Member Spotlight: City of Kawartha Lakes

Our Member Spotlight series introduces the member organizations that have partnered with the Kawartha Lakes Ontario Health team to improve the local healthcare system for our community. 

 

This month we hear from City of Kawartha Lakes about how their priorities align with the KL-OHT vision of providing a seamless health system for the people we serve.

The City of Kawartha Lakes is a lead partner in the Kawartha Lakes Ontario Health Team. Through the commitment of Council, your local government supports the provincial government in its responsibility to deliver quality health care to residents.

How is the City of Kawartha Lakes improving the patient experience in our community?

1. A quarter of all residents are over the age of 65. To support seniors as they age and develop more complex health needs, Kawartha Lakes Paramedics launched the Community Paramedicine program in 2019. Beginning with one Paramedic in 2019, today there are four full time Community Paramedics and plans are in place to increase that number to eight within two years. The program is funded entirely by the Province and operated by Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Service. The program is based out of the former Oakwood Fire Station and services all of Kawartha Lakes. Sara Johnston, Paramedics Chief, commented, “This program is unique because it allows us to wrap services around the patient. As of November 2022, we’re currently serving an average of 225 patients a week, from Coboconk to Omemee and all points throughout the municipality. We work closely with partners in primary care, home care and Community Care to provide a safety net for patients.”

 

Marie McAuley, a patient of the Community Paramedic program, shares her story of being cared for by Community Paramedic Julie Milne:

 

“I’m 90 years old, am legally blind and live alone. When Julie started checking on me, she discovered that I have a heart condition. She saved my life. I haven’t had a hospital visit in two years. Julie helped me to learn how to monitor myself and the report goes in automatically. If there’s anything irregular, she gets an alert and will call me to see how I’m feeling. When she comes each week, it’s a real bright spot. It saves me going to the doctor, it saves a hospital visit and it makes me feel safe.”

Community paramedic at a client's house

2.  Everyone deserves to have a family doctor. As one of the major partners of the Kawartha Lakes Health Care Initiative (KLHCI), the municipality of Kawartha Lakes continues to support recruitment and retention programs for family doctors. 

Kawartha Lakes Family Doctor Recruitment Logo

Since the pandemic began, KLHCI has recruited three family doctors and are working with a number of potential recruits. They are supporting physicians to receive ‘hands on’ orthopedic training at the Ross Memorial Hospital, a valued training session that benefits doctors and patients. Learn more at www.kawarthalakesdoctors.org

Our Stories: Caroline Fenelius-Carpenter

Our Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) is an advisory group that aims to improve the patient, client, family and caregiver care and service experience in Kawartha Lakes and assists in shaping KL-OHT programs.

 

Read on to hear from PFAC member Caroline Fenelius-Carpenter about why she joined the Kawartha Lakes Ontario Health Team’s PFAC.

Caroline Fenelius-Carpenter

Why did you join the Kawartha Lakes Ontario Health Team's PFAC?

“I have always been a big believer in two things. First, if you see a problem, you become part of the solution and second, there is power in story. Stories need to be told to create change and sharing those stories with the right people and repeating them creates change. 

 

There have been many gaps and struggles in rural health care.  I have seen it first hand in my work and personal life along with the people that are a part of PFAC. We all come with different experiences and we have worked in different
fields. It is very frustrating not only for the people that have been trying to
navigate the health care system but also for those trying to maneuver themselves and their teams to provide the health care people deserve. Being a part of PFAC has given us hope that there is some change on the horizon, that they are listening and the people who can make decisions are using the
information gathered to create solutions that are needed and will work.

 

The future lies in the continuation of building a simple conduit for information and access that includes real people, not just a machine. We need to find
solutions that work to fill in the gaps in regards to mental health by offering
training and giving tools to the people who are on the front lines. Having the ambulance drivers trained in Palliative Care is a huge first step in allowing people to die at home, comfortably, with the safety and support they need.  Ultimately there needs to be a consistency in care and communication among the health teams that work with us.”  

