Allies for a healthier Ontario, funding opportunities, levels of care update and more!
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August 2016


August has been a dramatic month in Ontario health care, featuring an apparent showdown between the Ontario government and the province's doctors. After the Ontario Medical Association was unable to secure their full membership endorsement of a negotiated agreement with the Ministry of Health, Minister Hoskins publicly commented that he would be unable to meet the doctors' demands while also appropriately funding home and community care.

Certainly, I understand the immense difficulty of fairly and effectively distributing health care funding and, of course, believe home and community care clearly requires a larger slice of the pie. But the battle should not be about who should have the funding they require – physician services or home and community – but rather how the efficient operation of a well-supported health care system can fund both these critical services.

Because the truth is that as health care providers we should always be on the same team, with the winners being our patients and clients. To create a more effective and sustainable health system, we must improve collaboration and communication between different parts of the health care system, not compete with one another. In our mission to provide the right care in the right place, we are all allies.

Frustrated and under pressure, it would be easy to lose sight of our common priority: the Ontarians we serve. Let's not make that mistake.

- Deborah Simon, CEO

2016 OCSA Conference on the horizon!

Speaking of health system collaboration, we're very pleased to be offering a number of workshops on the subject at our 2016 Conference this coming October 18 & 19. Click here to read all about them.

We're also very excited to feature four plenary speakers who will speak to some of our sector's most pressing priorities. On Tuesday, Dr. Mike Evans will share his approach healthcare education and changing landscape in healthcare. He will be followed by Dr. John Hirdes, leading one of the first public overviews of the development of the Levels of Care framework, and revealing the first batch of aggregate interRAI CHA data on the role of community support services in Ontario’s health care system. On Wednesday, we begin the day with Dr. Walter Wodchis, providing useful lessons on the integration of health and social care for those with complex health needs, in Ontario and around the world. Lastly, we will close the conference with an illuminating and interactive discussion of Ontario's Patients First transformation journey, led by Santis Health.

Of course, we'll have a little fun, too - join us for the Tuesday evening banquet, featuring the winners of our 2016 Commitment to Care Awards. Then stick around for popcorn and a screening of Hip-Hoperation, a heartwarming documentary about New Zealand's beloved senior citizens dance crew.

Registration has been very strong, and we're expecting our largest turnout in recent memory. We hope you can join us!

Register Today!

Patients First Act: How Will it Affect Your Home Care or Community Support Organization?
September 15, 2016

Change is coming. When Ontario’s Legislature reconvenes this Fall, we expect that Bill 210 (Patients First Act) will be a priority. Do you understand the implications of the LHINs new, broader powers over health service providers, and how it will impact your not-for-profit organization?

Sign up today for this “just in time” learning opportunity led by health law specialist, Kathy O’Brien!  For more information, and a link to register, please click here.

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

This year marks the 10th Annual PSW Training Conference. Our conference is the most efficient and affordable way for PSWs to maintain and upgrade their skills. This year, we're proud to offer in-depth training sessions in five areas that are a priority to home and community care providers, and to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care:

  • Dementia Care
  • Falls Management
  • Mental Health
  • Palliative Care
  • Person-Centred Care.

Don't miss out on this once-a-year opportunity! Click here to learn more or register.

Deadlines approaching: Recognition opportunities for PSWs!

There are many outstanding PSWs working throughout the province, and the 9th annual PSW of the Year award will recognize one of them. The PSW of the Year will receive $500 and registration for our 2017 PSW training conference, and all nominees will receive a letter of recognition from PSNO. The deadline for nominations has been extended to Friday September 16Click here for more information and to download a nomination form.

The Personal Support Worker Professional Development Scholarship will be awarded to a PSW who wishes to advance his/her education in the area of health care, with a focus on home and community support. The scholarship is valued at $2,000 and is open to PSWs working in a home and community setting. We are pleased to offer this exciting opportunity with the help of our founding sponsor Saint Elizabeth Health Care. Click here for more information and to download an application form.

