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A commitment to meeting the needs of patients has earned St. Joseph's Health System (SJHS) a major leadership honour from a public sector awards program.  At a Toronto gala last night, the Institute of Public Administration of Canada and Deloitte bestowed its Gold Award jointly to St. Joseph’s, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) and Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) for collaboratively implementing a series of Integrated Funding Models (IFM) across Ontario.

The concept began almost five years ago when St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton (SJHH), a partner of SJHS, launched the Integrated Comprehensive Care (ICC) project in direct response to the concerns of patients who found accessing care after leaving hospital to be challenging and confusing.

St. Joe’s suggested that for certain patient streams, for example those undergoing lung cancer surgery, the ministry would provide a single “envelope” of funding to support the integrated provision of care.

Each ICC patient would have a care coordinator who acts as the patient’s “quarterback” working to wrap care around the individual based on their specific needs.  This ensures seamless access to the right care at the right time.

“The structure is truly evolving,” said Dr. Kevin Smith, President & CEO, St. Joseph’s Health System.  “It will eradicate silos and ensure that the system can wrap holistic care around the patients as well as the providers, so they can have confidence in the hand off.”

The success of ICC within the St. Joe’s system prompted the health ministry to encourage other health care providers to submit their own innovative, patient centred proposals.  The ministry then empowered LHINs to take a leadership role in determining how best to deliver this integrated care, supported by the Integrated Funding Model.

As a result, this bundled care format with integrated funding has proven to be faster, less expensive and much easier on patients, improving overall satisfaction.  It’s also viewed as an important step in Canadian health care reform.

“There’s a tremendous amount of vision and leadership in the public sector and these awards enable us to showcase this,” said Paula Gallagher of Delloitte and an awards judge.

This recognition identifies St. Joseph’s Health System as a national leader in health care innovation in its commitment to providing patient centred care.

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