Finding support and success through connecting with our communities
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March 2017


Each year, I'm touched and inspired watching the results of the efforts of our Meals on Wheels providers during the March for Meals campaign. It's wonderful to see so many community champions - mayors, MPPs, city councilors, fire fighters, police officers and local celebrities - showing up to help deliver meals and voice their support for Meals on Wheels. This year, coincidentally, our neighbours to the south are experiencing a particularly strong outpouring of support for Meals on Wheels, as federal grants are at risk.

We work hard to support clients and caregivers in our communities - it's marvelous when our communities support us right back!

That includes our geographic communities - our local funders, municipalities, volunteers, board members and donors. It also includes our professional communities - the CSS Networks, OCSA's Program Advisory Committees, and the connections we build each year at our annual conference. The information, lessons learned and encouragement we provide to one another is invaluable. After all, our emphasis on community is one of our sector's greatest strengths.

Though it’s a busy time for all of us, let’s invest in creating and maintaining these important connections with our supportive communities. You'll find some great opportunities to do so in this issue of the Bulletin! 

- Deborah Simon, CEO

Connect with your sector!

Celebrate OCSA's 25th anniversary at our 2017 Conference, From Roadmap to Reality: Navigating Change Together! Members save $100 per delegate on Early Bird registration.

Register Today

OCSA is pleased to offer a very unique and action-focused forum organized for Executive Directors/CEOs, senior staff and board members of home and community support organizations. Leading Change: A Patients First Forum for Boards and Senior Leaders will focus on the impact of the Patients First legislation, the changes predicted in the short and long term, and the specific implications for home and community support organizations. 

We have worked closely our well-connected and experienced facilitation team to develop a highly interactive day focused on giving senior leaders the practical tools and strategic advice they need to take immediate action, and to be active leaders in the system transformation underway. There will be many opportunities for candid dialogue that will help you answer some of your organization’s big questions, including:
  • What practical steps can we take to get out in front of the change, and where are the potential opportunities and landmines? 
  • What strategic activities should we focus on to position our organization for success in a Patients First environment?
  • What are the expectations and roles of Boards as a result of Patients First?
  • How do Boards and CEO/EDs work together to provide effective leadership for their organization and the system in this time of transformation?
The forum will take place on May 12 in Mississauga.  For full forum information and the online registration link, please click here

Limited space remaining - register now!

March for Meals a Delicious Success!

Left: Blythe Wilson and Sean Arbuckle took time from their busy rehearsal schedule with Guys & Dolls at the Stratford Festival to help deliver Meals on Wheels last week with ONE CARE Home & Community Support ServicesRight: Gordon likes what Toronto-Danforth councillor Paula Fletcher and MP Julie Dabrusin delivered for dinner, with WoodGreen Community Services.
Each year, Meals on Wheels programs across North America celebrate March for Meals, an opportunity to raise awareness about the program’s value and success, and connect with the larger Meals on Wheels community. It has been amazing to watch our members celebrate this past month!

Click here for campaign highlights and media coverage.
Daiene Vernile’s member statement in the Ontario legislature on March 21, focused on March for Meals, via Community Support Connections - Meals on Wheels and More.

Call for Applications - Caregiver Training and Education

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has announced a Call for Applications for training and/or education programs for informal caregivers. This initiative stems from a commitment in Patients First: A Roadmap to Strengthen Home and Community Care to expand training and education for informal caregivers. 

The successful applicants will be funded from September 1, 2017 to May 31, 2019. Funding may be adjusted before or after selecting successful programs, based on appropriate notice.

Application Deadline: April 21, 2017

Click here for more information.
Call for workshop and presentation abstracts for the 2017 OCSA Conference!

Are you participating in a pilot project you'd love to see spread across the province? Have you conducted interesting research you'd like to present to the home and community support sector? Do you have best practices, lessons learned, or new technologies to share? Don't miss your chance to reach the delegates at our 2017 OCSA Conference! Our call for abstracts for one-hour workshop presentations and TED talk-style "speed sessions" is now open. 

We are particularly interested in sessions that fall into the following topics:
  • Exceptional Practices in the Provision of Client Services
  • Excellence in Operations & Administration
  • Clients and Caregivers First!
  • The Reality of Integration
  • Health is About More Than “Health Care”
Click here for more information, or to submit your abstract online. Deadline is April 13, 2017.


OCSA welcomes back The Friends as a Full Member. For over 30 years,The Friends has provided day programs, respite, caregiver support, Home at Last, assisted living, personal support and homemaking, accessible housing, and attendant services in the Parry Sound/Muskoka Districts which fall in the North Simcoe Muskoka and North East LHINs. They are led by Executive Director Marliese Gause.

OCSA supports bill to enable increased access to home and community care

OCSA is pleased to support private member’s Bill 54 (Dan’s Law) and urges the Standing Committee on Justice Policy to call it to committee.

The bill is named in honour of Dan Duma, a man who moved from Alberta to Ontario to be closer to family at the end of his life, but wasn’t able to access home or hospice-based palliative care due to a required three-month waiting period for publicly insured home and community care.  It is crucial that no one else face the same dilemma and that all Canadians are able to die in dignity, in the setting of their choosing.

By eliminating the three-month waiting period to access home and community care, Dan’s Law provides a common-sense solution to a problem created by the complex federated nature of our health system, and an opportunity for Ontario to take leadership in ensuring true portability of health care services across provinces.


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

2017 PSW & PSW Supervisor Conference
October 17, 2017 in Markham

Registration is now open for the PSNO Training Conference - 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.

After the success of last year's format change, this year's schedule will once again allow delegates to select two different three-hour workshops, or focus on one subject for all six hours to accelerate their knowledge.

Stay tuned for information about our trainers, and stream topics!
Register Now!


Quick links from around the sector.

Capacity Builders Update:

Did you know that Capacity Builders has a suite of free legal webinars you can access 24/7?  Lawyer Karima Kanani from Miller Thompson generously facilitated the following sessions for us:
  • Governance Fundamentals for Not- For-Profit Boards
  • Legal Structures for Regional Integration Initiatives
  • Integration Opportunities: A Legal Perspective
  • Procurement and Contracts
To access the webinars, please click here.

The best way to stay up-to-date with Capacity Builders’ new training initiatives, and receive free resources, is to sign up for our e-newsletter.  We’ll never sell to share your name with anyone (we hate spam too!).  To sign up, please click here.

Celebrate National Volunteer Week April 23 - 29!

National Volunteer Week will be celebrated April 23 – 29, 2017, and recognizes and thanks volunteers for their contributions to their communities.
Should you wish to participate, Volunteer Canada has a free campaign kit which includes customizable certificates of appreciation and thank-you cards, letters for elected officials, media release templates, posters, and social media content you can use.
Volunteers are an absolutely crucial part of the home and community support sector. They deliver meals, shovel snow, provide friendly social interaction, support clients and their families in times of need, and much, much more. Many of our volunteers are or will become clients themselves, supporting the organizations that will support them in return.
Volunteers in our sector donate over 3.5 million hours of service annually. This service would have an estimated value of over $85 million were it replaced with paid work. We are deeply grateful for the immense impact volunteerism has on our sector, and on the quality of life of our clients and their caregivers.


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
  • The Alzheimer Society - Durham Region is seeking a Director of Programs. Click here for job description. Deadline April 12.
Copyright © 2017 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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