 

-Caroline Fenelius-Carpenter

KL-OHT PFAC Member, End of Life Doula

Interested in joining our PFAC? Learn more about how to get involved below.

Digital Health Week 2022

November 14 – 20 is Digital Health Week, which is a time to recognize the importance of supporting the digital transformation of health systems across Canada. Digital Health is important now more than ever. It allows for seamless access to health information for patients and providers, and also provides access to important virtual care options.

Kawartha Lakes Ontario Health Team is committed to providing digital health options for the City of Kawartha Lakes. We currently offer our Wellness Connections Program, which helps older adults get connected to local programs and services. The program also provides the option to sign up to our online learning platform, which provides various courses to help older adults learn how to stay healthy at home.

Wellness Connections Logo

Members of Kawartha Lakes Ontario Health Team are also offering Online Appointment Booking to patients previously registered with participating healthcare providers in the City of Kawartha Lakes. Online appointment booking allows patients to book or change their medical appointments online without the need to call their provider’s office.

 

The Remote Patient Monitoring Program is also available to our community, which enlists the expertise of Community Paramedics to provide health education as well as easy-to-use devices to monitor a patient’s health from the comfort of their home. This program can assist in monitoring various chronic conditions, such as CHF, COPD, hypertension, diabetes, and more. 

 

We also continue to work with our member organizations to bring about some exciting digital transformations in how patients within the City of Kawartha Lakes can connect to local services and access their health records. Be sure to follow us on our social media channels and sign up to receive our newsletter so you don’t miss any updates about these key initiatives of the KL-OHT!

 

 

To learn more about Digital Health Week, visit Canada Health Infoway for more information.

Prevention is the Best Medicine for Falls

November is Falls Prevention Month in Canada

Did you know?

Falls are the leading cause of injury for older adults across Canada, accounting for over 81% of all injury-related hospitalizations. [1] 4 out of 5 injury hospitalizations involving older adults were because of a fall.[2]

 

What are the Most Common Causes of Falls?

 
  • Slips and trips
  • Falls from furniture
  • Falls on stairs
 

Falls can result in serious injury, loss of mobility, and physical functioning and independence. Fear of falling in itself can be detrimental to one’s overall health and well-being. Many people who have experienced a fall limit or stop doing the things they used to enjoy doing because they are afraid of falling again. This is actually counterintuitive. When we limit or stop being active we lose balance, muscle mass, and independence.

There are more than 11,000 emergency department visits for fall-related concussions in Canada each year

But Wait! There’s Good News!

 

The good news is that falls are not a normal part of aging and can be prevented.

 

The Most Effective Ways to Prevent Falls:

  • Exercise to build strength and balance
  • Eat healthy food and drink plenty of water
  • Manage your medications to prevent dizziness
  • Safeguard your home
  • Take your time, don’t rush
  • Wear well-fitted shoes
  • Use proper eyeglasses and hearing aids
  • Think about using a mobility device, such as a cane, if needed

The KL-OHT Wellness Connections Program Can Help Too!

 

The Wellness Connections Program provides more information about fall prevention as well as tips and checklists. Take a simple self-assessment to see if you may be at risk, connect to services in your community, and more.  

In person support is offered to register, and explore the program and topics
offered as well as tech coaching.

 

Register for the program today or call! Register using the button below or call 705-934-1439.

Looking for More Resources?

Check out these websites for more in-depth information about falls prevention:

Fall Prevention for Seniors

You CAN Prevent Falls!


[1]Fall Prevention Month, (2022). Fall Prevention Month Fact Bank. Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation. (updated by Parachute)

 

[2] Fall Prevention Month, (2022). Fall Prevention Month Fact Bank. Ontario Neurotrauma  Foundation. (updated by Parachute)

New Family Doctors for Community Care City of Kawartha Lakes Community Health Centre

City of Kawartha Lakes, November 15, 2022:  The Kawartha Lakes Health Care Initiative (KLHCI) and Community Care City of Kawartha Lakes are pleased to announce that Dr. Elizabeth Morrison and Dr. Nivi Navaratnam have joined the Community Health Centre team.

