MUSKOKA, ON – A local group made the cut to enter the next phase to become a provincial health team.

Muskoka and Area was selected as one of 31 organizations to submit an application to the Ontario government.

The news was announced in a release from the organization. The group is made up of local health care partners which submitted a self-assessment in May to become an Ontario Health Team (OHT).

Chair of the Muskoka and Area OHT Steering Committee Dr. David Mathies said in the release that this is wonderful news for Muskoka and Area.

“We hope to lead the way with many health care providers and administrators committed to a vision to better coordinated care that supports our unique communities,” Mathies said. “I want to thank and commend all of our signatories and broader partners for their commitment and support to demonstrate our ability to implement an OHT model for Muskoka and Area.”

Applications are due in the fall and will demonstrate how the potential OHT will enhance coordination and transitions of care. The group will also have to show how they plan on engaging primary care providers and leaders, along with building solid relationships with local organizations.

The Muskoka and Area OHT will have to establish governance with providers and community-based
representation, including patients and their families.

“Patients throughout Muskoka will benefit from health care that is integrated and coordinated locally,
anchored in primary care,” Dr. Keith Cross, Cottage Country FHT Lead Family Physician said. “I am looking forward to upcoming clinical and community engagement to help build a health care system that is uniquely Muskoka.”

The Muskoka and Area OHT is comprised of 11 health and community organizations and was endorsed by multiple clinicians and key supporters.

“We are hopeful that with continued hard work and the support of all our partners we can be among those named as the first Ontario Health Teams later this fall,” Mathies added.

The group is currently accepting community applicants from anyone interested in becoming a member of the governance model.

Those interested in getting involved can send their information to Janine van den Heuvel, Executive Director of the Algonquin Family Health Team through email at janine.vandenheuvel@mahc.ca.