder Bay
  • Community Health Centres model works to be able to provide health services in French 
  • Improved process for patients needing a PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) line
  • Assessments for home care should be offered in French
  • Testing and assessments need to be offered in French:
  • The MoCA (Montreal Cognitive Assessment) memory test is only offered in English.
  • Assessments for home care are done in English
  • More use of online care services like OTN (Ontario Telemedicine Network)
  • Create a protocol that all health service providers work to connect Francophone clients/patients to the French-speaking health professionals within their respective organizations
  • Better access to care for residents living in the Thunder Bay region

 

ATIKOKAN

Top priority areas Identified

  1. Home and Community Care
  2. Access to Primary Care
  3. Patient Transportation/Travel 

Other key themes discussed:

  • Increased access to family doctors and nurse practitioners
  • Decreased wait times for addictions treatment programs; need for immediate transfer from detox into a treatment program so there’s continuity of care
  • Increased Indigenous engagement and inclusion within the hospital
  • Additional assisted living facilities and home care so seniors can stay in their home as long as possible
  • Increased caregiver supports/respite services (including a respite bed in the community)
  • More use of digital health tools like video teleconferencing to help increase patient access to care and reduce the amount of travel needed to receive care
  • Support for family members caring for a loved one with dementia
  • Increased information sharing to facilitate more integrated and coordinated care; does not necessarily have to be co-located
  • Improved patient transportation, including transportation for the person travelling with the patient
  • Improved care for expecting mothers, including delivery services locally/closer to home
  • More ophthalmology/eye care programs in the community, such as the CNIB-Eye-Van  

 

SIOUX LOOKOUT

Top priority areas Identified

  1. Home and Community Care
  2. Long-Term Care
  3. Mental Health and Addictions

Other key themes discussed:

  • High rates of patients in hospital that are there simply because long-term care beds are unavailable to them. Need more long-term care beds available to those who need them now and in the future
  • Need for an alcohol and drug treatment centre in Sioux Lookout
  • Importance of land-based healing (promoting healing practices and programs on the land itself)
  • Gaps in service in Sioux Lookout for youth mental health treatment
  • Need for home and community care services to supplement the care being provided by loved ones, or to act as care when family is unable to do so themselves
  • Need for more local representation within the North West LHIN, both in terms of  board and staff composition
  • Wait times for long-term care are far too long
  • Despite promises of more long-term care beds, funding raised by the community to support the beds and multiple studies showing the need for more long-term care beds, no new beds have been opened
  • Need for more trained Personal Support Workers
  • Promotion of healthy, active living as a preventative measure
  • Need for more interconnected services, such as coordination between police and health service providers
  • Need eldercare homes in First Nations communities
  • Need a respite bed in Sioux Lookout
  • Need for care closer to home so Sioux Lookout residents don’t have to travel far distances to get the care they need

 

GERALDTON

Top priority areas Identified

  1. Mental Health and Addictions

  2. Primary Care
  3. Patient Transportation/Transfers

Other key themes discussed:

  • Improved access to primary care (family doctor) – shorter wait times and option for next day appointments
  • Need for self-directed care in order to support caregivers financially
  • Specialized care in hospitals for mental health
  • Improved home and community care services: better training for home care workers; more regulation; more accountability 
  • Reduce the eligibility requirements for home care
  • Faster and easier access to respite services
  • Need for improvements to hospitals in Thunder Bay: higher standards of cleanliness; improved treatment of patients & their loved ones; more staff to support patient needs
  • Improved coordination and integration, including:
  • Integration of service providers in small communities
  • Communication among organizations – reduce the culture of “turf protection”
  • Increased access to medical records
  • More financial support for patients & families in need, including coverage for certain patient needs (ex. Electronic wheelchair, ambulance, etc.)
  • Support tools like Telehealth to help smaller communities cut down peripheral costs

 

DRYDEN

Top priority areas identified

  1. Mental Health and Addictions
  2. Long-Term Care
  3. Access to Primary Care (Reduced Wait Times)


Other key themes discussed:

  • Need a dialysis unit at the Dryden Regional Hospital
  • Reduced wait times
  • For long-term care
  • For primary care
  • Poor continuity of care and long wait times to see a family doctor results in trips to the emergency room that could have been avoided 
  • Need higher quality of mental health care in Dryden, including increased services:
  • Continuing education for health service providers on mental health and addictions
  • A mental health crisis bed at the hospital
  • A detox facility
  • Mental health and addictions services for youth
  • A mental health professional/counselor in the emergency room to serve as the first point of contact for patients need mental health supports
  • More services like the Joint Mobile Crisis Response Team to support police 
  • Consider developing a comprehensive palliative care service at home
  • Need for more Personal Support Workers and increased PSW training
  • Patient assessments through ParaMed should be done locally
  • Do not privatize home and community care services. Privatized services do not allow for accountability, transparency or consistency in care
  • Implementation of telehealth and newer technologies to help connect patients with physicians
  • Need a long-term care facility specifically for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia
  • Need for more long-term care beds in order to reduce the number of alternative level of care days
  • Increase coordination and integration of health care services