 

Dr. Morrison received her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Ottawa (2017) and completed her Family Medicine Residency at Queen’s University (Peterborough and Kawartha Lakes site) in 2019.  Dr. Morrison has provided locum services to the Community Health Centre over the past few years and is pleased to now join the clinic on a permanent part-time basis.  Accepting the part-time position will allow her to continue to provide locum services to family physicians in the City of Kawartha Lakes and City of Peterborough.

 

Dr. Navaratnam received her Doctor of Medicine from McMaster University (2019) and completed her Family Medicine Residency at the University of Toronto in 2021.  Dr. Navaratnam has been providing locum services to the Community Health Centre since August 2021 and is happy to now accept a full-time position.  She has accepted the practice of Dr. Allison MacKay.

 

“Community Care City of Kawartha Lakes is very pleased to have both Dr. Morrison and Dr. Navaratnam join our team”, says Melinda Jayne Gilmour, Director, Clinical Services.  Neither physician will be accepting new patients at this time as they will be caring for those that are already part of the Community Health Centre.  Anyone wishing to be added to the Community Health Centre’s wait-list is asked to contact the Community Health Centre directly at 705-879-4100 (push 1). 

 

Barb van der Veen, KLHCI Acting President, states that “even through this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, KLHCI is still actively recruiting family doctors for the City of Kawartha Lakes.  We are very pleased that both Dr. Morrison and Dr. Navaratnam have accepted positions at the Community Health Centre.” 

 

KLHCI and the Community Care Community Health Centre wish to thank Dr. MacKay for her dedication to her patients over the past two years and wish her well in her future endeavours.

 

The KLHCI Board of Directors has representation from throughout the City of Kawartha Lakes. The board is interested in adding new members.  Being a member of KLHCI’s Board of Directors is an excellent opportunity to volunteer and be part of this vital component of our community health care, the recruitment and retention of family doctors.  Anyone wishing to be part of this community effort by either volunteering or donating financially to support the ongoing family doctor recruitment and retention programs should contact Cindy Snider, Recruitment & Retention Coordinator at 705-328-6098 or visit the KLHCI website at www.KawarthaLakesDoctors.org.  

Breaking Free Wellness and Recovery Support Program

What is Breaking Free?

Breaking Free is a digital, bilingual treatment and recovery program available at no cost to Ontarians. It enables users to recognize and address the psychological and lifestyle issues that have led to their substance misuse and is designed to be engaging, easy to use and suitable for all learning styles.

Accessing Breaking Free

The program is free to join and anyone can self-refer. You can register and access the platform online 24/7 at www.breakingfreeonline.ca.

Member Spotlight: Kawartha North Family Health Team

Our Member Spotlight series introduces the member organizations that have partnered with the Kawartha Lakes Ontario Health team to improve the local healthcare system for our community. 

 

This month we hear from Kawartha North Family Health Team (KNFHT) Executive Director Marina Hodson about how their priorities align with the KL-OHT vision of providing a seamless health system for the people we serve.

About the Kawartha North Family Health Team

Kawartha North Family Health Team was first envisioned in 2006 by a concerned group of community members to increase access to Primary Care in Fenelon Falls and area.  Originally operating as Fenelon Family Health Team (FHT), we expanded to include Bobcaygeon and other parts of the Northern City of Kawartha Lakes as well as Trent Lakes and Haliburton County and changed our name to Kawartha North FHT to reflect this expansion.

Since our inception we have moved from a total staff of five – consisting of two Nurse Practitioners, one Registered Nurse, one receptionist and an Executive Director to two locations and more than 20 employees.  This new compliment includes one part-time and three full-time physicians and a third Nurse Practitioner. 

What is KNFHT currently working on to improve the patient experience in our community?

