Several agencies across the County will create one group that plans to deliver better care to patients across the region.

The group known under the working name “Network 24” is comprised of many different branches of healthcare, including hospitals, long-term care, paramedics, primary care providers, social service agencies, palliative care, home care community care, addictions, patient and family representatives, and the Health Unit. The new Health Team will cover all of Renfrew County and South Algonquin.

Julia Boudreau, the CEO of St. Francis Memorial Hospital, says they submitted their application on April 30th. The move is part of a cross-province initiative to create Ontario Health Teams that will bring all healthcare elements together and make their delivery of services more streamlined, targeted and collaborative. Boudreau says this means patients will receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place by the right provider.

Currently, Network 24 is in the process of being approved by the province, which will see an in-person assessment completed in the coming weeks. Boudreau is optimistic that they will get approved, as all the different health partners already have a very close working relationship that becoming an Ontario Health Team will take to the next level. In addition, they have already learned so much from lessons they’ve learned in the past, including the current pandemic. If they get approved, they will then receive some funding to begin implementing their system. On top of deciding things like rules of engagement, what collaboration will look like and putting down a method of making decisions, they will also begin focusing on certain health groups to provide care for. These first groups will include frail seniors and those with mental health and addiction issues.