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Ontario expanding home and community care services in Niagara

Posted Oct 3rd, 2019

Ontario expanding home and community care services in Niagara

Media release from Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff

Ontario is investing an additional $155 million this year to expand home and community care services across the province, including $45 million for new targeted innovative integrated care models in high-need areas.

At the same time, the government is providing $63 million in funding for existing integrated care models in communities across Ontario. This funding, which will help patients receive more care at home so that they can leave the hospital sooner, is a critical component of the government’s plan to end hallway health care.

Today, Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West, announced that the government is providing additional funding for expanded home and community care in Niagara.  The investments include new integrated care programs at Niagara Health and Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre, as well as new funding for existing programs at Loyalist Retirement Residence in St. Catharines and Emerald Retirement Residence in Niagara Falls. 

"Home and community care play a critical role to end hallway health care in Niagara," said MPP Oosterhoff.

"By making these significant investments and supporting partnerships between home and community care providers and busy hospitals, patients will experience quicker transitions between care providers with the appropriate support they need to properly recover, while also making sure hospital beds are available for those who need them."

The government is making the following investments:

New Integrated Care Models:

  • $1,800,000 for the Niagara@Home Integrated Care Program, a partnership between Niagara Health and Saint Elizabeth Health Care.
  • $1,083,000 for the High Intensity Rehab Outreach Program, a partnership between  Niagara Health and the Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre.

Existing Integrated Care Models:

  • $869,909 for the continuation of the 15-bed transitional care unit at the Loyalist Retirement Residence in St. Catharines
  • $664,532 for an expansion of the transitional care unit at the Emerald Retirement Home Residence in Niagara Falls from 10 to 15 beds.

"These new programs are excellent examples of how we are strengthening partnerships with other care providers to improve access to healthcare services and build a better-connected health system,” said Angela Zangari, Interim President of Niagara Health. "Safe transitions from hospital to home, dedicated teams providing home care tailored to patients’ needs, and specialized rehabilitation care while in hospital are among the many benefits patients will experience with these innovative healthcare solutions."

"The provincial government has made improving access to care a priority, and we are grateful to them for making these strategic investments in Niagara that will improve health system capacity in our region,” added Dr. Tom Stewart, Chief Executive Officer at Niagara Health and President and Chief Executive Officer at St. Joseph’s Health System. "Expanding home and community-based services and introducing more integrated models of care in Niagara provide better alternatives for patients and ensures they are getting the right services, at the right time and in the right place. We anticipate these services will be a big step forward towards ending hallway medicine and reducing Alternate Level of Care (ALC) rates."

About the new programs at Niagara Health

Niagara@Home, a partnership between Niagara Health and Saint Elizabeth Healthcare, is a 16-week supportive program designed to create a direct pathway to home for patients who have completed their hospital care and require a more complex plan of care to ensure a safe transition home. 

Patients will have one interprofessional team in the community dedicated to supporting them to live independently and manage their chronic conditions at home. The goal is to help people stay at home and reduce the need for Emergency Department visits or readmission to hospital.

Niagara Health's collaboration with Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre on the High-Intensity Rehabilitation Outreach Service will ensure patients have access to appropriate rehabilitation services in hospital and after they are discharged. Through a collaborative approach, the new program will bring Hotel Dieu Shaver’s specialized rehabilitation service delivery model to the bedside at Niagara Health.

Read the French translation to the government announcement

Media coverage

Read the St. Catharines Standard story from the announcement here

Niagara Health System