In line with the Kawartha Lakes OHT, Kawartha North has always strived to work collaboratively with our community partners to address patient needs and highlight gaps in the local healthcare environment whilst working to help our patients navigate the health system.  To this end, Kawartha North has brought services such as bloodwork and local walk-in clinics to the communities despite a lack of funding, partnered with the Coboconk Norland and Area Chamber of Commerce in the Summit Wellness Centre development and encouraged providers to bring their services to outlying communities to save patients traveling to Lindsay.

eReferrals to RMH Diagnostic Imaging Department Available via Ocean

As a next step in reducing barriers to the delivery of high quality, integrated care, Ross Memorial Hospital (RMH) is pleased to announce that their Diagnostic Imaging (DI) Department is now accepting electronic referrals from primary care providers via the Ocean eReferral platform.

 

RMH DI eReferral forms can be accessed directly through provider Electronic Medical Records (EMR) using the eReferral button or by visiting the Ocean Healthmap website at www.oceanhealthmap.ca and searching for ‘Kawartha Lakes.’

 

Benefits of Ocean eReferral include:

  • Searchable, map-based directory
  • Office Electronic Medical Record integration with Telus Practice Solutions, Accuro, Oscar, or you can access using Ocean e-referral via the web
  • Real time, provider bi-directional communication – eliminates delays
  • FREE – there is no cost to utilize electronic referrals
 

For more information about the features and benefits of the Ocean platform, review the videos and resources linked below: 

 

For those interested in coordinating a demonstration or to integrate Ocean with your EMR please email: contact@ereferralontarioeast.ca.

 

If you have questions, please contact Ryan Young, Communications and Public Affairs Officer at Ross Memorial Hospital, via email at ryyoung@rmh.org.

Member Spotlight: Community Care City of Kawartha Lakes

Our Member Spotlight series introduces the member organizations that have partnered with the Kawartha Lakes Ontario Health team to improve the local healthcare system for our community. First up we hear from Community Care City of Kawartha Lakes CEO Barb Mildon about how their priorities align with the KL-OHT vision of providing a seamless health system for the people we serve. 

What does it mean for CCCKL to be part of KL-OHT?

In 2019, Community Care City of Kawartha Lakes was proud to partner with the Ross Memorial Hospital to co-lead the start-up of the Kawartha Lakes OHT. We were inspired by the vision of a health care system that does a MUCH better job of connecting people to the care they need to both stay well and to recover from illness when it strikes. I know that individuals and their loved ones struggle to find the care they need when they need it.

 

In the 1980s and 1990s I was a Home Care Visiting Nurse. That often meant finding my way to homes in areas I was not familiar with. In those days there was no such thing as a GPS or “Navigation System.” Fast forward to today and those navigation systems are standard equipment in most new cars. But how does one navigate the health care system? The other day an individual shared his memories with me about when his mother-in-law experienced a stroke. He and the family didn’t know what to do. How did they take care of their mother-in-law now? What did they need to learn? Who could help them? They were bewildered and anxious. The individual was referred to CCCKL for home support and still recalls how relieved he was to find help. While I am grateful that CCCKL was there for this family, this situation should not happen. Instead, information and support should be available to individuals and families at the point of connection with the healthcare system—and even before that point of connection. The mandate and vision of the KL-OHT is to redesign the healthcare system so that individuals and families don’t have to worry and wonder how to meet their healthcare needs – from staying well to getting treatment.

 

CCCKL was founded by Valmay Barkey in 1985 with the central purpose of filling the gaps in the healthcare system and supporting individuals to live and thrive independently at home. For CCCKL, being a part of the KL-OHT means the opportunity to work with all of the KL-OHT partners at a system level to take the mystery out of navigating the healthcare system and ensure everyone has the directions they need for their healthcare journey.

What is CCCKL currently working on to improve the patient experience in our community?

A great question! I will start by explaining that while the term “patient” is often used in hospitals and treatment settings, at CCCKL we use the term “client” to convey our appreciation that individuals have a choice about where they access services and it is our privilege to serve them. Clients are at the heart of all we do at CCCKL, and that is why we use the “heart” as our logo.

