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Press Releases
Jul 18, 2019

The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative is on its way to becoming an Ontario Health Team

ORANGEVILLE, ON – Today, The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative, a local partnership of family doctors, health, social and municipal agencies was notified by the Ministry of Health (MOH) that it was selected to proceed to a full application as a next step in the Ontario Health Team (OHT) application process. Over 150 OHT submissions were received from across the province. The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative is one of 31 submissions selected to proceed to the full application stage.

On February 26 of this year, the Minister of Health, Christine Elliott, announced significant restructuring of the health care system integrating multiple provincial agencies and specialized provincial programs into a single agency and introducing OHTs as a new way of organizing and delivering services for patients in communities across Ontario.

The Minister, along with local MPP Sylvia Jones, visited Dufferin County on March 1 of this year to learn more about the integrated work underway in Dufferin-Caledon. Since then, local leaders, called The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative, have worked together with Dufferin, Bolton and Caledon family physicians as well as community partners, to advance plans to improve care integration and population health in our region.  In May, the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative, submitted a readiness assessment, the first step in the OHT application process. 

On June 25th, The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative held a community symposium.  The symposium, a first of its kind in Dufferin-Caledon, brought together patients, family doctors, governors and community leaders to gather input from the community and to create a shared vision for the future.  Several community action groups have also been formed to advance on the ground improvements in mental health, palliative care and for other populations with complex health and social services needs. The Collaborative will submit its full application to the MOH by October 9, 2019.

Responses from Members of The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative and community leaders
Allan Thompson, Mayor of the Town of Caledon: “The advancement of an Ontario Health Team for Dufferin-Caledon is good news for the residents across our large geographical area of rural, small urban communities. By being one of the first to implement this new model we are helping to shape the future of health care in the Province.”
Darren White, Warden, Dufferin County: “The County of Dufferin is extremely encouraged by the news received today from the Ministry. We are a staunch supporter of this integrated work aimed at improving the health and wellness of our citizens.”

David Smith, CEO, CMHA Peel Dufferin: “We are excited for the opportunity to take the Hills of Headwaters partnership to the next stage. The residents of Caledon and Dufferin will benefit greatly as mental health becomes a more integrated part of health delivery and we transform a good system of health care to a great system of health care.”

Eileen Dahl, Patient Family Advisor, Headwaters Health Care Centre: “That The Hills of Headwaters has been selected to be a part of the first round of communities to build an OHT is incredibly affirming of the hard work and strong partnerships of our health care, community and LHIN leaders.  In stepping up, we will be blazing a new trail and with it will come both opportunities and challenges.  We have a lot of work to do as we work together as patients, families, health care professionals and leaders to collaborate and co-design an integrated health system that best serves the needs of our area.”  

Janice Peters, COO, Services and Housing in the Province: “We are delighted with the latest announcement from the Ministry of Health indicating the full application status of The Hills of Headwaters Health Collaborative.  Through a well coordinated integrated health care approach, collaboration and dedication, we are optimistic that The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative will be successful in reaching permanent Ontario Health Team designation.”

Jennifer Moore, Executive Director, Dufferin Family & Community Services: “Dufferin Child and Family Service is thrilled to partner with local health care and community services to build on the strong and collaborative work we all do together. It is very exciting to be part of an innovative approach that will help people in our community have better access to timely and seamless service which meet their needs.”

Lianne Barbour, Executive Director, Dufferin Area Family Health Team: “We are very excited to be moving to the next stage in this journey collectively with Headwaters, and our core community partners here in Dufferin-Caledon. We see this as a natural step towards a fully integrated system, where patients are supported by one unified team. Primary care providers and allied health professionals in Dufferin are invested in creating more seamless and coordinated care for patients locally.”