Update: Levels of Care

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care recently held two workshops regarding Levels of Care. These workshops examined 5 areas of content development:

  1. Levels of Care framework, details to be developed by an expert panel.
  2. Functional support tool, to be used for care coordination.
  3. Quality standards for wound care are in progress; standards for dementia and end-of-life care being considered for development by HQO.
  4. Home and Community Care Assessment Policy, requiring the consistent use of the RAI tool.
  5. New home care indicators, to be developed by HQO over the next year.

OCSA Members have received more detailed information, and can contact us with questions. The Ministry are interested in receiving feedback and/or questions that can be addressed to by October 1, 2016.  

This year's OCSA conference will feature talks by Dr. John Hirdes and Dr. Walter Wodchis  – both of whom are directly involved in the development work around Levels of Care.  A “must-attend” event!

Punjabi Community Health Services Earns Rare Accreditation Recognition

OCSA member Punjabi Community Health Services in Brampton in the Central West LHIN has been awarded a Three-Year Accreditation from CARF Canada with no recommendations.  This is a rare achievement in the CARF accreditation process – less than 3% of the 7000+ organizations that CARF surveys achieve this level of recognition.  This accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization.  Congratulations to PCHS CEO Baldeev Mutta and staff!

Introducing the Finding Your Way Program

Finding Your WayⓇ  is a new provincial program developed by the Alzheimer Society of Ontario and funded by the Government of Ontario. Aimed at educating community partners like supportive housing staff, it is an important resource for understanding dementia and how to keep people with dementia safe in our communities. 60% of people with dementia go missing, and half of those who go missing for 24 hours end up injured or dead. Finding Your Way covers all aspects of keeping people safe - from proactive measures, to what to do when someone has gone missing, to what to do if you find someone who seems lost.
Offering information about dementia, helpful tipsheets, videos, and a free online learning course, the Finding Your Way website (which is available in 12 languages) is a comprehensive resource that will help keep people with dementia safe in our communities.

Learn more at!

Upcoming discussion around friendly visiting programs

In response to a recent OCSA listserv thread discussing chnages to and challenges of friendly visiting programs, a one-hour teleconference will take place September 20. For information please contact


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

Ensuring Healthy Aging For All: Home Care Access in Ontario

As the baby boomer cohorts enter their senior years, our aging population takes on a different character socially, culturally and ethnically. In the Greater Toronto Area, immigrant seniors receive less publicly-funded home care and report higher unmet care needs than non-immigrant seniors. The data in this study from the Wellesley Institute raises important questions about the future of home care for seniors from diverse ethnocultural groups. Click here to read the report. 

Join us at the 2016 OCSA Conference, where lead researcher Seong-Gee Um will share more of her findings!

Is Community Support Month on your radar?

October is on the way, and so is Community Support Month! Check out this year's dates by clicking here. OCSA members, watch your inboxes for resources very soon.

Upcoming Training from Capacity Builders:
interRAI Community Health Assessment Workshop
November 22, 23 & 24, 2016 in Toronto

This comprehensive three-day workshop will equip new assessors with the skills and confidence they need to conduct quality interRAI CHA assessments, and use the information to inform and evaluate personalized care plans. In a supportive and engaging environment, participants will learn the general principles of conducting a competent interRAI assessment and learn how to accurately document client information through the interRAI CHA system.  

What participants are saying about this training:

Excellent workshop. I’ve had previous training but this is the first workshop that actually related the materials to what I do.

Excellent use of audiovisual, and enough activity to make the learning concrete and usable.

For full workshop information and registration link, please click here. Special reduced pricing for OCSA Members! 

Coming this Fall: Preliminary Screener Tool webinar.

Did you know that we deliver interRAI CHA training all across Ontario?  If you’d like more information about how we can bring this workshop to your organization, community or Network, please call us at 800-267-6272 or 416-256-3010 ext 229 or email


Quick links from around the sector.


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
  • North York Seniors Centre is hiring for several positions, including PSWs, Supervisor, Adult Day Program and Manager, Client Services. Click here for listings.

Please submit at least 4 weeks before applications close.
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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