Community Care heart icon

There are many initiatives underway at CCCKL that aim to improve client experience. Firstly, we continue to meet regularly with our Client Advisory Council. Comprised of six residents of the City of Kawartha Lakes, Council members give CCCKL their advice and guidance on decisions about matters such as a new decal for our specialized transit vans, our Home Safety Risk Assessment and our Client Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. They also share their perspectives as clients who use some of our programs, helping us to provide the best service possible. Our Client Advisory members also give us input on the design and distribution of our Client Experience Surveys. Eliciting feedback from those who use our services is vital and we need to ask questions that touch on aspects of care that are relevant to our clients. I join with all of the management team in valuing and appreciating the input of our Client Advisory Councillors.  

 

CCCKL is also excited to be implementing a new client database management system called AlayaCare. This new system will allow us to better serve our clients because information will be kept in a central place, accessible to all authorized staff members. This means that clients who are already using one community support service (e.g. transportation); and decide to use another service (e.g. Meals on Wheels) do not need to go through the intake process all over again—their information will already be in the system. We expect to “go live” with AlayaCare in September and are looking forward to a better experience for our clients.

 

CCCKL always welcomes feedback and suggestions from our clients, their caregivers and family members. I invite all to be in touch with any of our management team. You can reach me at 705-324-7323 ext. 482.

Thank you and wishing you a wonderful summer ahead!

 

-Barb Mildon

A New Family Doctor for the City of Kawartha Lakes

City of Kawartha Lakes, June 15, 2022: Kawartha Lakes Health Care Initiative (KLHCI) is pleased to announce that Dr. Luke Johnson will begin practicing with the Kawartha North Family Health Team (KNFHT) at their Fenelon Falls clinic starting July 2022.

 

Dr. Johnson received his Bachelor of Science (Honours) from Carleton University (2009), his Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from the University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia (2013), and his Fellowship Royal Australian College of General Practitioner’s (FRACGP) in 2018.

 

Dr. Johnson and his wife, Claire, are the proud parents of two children. They are excited to be returning to Canada and especially to be settling in Fenelon Falls where their extended family has had a cottage for many years.

 

“It has been a pleasure to work with Dr. Johnson and Marina Hodson, Executive Director of the KNFHT, to facilitate this recruitment,” states Cindy Snider, Recruitment and Retention Coordinator for KLHCI.

 

Marina Hodson, Executive Director of KNFHT states that, “KNFHT is pleased to be able to accept additional patients to their team. Anyone wishing to register as a patient with Dr. Johnson should visit the KNFHT website at https://knfht.ca/. Those that have previously received a registration form can email it to patients@knfht.ca.” The Kawartha North Family Health Team’s service area includes Fenelon Falls, Argyle, Bobcaygeon, Burnt River, Coboconk, Glenarm, Rosedale, Kirkfield, Norland, Uphill and surrounding areas.

 

Lisa Green, President of KLHCI, states “KLHCI would like to welcome Dr. Johnson, and his family, to the City of Kawartha Lakes and wishes them many years of satisfaction within the community.”

 

The Kawartha North Family Health Team is a community-led team including family doctors, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, mental health workers, a diabetes consultant, phlebotomists and administrative staff providing primary health care to its

patients. The health team provides care for patients of all ages, working collaboratively to keep patients healthy through prevention, maintenance and health promotion.

 

KLHCI is a non-profit, charitable organization whose mandate is to recruit and retain family doctors for the City of Kawartha Lakes. KLHCI is directed through the work of a volunteer Board of Directors that is actively engaged in attracting new Board members from the community. Should you wish to support our efforts of ongoing recruitment and retention of family doctors in this manner please contact Cindy Snider, Recruitment & Retention Coordinator at 705-328-6098 or csnider@rmh.org, or visit the KLHCI website at www.kawarthalakesdoctors.org.