Amplifying the voices of home and community support providers!
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November 2016


At OCSA, one of our main goals is to help clarify, focus and amplify the voices of home and community support providers. We do that in a number of ways - at our annual conference, via our advisory committees and members-only listservs, and, of course, through our advocacy work.

You see some of the results of this work summarized in every issue of the Bulletin. This month, we submitted official responses to government proposals around health transformation and dementia care. We are developing new research projects which will help us articulate the value of the sector. And we continue to offer training, resources and benefits that increase the impact of your work.

As the end of the year approaches, thank you so much for participating in these initiatives and many others. Your contributions are central to the sector's success!

- Deborah Simon, CEO

LHIN Renewal: Progress Update and What it Means for OCSA Members
December 14, 2016 from 11:30-12:30 EST

Join us for an insightful webinar focusing on the progress of implementation of Bill 41 and LHIN renewal efforts by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. 

Michael Schiel, Healthcare Director at Lough Barnes Consulting Group, will host the presentation by Alison Blair, Acting Director of LHIN Renewal Branch, the organization responsible for providing policy and implementation leadership on the Patients First strategy.  Alison will provide a brief overview of the Act, describe the process for overseeing implementation through work streams, and discuss the ministry’s next steps.  The webinar will focus on ways that the legislation may benefit and impact community organizations, discuss implementation progress and what it means for OCSA members. We will leave plenty of time for questions and answers at the end.

This event will be recorded and sent to all who register - so even if you can't attend the live event, please register to get the recording which you can share with your board and senior team.

Fee: $99
Special Fee for OCSA Members: $49


Reflections on the 2016 OCSA Conference

A word from Lough Barnes Consulting Group, patron sonsor of the 2016 OCSA Conference.

Thank you to OCSA for making this year’s conference another success!  We were pleased to be a part of this keystone event as the Patron Sponsor and to provide staffing support in moderating workshops.  The Strategic Forum on Meals on Wheels kicked off the conference with in-depth and constructive dialogue on moving Meals on Wheels services forward.  Also, workshops and presentations this year showed a high level of sophistication and leadership in the sector.

This year’s conference celebrated your tremendous achievements. These are concrete proof that this sector is providing critical leadership in improving care.  They also highlighted your passion and commitment to excellent care.

OCSA’s annual conference is always a key event for us to look forward to.  It provides the rare opportunity for us to make new friends, reconnect with past colleagues, and to learn from the leading edge of the sector.  Its success is only made possible by the dedication of OCSA and the contribution from presenters and participants.  We look forward to learning about the achievements we will be accomplishing together at next year’s conference.

Learn more about Lough Barnes Consulting Group at

PS - Thanks to everyone who completed the conference evaluation survey - your comments and great suggestions for next year are very valuable. And congratulations to Swapnil Rege from Peel Senior Link, who won the draw for a free registration next year!

UPDATE: Bill 41, Patients First Act

On behalf of our members, OCSA continues to advocate for modifications to the Patients First Act. (Members can read our full recommendations on the Members Only website.) Last week, we presented to the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly. We are also working directly with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and members can expect to receive more updates shortly.

Thank you to all of those who have reached out to their local MPPs.  Our concerns and issues are being heard and other stakeholders are beginning to echo them. 

OCSA Partners on Research Internship

As evidence-based decision making becomes increasingly important within the health care system, OCSA has a number of research projects on the horizon.

One of those projects: We’re pleased to be participating in a Knowledge Mobilization internship in partnership with York University. PhD student Jamie Robertson will be conducting a study to gain insight into what makes living at home important to the clients of home and community support agencies, with particular focus on independence and autonomy. Stay tuned for more details in the coming months.

Applications for Seniors Community Grants Now Open

Ontario is helping seniors across the province continue to connect with and contribute to their communities by supporting local programs that help them stay involved, learn new skills and lead active lives.

Organizations can now apply for support for local projects through the Seniors Community Grant program. Applications will be open until March 3, 2017 and can be accessed online. 

