The Northern Ontario committee was newly created this summer (previously a subcommittee of RheumOpportunities). The committee is focused on findings ways to improve care for patients in rural and underserviced communities. Over the last year, we have brought together most health care providers involved in delivering care in northern Ontario in various models of care (MOC).
We will be holding a workshop this fall for members who are interested in providing virtual care to northern patients in an ACPAC-physician model. This MOC already exists, with the ACPACs based in several communities. However, with increasing patient needs and upcoming retirements, it is important that we sustain the care that is already provided. Out of necessity, many of us have become more comfortable over the pandemic at providing care virtually. We are hoping to leverage these new skills and find members who will be willing to offer care to patients in Northern Ontario. We are looking forward to this workshop as it has already generated quite a bit of interest!
Earlier this year, several committee members met with staff from the Ministry of Health to discuss rheumatologists’ concerns around OTN and newer MOC in northern Ontario. The Ministry was engaged and receptive to the concerns brought forward and asked for a proposed business case that outlines what we envision as ideal MOC for underserviced communities. Our committee has been working on the business plan and we are aiming to present it to the Ministry in the Winter/Spring of 2021.
Any members interested in joining the Northern Ontario committee can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A special thank you to Stephanie Tom, our previous chair, who provided great leadership to this committee, brought together interested members, and started these initiatives.