Celebrating Meals on Wheels providers, upcoming member events, and more updates from OCSA!
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March 2016


Spring has officially arrived - though warmer temperatures are arriving more quickly in some parts of the province than others! The season brings to mind change, growth, and rebirth - all ideas which are on the horizon as the provincial government prepares to transform Ontario's health system.

We know that building a sustainable health system means strengthening health and wellness services at home and in the community. During this crucial time of change, thank you to the OCSA members and system stakeholders who are speaking up on behalf of clients. Together, we can ensure that all Ontarians have access to the best possible care, in the most appropriate place.

- Deborah Simon, CEO

System Change on the Horizon

On December 17, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care released Patients First: A Proposal to Strengthen Patient-Centred Health Care in Ontario, which recommends significant health system transformation. During the first few months of the new year, they consulted with health system stakeholders to collect feedback on the proposal. OCSA was pleased to host an in-person consultation for our members, and to submit detailed recommendations on their behalf.

Minister Hoskins has indicated that he intends to move forward with legislative changes needed to implement some aspects of the proposal, including integrating the home care work of the CCACs and the LHINs, in the next few months. OCSA appreciates the continued input and participation of our members throughout this process, and looks forward to continuing to contribute to this discussion.

Community Champions Celebrate March for Meals!

Each March, Meals on Wheels providers from across North America team up with mayors, local celebrities, and other community champions to raise awareness about the value of their services. In Ontario, nearly 3 million nutritious meals are delivered to seniors and people with disabilities each year. But these programs provide more than just a meal - they also offer a friendly visit and safety check, reducing isolation and risk.

Need is growing, and Meals on Wheels providers are always looking for more volunteers. Contact your local provider to find out how you can help.

Thanks to the many community champions who raised awareness this month, and to the staff and volunteers who work so hard all year. Check out a few highlights at the link below.
March For Meals Highlights!

OCTOBER 18 & 19, 2016

Major change is on the horizon for Ontario health care, and no sector will be more affected than home and community care. System restructuring, new models of care coordination, deeper integration with partners both inside and outside of the health system, and the ongoing technological shift  will present both opportunities and challenges to home and community care providers. Our 2016 conference theme is a strategy for dealing with unprecedented change: “Prepare, Adapt, Thrive!”

For two days in October, home and community support providers and allied health system leaders will develop and share the information, tools and resources we need to prepare for, adapt to and thrive within a new health care landscape. We will work together to envision a stronger future for our sector. Above all, we will leave the conference armed with great ideas and fresh enthusiasm to provide the best possible care for our clients.

Advance registration is now available, and our call for abstracts will be released very soon. Keep an eye on for the latest updates.

Advance registration now open!


Collaboration and Integration Support:  Working collaboratively is a core priority for most home and community support providers.  If you need help to successfully navigate effective integration within our complex health system, Capacity Builders can help. 

Collaboration Coach is a free online platform designed to help your not-for-profit organization avoid common pitfalls, use successful strategies and make informed decisions about your collaborative initiatives and opportunities. For more specialized coaching support, Capacity Builders has collaboration experts on hand who can work with your staff for a reasonable fee.  For more information, please contact Portia at

More from Capacity Builders!

We realize the potential of your organization.

Since 2001, Capacity Builders has been providing affordable training and management support to a wide-range of not-for-profit community health organizations across Ontario. We support Managers, Supervisors, Team Leaders and Direct Care staff so they are equipped with the right knowledge and skills to provide quality service. Capacity Builders is a division of the Ontario Community Support Association. Click here to subscribe to our training newsletter.


Upcoming 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


OCSA members receive inside information on sector developments, and the opportunity to contribute their thoughts, experiences and ideas to OCSA's positions and policy recommendations. By working together, we have a greater impact and speak with a more powerful voice.

Not a member yet? Learn more about membership, and join our powerful network of over 300 organizations from across the province.

OCTOBER 20, 2016

The 10th Annual PSNO Conference is Ontario's largest one-day event designed specifically for the professional development of personal support staff in home care, long term care, community care, hospitals, retirement homes and supportive housing. 

PSWs, PSW Supervisors, educators and students from across the province will attend sessions designed to engage, teach and inspire personal support staff. Delegates are provided with tools, information and motivation they can bring back with them to work to enhance client care and share with their co-workers. In evaluations from previous years, over 90% of delegates reported that what they learned at the conference would help them do their jobs better.

Comments from past delegates:
"I feel more enriched having learned from new ideas and listened to colleagues from other places’ experiences."

"I picked up great ideas and tips that I can use and pass on to my fellow classmates."

"I have attended every PSNO Conference to date, and the best is yet to come as we grow together in the future."

Join us for a day of learning, networking and celebrating the personal support profession. 

Advance registration now open!


In early March, OCSA and our Community Health Ontario partners delivered two one-day Quality Improvement workshops focusing on the skills and behaviours required by leaders to inspire excellence.  Facilitators Michael Pugh (from the Institute of Healthcare Improvement), and Paula Blackstien-Hirsch (OCSA’s QI subject matter expert) led the interactive day that provided tools and strategies to accelerate improvement and innovation in their organizations.  Response to the workshops was extremely positive, and OCSA will continue to explore additional QI training opportunities in the future.


Over the past few months, OCSA has been working closely with CSS providers in the Waterloo-Wellington and Champlain regions to build Quality Improvement capability and to support a culture of continuous improvement.  One of the core activities in this HQO-funded project is delivering OCSA’s Learning Collaborative, an intensive seven-month QI course that involves workshops, coaching and hands-on improvement work.  

We recently asked graduates of our first Learning Collaborative (2013/14) to share their QI stories with us - to describe the challenges they wanted to address, their client outcomes, how they involved staff in their projects, the QI tools they used and their a-ha! moments.  Please visit the Quality Advantage website to learn their insights and observations on building improvement capability in the CSS Sector.



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.
OCSA - Ontario Community Support Association      
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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