Lindsay Butcher, Executive Director, Alzheimer Society: “On behalf of the Alzheimer Society of Dufferin County, we are thrilled for The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative and the opportunity to submit a full application. We will continue to support and endorse The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative, a strong community with a shared focus of improving the quality and continuum of care across Dufferin and Caledon regions.”  

Lori Ker, Board Chair, Headwaters Health Care Centre: “The Deputy Minister, Helen Angus, said they set a high bar for the self-assessment process and we are thrilled to be selected to continue through to the next stage. This is a significant milestone for us as a collaborative. Since the initial OHT announcement, our community partners have worked diligently together to plan for the future and also identify areas now where we can improve care for the residents in Dufferin-Caledon.”

Norah Kennedy, Executive Director, Family Transition Place: “We are proud and excited to be a part of the initiative that resulted in being chosen to proceed to the next step of this process.  This speaks to the strong collaborative spirit in our community works, and why we are positioned so strongly to be successful with an OHT, should we be given that chance.”

Stacey Daub, President & CEO, Headwaters Health Care Centre: “I have been so impressed by the community leadership of Bolton, Caledon and Dufferin family physicians. Their commitment to their patients and our community is an incredible asset in our community.”

Tom Reid, Chief, Dufferin County Paramedics: “This is amazing opportunity to design and implement an integrated health system locally which is managed by our community. Making decisions locally will greatly benefit our community!”

Quick Facts and A list of Members of The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative follows:   

On February 26, 2019, the Minister of Health, Christine Elliott, announced significant restructuring of the health care system to integrate multiple provincial agencies and specialized provincial programs into a single agency to provide a central point of accountability and oversight for the health care system.

Included in this restructuring is the government’s intent to create Ontario Health Teams (OHTs).  Her first visit was to Dufferin County, on March 1, 2019 to learn from local health and social services partners about the long history of collaboration in service to our community.

While there is a rich history of community collaboration, the group named, The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative, has been working together since shortly after the announcement.

It has succeeded in bringing the community together in June for a Hills of Headwaters symposium with over 100 attendees, focused on reflecting on the strengths of the community and creating a vision for the future. 
Community leaders from a wide range of organizations, including family doctors, primary care, hospital, mental health, home and community care, mental health and patient and family advisors, are part of The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative.

Additional Resources

The Ontario Health Team website provides more background on the Province of Ontario’s rationale and step-by-step process to becoming an Ontario Health Team

Building a Connected Public Health Care System for the Patient – Ontario Health and Ontario Health Team backgrounder.

Premier’s Council on Improving Healthcare and Ending Hallway Medicine Releases Second Report – Report Provides Recommendations on Building a Sustainable Health Care System.

Members of The Hills of Headwaters Collaborative  

1-to-1 Rehab   Dufferin County Paramedic Services 
Alzheimer Society Dufferin  Extendicare 
Bayshore Home Care Solutions  Family Transition Place 
Bethell Hospice  Headwaters Health Care Centre 
Calea  Headwaters Health Care Centre Board of Directors 
Caledon Community Services  Headwaters Health Care Centre Patient and Family Partnership 
Caledon Meals on Wheels  Hospice Dufferin 
Canadian Mental Health Association Peel Dufferin  March of Dimes 
Canadian Mental Health Association Peel Dufferin – Client & Family Advocacy Group   Region of Peel 
CANES  RNS Health Services 
CarePartners  SEHC 
CBI  Services and Housing in the Province
Central West Local Health Integration Network  Spectrum Healthcare 
Circle of Care  SRT Med Staff 
Closing the Gap   VHA Home Healthcare 
Dufferin Area Family Health Team   Victoria Order of Nurses (VON) 
Dufferin Area Family Health Team Patient & Family Advocacy Group   Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health  
Dufferin Child and Family Services  Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health Board of Directors 
Dufferin County  

Media Contact

Jennifer Hamilton, MA, MBA Senior Communications & Stakeholder Engagement Partner, Headwaters Health Care Centre | Cell/Text: 519-278-5085| Email: