July 19, 2023  News Release

Plan is the first of its kind for the region and will improve the health and wellbeing of residents

Health-care providers from across Frontenac, Lennox and Addington counties, including Kingston Community Health Centres, Kingston Health Sciences Centre, Providence Care, and Queen’s University, are joining arms in an effort to change the way care is coordinated across the region. More than 300 health-care and wellness service providers have teamed up to form the Frontenac Lennox and Addington Ontario Health Team (FLA OHT) and have released a new five-year plan titled: Achieving our best health.

The plan will see enhanced collaboration and partnerships across the health, social services and wellness sectors and includes a series of targeted initiatives that aim to solve some of the big challenges facing patients and residents across the two counties.

“In our region, emergency departments are overwhelmed, hospital beds are full, thousands of people are without a family doctor and people are not able to access the care they need when, where and how they need it,” says Dr. Kim Morrison, Executive Lead, FLA OHT. “With the launch of our plan, we are uniting with a common purpose to redesign our health-care system to overcome challenges and seize opportunities to create stronger, more connected systems and healthier communities.”

Highlights of the five-year plan for Achieving our best health:

  • Addressing the Primary Care shortage ensuring that everyone in Frontenac, Lennox and Addington has a People-Centred Health Home - a home base for easy access to all health care and wellness services.
  • Coordinating care across sectors: targeting priority areas that will help people to age well at home; improve access to primary care, palliative care, mental health and addiction care; and coordinate care following discharge from hospital.
  • Improving access to mental health services: launching the AccessMHA program to make it easier for people to find mental health and addiction care and support.
  • Empowering patients with technology: implementing technology to ensure people experience smooth transitions in care, empowering them to self-navigate services and programs and giving them access to their own digital health records.
  • Empowering providers with technology: Creating one digital health record system across the six hospital partners in southeastern Ontario, allowing providers to easily access people’s health information regardless of where they go for care; introducing technology to help providers improve how they make referrals and communicate with one another.

The plan was co-created through extensive community engagement with over 1,000 people participating, including FLA OHT partners, Francophone and Indigenous community members, along with the general public to address the unique health and wellness needs of all community members.

“We recognize that people with lived experience in the health-care system, as well as their family members and care partners, provide essential perspective and ideas on what needs to be improved in our systems,” says Dr. Morrison. “Their involvement in co-designing our strategic plan, has ensured that our plan is truly reflective of the needs of the communities we serve.”

For that reason, the FLA OHT continues to look for more community members to share their voices and experiences and to help us design the system that we all need and deserve. Community members can get involved by joining the Community Council, participating in focus groups or sharing their experiences with one of the project groups.

“To really change the way care is delivered and organized, community voices need to be part of early planning and decision making,” says Allan Katz, FLA OHT Community Council co-chair. “As a Francophone community member, knowing that I am providing advice about health-care programs and services that can be improved is empowering.”

What leaders are saying about the plan

"For the last several years our entire healthcare system has been under tremendous pressure as we experience shortages of health-care workers and growing numbers of patients in need of care. Often, as the backbone of the system, patients arrive at hospitals when they feel they have nowhere else to turn, which leads to longer wait-times and growing backlogs. No single organization will be able to solve the systemic problems we face on their own and KHSC is proud to be a key partner in the FLA OHT plan to solve many of the key health-care issues in our community.” Dr. David Pichora, President and CEO, Kingston Health Sciences Centre 

“Coordinated, team-based approaches are key to improving access to primary care in our communities. Under a health home model, a patient might visit a nurse practitioner, social worker, pharmacist, or family doctor depending on their needs. The long-standing health-care partnerships in Frontenac, Lennox and Addington put us in a position to be leaders in this evidence-based solution.” Jane Philpott, Dean, Queen’s Health Sciences and Director of the School of Medicine

“I’m really encouraged by the work that’s been done so far, and very excited for what’s to come. This strategy presents ambitious goals to redesign how health and wellness services are perceived and delivered, which will address the unique physical, mental, emotional and social needs in all of the communities within the FLA OHT.” Mike Bell, CEO, Kingston Community Health Centres.

“Providence Care is fully committed and involved in the work being done by the OHT to transform the way care is coordinated and delivered in our region. We know it’s vital to keep our community healthy, independent, and at home. We will continue to work hard with our partners in the OHT to make sure care is available in our community across the continuum, to meet the needs of the people we serve.” Cathy Szabo, President and CEO, Providence Care

The FLA OHT is one of 54 teams formed in Ontario to improve local health-care delivery under the umbrella of Ontario Health and the Ministry of Health. Since its formation in 2021, the FLA OHT has already seen great progress. Learn about some of the work achieved on the FLA OHT website

Learn more about the FLA OHT plan for Achieving our best health 2023-2028, and how community members can get involved. 


Media Contact:
Marie Bartlett, Lead, Communications and Engagement
Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Ontario Health Team (FLA OHT)

About the Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Ontario Health Team (FLA OHT)
Ontario Health Teams (OHTs) are being built across the province to provide a new way of delivering more connected care with easier access for individuals and their caregivers. The FLA OHT is committed to developing a team-based health-care system that prioritizes mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and social health and wellness to meet our community’s needs. Our OHT is founded on a bold vision of offering a People-Centred Health Home for everyone our OHT serves. This includes seven principles for care that are equitable, accessible, connected, collaborative, continuous, holistic, and accountable. Our work towards this vision is being done in partnership with community members and over 70 organizations, grouped into networks of care centered on the needs of people they serve, including home and community care and community support services; long-term care; addictions and mental health; primary care; hospitals; specialists; wellness and equity; and education and research. To learn more, visit the FLA OHT website.