Successful projects will reflect the diversity of Ontario's seniors and encourage seniors' community involvement through volunteerism, learning, social inclusion and physical activity. Projects funded in past years have ranged from music therapy programs, to social media classes, to mentorship programs linking seniors with young people. 

This year, projects focusing on raising public awareness and prevention of elder abuse will be given priority. 

Click here to learn more.


It’s hard to believe December is nearly upon us and year-end activities are ramping up. A shout out to all our members and a pat on the back for all you have accomplished this year.  For those of you who have yet to join OCSA as members, here’s a taste of what the New Year could bring:

ADVOCACY - We know you’re busy and probably don’t have the time nor the staff to do effective government lobbying. That’s where OCSA comes in! We’re the voice of home and community support  in Ontario and we are fighting on your behalf to make progress on those issues that matter most to our sector.

KNOWLEDGE – We are the thread connecting nearly 300 agencies across Ontario, enabling peer-to-peer exchanges of ideas, sharing of best practices and networking opportunities.

REPRESENTATION – Through OCSA, you would have a voice at provincial advisory tables and working groups.

TRAINING – As a member of OCSA, you have access to top-quality training of PSWs and PAs at discount prices through our training division, Capacity Builders. And best yet, because we’re not-for-profit just like you!

GROUP BENEFITS and PERKS – You get great discounts on insurance, employee benefits and awesome perks on products and services for everyone on staff.

To learn more about becoming an OCSA member, e-mail


Events and programs hosted by OCSA members. Are you an OCSA Member who would like to promote an event or program in our next issue? E-mail a link and one-sentence description to

Upcoming Training from Capacity Builders:

We've added two new in-service workshops to our roster! We are very pleased to partner with the Saint Elizabeth PFCC Institute to make these highly interactive workshops available provincially. 

For more information, please contact Portia at 416-256-3010 / 1-800-267-6272 ext. 229.

Wage and Benefit Survey Target Distribution mid-December

OCSA will distribute a survey in mid-December to OCSA members and the broader CSS sector to capture, analyze and report on compensation for 25 positions in home and community support.  This will be the first sector compensation survey since 2010.  For more information, please contact David Hughes (  


Quick links from around the sector.

UPDATE: Provincial Dementia Strategy

As part of the development of the province’s dementia strategy, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care released a discussion paper that can be found here. Included in the process were public consultations across Ontario. OCSA participated in the public consultation in Barrie on November 9 and submitted a written brief in response to the discussion paper. (This written brief can be found on OCSA's Members Only site). Following the submission of the written draft, we participated in a meeting with Ministry staff to discuss OCSA’s recommendations.

Stay tuned! The Dementia Strategy is set for public release in 2017.

Get A Medication Organizer From The Pharmacy
A Tip From OCSA's partner, OASSIS Benefit Plans

Medication organizers are designed to help you get the full benefits from your medications and make managing your health easier.  Working together with your Pharmacist for your healthcare makes sense. 

You can request a medication organizer from your pharmacist to help organize your prescriptions, vitamins and supplements, all in one place, in an easy-to-open package.  Every medication organizer contains a full week’s worth of medication arranged in seven rows, corresponding to each day of the week and four columns, corresponding to four potential doses per day (morning, lunch, dinner and bedtime).

In medicine, compliance in taking your medication at the right dose, at the right time, is very important.  Medication organizers go a long way towards helping in this regard.

So don’t wait, speak to your Pharmacist and pick up your organizer at the first opportunity!  

Yours in good health,
OASSIS Employee Benefit Plans

For more information on OASSIS, speak to Flora de Mintich,

Copyright © 2016 Ontario Community Support Association, All rights reserved.

The Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) champions a strong, sustainable home and community support sector for all Ontarians. Our not-for-profit, community-based member organizations provide a wide variety of health and wellness services which help a full range of clients, including seniors and people with disabilities, remain independent in their own homes and communities. For more information, visit 

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