 

MANITOUWADGE

Top priority areas Identified

  1. Long-Term Care
  2. Digital Health
  3. Home and Community Care

Other key themes discussed:

  • Increased use of telemedicine. Will help to reduce the amount of trips into a service hub (ex. Thunder Bay) needed
  • Need more volunteers in home and community care to address gaps where funding may not be available
  • Need for an assisted living facility in Manitouwadge
  • Need for more long-term care beds
  • Need for a facility specific for those with Alzheimer’s and Dementia
  • Need to break down silos that exist
  • Within the LHIN
  • Among health service providers and service provider organizations
  • Within the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
  • More funding should be spent on public health in rural communities
  • Need transportation services for those having to travel to Thunder Bay or surrounding communities for medical appointment)

 

THUNDER BAY (May 1, 12:00 - 2:30pm)

Top priority areas Identified

  1. Mental Health and Addictions
  2. Home and Community Care
  3. Palliative Care

Other key themes discussed:

  • Need for a residential hospice in Thunder Bay in a non-religious facility
  • Proper mental health care services in Thunder Bay, including:
  • Restructuring of mental health services to reduce number of patients in a mental health crisis that end up in the criminal justice system or emergency department 
  • More supportive housing to help those in a mental health and addictions crisis transition smoothly
  • Treating the suicide prevalent in Indigenous communities
  • Looking at community-wide solutions to supporting those with addictions
  • Make the methadone program more accessible
  • Improvement of Personal Support Worker services, including recruitment, training, increased pay and more infrastructure to support more jobs in the field.
  • Recognition that Personal Support Workers care deeply about the work they do, but they are simply overworked
  • Consistency of care among Personal Support Workers – reduce number of ‘no shows’ 
  • Return of palliative care services such as a palliative care nurse consultant
  • Improved care in long-term care facilities, including:
  • Increase the minimum hours of supports that individuals in long-term care are entitled to, including time for physiotherapy services
  • Reduced overcrowding
  • Shorter waitlists
  • Reduce hospital overcapacity
  • Improved health care system navigation and integration
  • Increased education for health care providers, both currently practicing and in school, specifically for senior care 
  • Increased caregiver supports
  • Improved care for seniors
  • Ongoing LHIN engagement with the community (year round)

 

THUNDER BAY (May 1, 5:30-8:00pm)

Top priority areas Identified

  1. Social Determinants of Health
  2. Public Health
  3. Senior Care

Other key themes discussed:

  • Improved supports for home care workers to improve quality of care and retention rates, including increased training, staffing and payment
  • Improved community care services: need for greater consistency and accountability (including being regulated)
  • Support for Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics as a great lower cost alternative to deliver primary care
  • Coordinated referrals for patients without a doctor 
  • Reduce barriers to accessing primary care
  • Need for hospice beds outside a faith-based facility
  • Supportive of digital health strategies such as recording oxygen levels through an app
  • Need more long-term care beds and the staffing necessary to support them
  • Need increased funding for hospitals to reduce system gridlock
  • Need to address the social determinants of health 
  • Promote prevention strategies and healthy living
  • Need to support the cost of a travel companion under travel grants provided through the province just the same as the coverage provided for non-medical escorts through the Federal Travel Grant program

 

RED LAKE

Top priority areas Identified

  • Assisted Living
  • Patient Transportation
  • Primary Care 

Other key themes discussed:

  • Need an assisted living facility for the community to meet the needs of those needing more supports than a nursing home but less than long-term care, as well as to reduce pressures on hospitals and long-term care facilities
  • Improve patient transportation, including:
  • Reduce the need for back-and-forth visits to appointments requiring excessive patient transportation
  • Improve communication so loved ones are aware of the status of a patient being transferred by air to hospital
  • Allow Red Lake residents to access health care services in Winnipeg
  • Contract a taxi company or private service to help with patient transportation
  • Improve mental health services, including:
  • Access to psychiatric care, including increased capacity in hospitals, in order to reduce the reliance on the criminal justice system
  • Promote programs like the Joint Mobile Crisis Response Team to support first responders in responding to call involving individuals in a mental health crisis
  • Access to Mental Health and Addictions Nurses (MHAN) in Red Lake schools
  • Recovery unit in Red Lake to support individuals going through withdrawal
  • Prepare for an increase in demand on the health care system should the development of a road to First Nations communities north of Red Lake be approved 
  • Increased respite care
  • Enhanced caregiver supports in order to allow for seniors to stay at home as long as possible
  • Increased used of Telehealth
  • Increased long-term care support, including an increase in long-term care beds, convalescent care and more beds at Northwood Launch Home for the Aged
  • Reduce the privatization of community care services
  • Preserve the services currently being offered at the hospital by taking into consideration the burden new regulations and standards places on small hospitals
  • Ensure equitable access to care for the people of Red Lake – the basic necessities of health care that should not be disputable 

