Patients First legislation, coordinating patient care, conference previews and more!
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June 2016


This month, the Ontario government introduced the Patients First Act, legislation which proposes to significantly transform our health care system. On the surface, it looks great - a more streamlined, interconnected and equitable system is in all of our best interests. Of course, as many of us know, the devil is in the details.

Over the next few months, OCSA will be consulting with our members to gather their input, and prepare to represent the sector during consultations in the fall. Health transformation on this scale represents an important opportunity to improve experiences and outcomes for our clients, and home and community support providers are a crucial part of that process. 

OCSA has just completed a new strategic plan that will help us pursue our mission to strengthen and promote home and community support as the foundation of a sustainable health system. The timing could not be better - we're excited to pursue meaningful change on behalf of our members, and we thank you for taking this journey with us.

If your home care or community support organization is not yet part of our association, we would love to connect with you to discuss the value and benefits of membership. Your voice matters, and we want to help you be heard.

- Deborah Simon, CEO

Bill 210: Patients First Act

On June 2, Minister Hoskins tabled the government’s follow-up to December’s Patients First proposal in the form of legislative changes entitled the Patients First Act.  The bill contains significant changes to Ontario's health care system, including the dissolution of the CCACs and the expansion of the mandate of the LHINs.

OCSA Members have received initial analysis via e-mail and in their Members Update newsletter. OCSA has also sought a legal opinion on relevant changes, and will be communicating these to membership. We appreciate continued member input and engagement as we prepare to provide feedback on behalf of the sector as the bill proceeds to committees in the fall.


Coming this summer for Full members: A regular media monitoring of top news stories involving home and community care, from right across the province. Useful for gathering intelligence about the health system, keeping up to date on upcoming events, programs and best practices across the province, and informing media outreach efforts.

Not a member yet? Learn more about the benefits of membership!

Are you ready to "Prepare, Adapt, Thrive?"
2016 OCSA Conference - October 18 & 19 - Markham

It has never been more crucial that home and community support leaders learn from one another and work together to best serve our clients and their caregivers. We expect over 400 home and community support providers and allied health system leaders to join us for this year's conference.

We received excellent responses to our call for abstracts, and our program planning process is well underway. We're excited to share the details with you in the coming weeks and months – click here to read about our opening and closing speakers.

Remember, our Early Bird deadline is July 31 - register early to save $100 per delegate. (As always, OCSA members receive an additional discount!)

Registration Details

Family Doctors' Views on Care Coordination

On June 1, Health Quality Ontario released a new report,  Connecting the Dots for Patients:  Family Doctors’ Views on Coordinating Patient Care in Ontario’s Health System. It rightly points out that smooth coordination between all parts of the health system is necessary to reduce duplication, ensure consistency and quality of service, and improve the experiences of patients and their caregivers.
Among the provinces and countries surveyed, Ontario has one of the lowest reported percentages of family doctor communication with home care services. Family doctors also report challenges coordinating care with social services and other community providers.

At OCSA, we see the innovative care co-ordination processes and technologies providers are implementing. However, while effective solutions have been put in place in many communities, they are not consistently available across the province. The most significant barrier our members report in this effort is insufficient funding for the staffing and IT resources required to effectively communicate and share data with other care providers, including primary care and hospitals.

To read our full response, click here.

PSWs Power-Up At Our 10th Training Conference
October 20, 2016 - Markham

The PSNO Training Conference is Ontario's largest one-day event designed specifically for the professional development of personal support staff and their supervisors in home care, long term care, community care, hospitals, retirement homes and supportive housing. 

2016 marks our 10th conference, and our theme this year - "Heroes of Health Care: PSWs Power Up!" - recognizes how important PSWs are to Ontario’s health care system. 

Power-up in these special areas of focus:

  • Dementia Care
  • Falls Management
  • Mental Health
  • Palliative Care
  • Person-Centered Care

For more information or to register, click here.


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

2016 OCSA Commitment to Care Awards

For the second year, OCSA is pleased to celebrate the exceptional accomplishments of our members. Winners will be announced during our annual conference, following the banquet on October 18th. Nominations open in early July, so it's time to start thinking about deserving individuals and organizations in the following categories:

  • OCSA Award for Commitment to Leadership
  • OCSA Award for Commitment to Volunteer Service
  • OCSA Award for Commitment to Exceptional Client and Family Care
  • OCSA Award for Commitment to Quality Improvement

Many thanks to Lough Barnes Consulting Group for their continued support of this program. Nominations open next week, and are due August 8. For more information, click here.


Although summer has just begun, it’s not too early to start thinking about booking Fall training for your staff. Capacity Builders trains approximately 2,000 participants annually right across Ontario.  We work with CSS Networks and Coalitions, as well as individual organizations to deliver cost-effective training solutions that are customized for the home and community support sector.  Our clients return to us time and time again because we deliver results. Over the past year, 93% of workshop participants who completed an evaluation told us that we met their learning needs, and 95% told us they will apply their new skills in their workplace.

For information on our wide-range of workshops and e-learning solutions, please visit, or contact Portia at   

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Quick links from around the sector.


Job postings from OCSA member organizations. OCSA is pleased to advertise job opportunities on behalf of our members. To be included in our next issue, please e-mail a link to the posting, job location, and application deadline to

Please submit at least 4 weeks before applications close.
Copyright © 2016 Ontario Community Support Association, All rights reserved.

Across the province each year, over one million people receive home care and community support services – and the need is growing. 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. These compassionate and cost-effective services improve quality of life and prevent unnecessary hospitalizations, emergency room visits and premature institutionalization. They are the key to a sustainable health care system for Ontario. For more information, visit 

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