Message from Executive Lead, Dr. Kim Morrison
People are at the centre of the Health Home Foundation in the Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Ontario Health team (FLA OHT). To transform and design the system of wellness and health care for the community, it takes the voices and actions of many. In this newsletter it is exciting to talk about a key enabler of this work, which is the Community Council.
The Community Council is a vibrant and vital part of the team. Since we began the OHT work just over a year ago, this group of dedicated individuals have donated their time, insight and experience as clients, caregivers, family members and citizens of the community we serve. The people on Community Council have been integral in the work to rebuild the health-care system. By partnering on the OHT working groups, serving as advisors, making recommendations, and sharing their experiences of what works well and what needs improvement, this group is co-designing meaningful change. Based on the four pillars of Patient and Family Centred Care, the Community Council bases their work on the core concepts of dignity and respect, information sharing, participation, and collaboration.
Under the leadership of co-chairs Kerry Stewart and Richard Stillwell, the Community Council has established a meeting strategy to ensure that people on the Council feel informed, empowered and supported in their work and contributions to the development of the OHT. Their assistance in developing the community page of the FLA-OHT website, where community members can learn about the OHT and get involved, is an example of this leadership. The co-chairs have been critical in bringing the community’s perspective and voice to the collaborative leadership table and ensuring that everyone remembers who is at the centre of the work to transform the health-care system.
The Community Council has also played an essential role in co-designing the community engagement process to inform the first strategic plan for the OHT. When complete, the plan will be a roadmap to a more integrated and equitable health-care system for all. The members of Community Council have helped us understand how we can best engage the community so that we achieve long-term and sustainable relationships as we pursue the outcomes that matter most to the people we serve.
On behalf of all the partners, I want to thank Kerry and Richard for their energy, enthusiasm, and leadership over the past 18 months. The work of this Ontario Health Team cannot be done without people’s voices and lived experiences in the health-care system at the core of everything we do. In this regard, they have been excellent spokespeople.
I would also like to introduce and welcome Alida Moffat and Allan Katz as the new co-chairs of the Community Council. I look forward to working with Alida and Allan and benefitting from their experience, knowledge and passion for improving the health-care system.
New Community Council Co-Chairs