 

FORT FRANCES

Top priority areas Identified

  1. Assisted Living
  2. Patient Transportation
  3. Mental Health and Addictions 

Other key themes discussed:

  • Need an assisted living facility in order to:
  • Make the transition from home to long-term care much easier 
  • Reduce pressures on hospital and long-term care facilities 
  • Reduce number of alternative level of care (ALC) days
  • A walk-in clinic – could be nurse-led – to help reduce the excessive wait times in the emergency room
  • Increased access to primary care physicians (family doctors) 
  • Supports for people living with dementia, including a full-time day program
  • Improved mental health and addictions services, including the implementation of psychiatric nurses in the emergency room to reduce visits to the emergency department for patients experiencing a mental health crisis
  • Improving system navigation of Telehealth 
  • Supportive of programs like Regional Orthopaedic Program that come to the patient, rather than having the patient come to them
  • Improved communication systems: 
  • Improved system navigation 
  • Increased coordination and communication among service providers
  • An MRI machine in Fort Frances, as well as the ongoing funding support from the LHIN to maintain the equipment
  • Improved health and human resources – improve recruitment of nurse practitioners and physicians to Red Lake
  • Improved patient transportation to access specialist services
  • Improved services in long-term care, including more programs, training and higher standards of care
  • Improved mental health and addictions services 

 

IGNACE (FRANCOPHONE WORKSHOP)

Top priority areas Identified

  1. Access to French Language Services

Other key themes discussed:

  • Lack of mental health services available in French
  • Access to services in French at community health centres'
  • Access to French language interpretation services needed in-person – not just by Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN), given that some patients, particularly the elderly, are not as comfortable using interpretation services by OTN
  • Need health promotion and prevention programs offered in French
  • French-speaking providers should officially identify themselves as bilingual, in accordance with Active Offer
  • Need for more specialist services in Dryden
  • There is a need and demand for a long-term care home in Ignace 

 

DRYDEN (FRANCOPHONE WORKSHOP)

Top priority areas Identified

  1. Access to French Language Services

Other key themes discussed:

  • Important to identify French speaking staff, health human resources at the hospital and identify French speaking patients. 
  • Need more awareness around importance of Active Offer of FLS
  • More services like L’Accueil Francophone in Thunder Bay that allow French-speaking patients in Dryden to receive French language interpretation services
  • Need for access to physiotherapy services in French – receiving instructions in French would help the patient to improve their condition faster
  • Would like the Francophone physician in Vermillion Bay to be able to see Francophone patients from Dryden
  • Placements by French-speaking NOSM students would be great way to increase access to French Language Services                                         

                                                                                                                                                                                          

GERALDTON (FRANCOPHONE WORKSHOP)

Top priority areas Identified

  1. Access to French Language Services
  2. Home and Community Care
  3. Long-Term Care

Other key themes discussed:

  • Better access to specialized care and specialists
  • Need more French language health services in Geraldton, including the need for Francophone primary care workers 
  • Improved patient transportation
  • Desire to see some elements of cancer treatment available in Geraldton
  • Seniors support services, including: assistance with meals and groceries such as Meals On Wheels; senior day care with French language services; respite services; and, supported services 
  • Need for a long-term care bed designated as a respite bed to help support families and people with high needs
  • high need for home visits in Greenstone area to help patients with poor mobility or end of life patients
  • Need for prevention and health promotion programs, particularly in French
  • Need for increased mental health services in Greenstone
  • Ability to have bloodwork done at home
  • Healthy Change 6 week program is great but patients need ongoing support.
  • Need for a residence for seniors with some supportive care

 

LONGLAC (FRANCOPHONE WORKSHOP)

Top priority areas Identified

  1. Access to French Language Services
  2. Home and Community Care
  3. Long-Term Care

Other key themes discussed:

  • Need more services closer to home, including access to an ophthalmologist and physiotherapist
  • Need more services in French for the elderly population 
  • Support use of Telemedicine to reduce the use of travel grants and burden of travel on patients
  • Shortened waitlist for long-term care 
  • Need for supportive housing for seniors
  • Expanded home and community care services 
  • Increased access to mental health services in French
  • Enhanced efforts to recruit Health Human Resources in Greenstone 
  • Support programs like Healthy Change Chronic Disease Management Program offered in French