​​Hello everyone,

This morning, I went to hear Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George Smitherman announce the next step in the creation of Local Health Integration Networks (LHINS) - the appointment of LHIN CEO's and LHIN Board members.

Last fall, the government announced LHINs, local health entities with the responsibility to plan, coordinate and fund health services within 14 defined geographic boundaries. Today's announcement sets into motion a new decision-making structure in Ontario's health care system with decision-making moving out of Queen's Park and into the community. At least, that's certainly the plan according to what the Minister had to say this morning. He went on to say that LHINs will be evolutionary and subject to the passage of legislation. They would begin by working with the local community and health providers to identify priorities and coordinating local health care services, and in 2007-08 provide funding to local health providers and advice to the Ministry about local capital needs.

The Minister announced 14 CEOs and Board members and the appointees cover a breadth of experience within health care and from other sectors, including a local Chief Medical Officer of Health, former hospital CEOs, an Executive with a major financial institution, and a physician leader.
UHN is located in the largest LHIN - Toronto Central - along with 14 other hospitals, 17 Community Health Centres, and several dozen mental health and addiction agencies, long-term care homes and community support services. Barry Monaghan, President and CEO of West Park Healthcare Centre, has been appointed CEO and Penny Thomsen, past President of the Canadian Cancer Society's Ontario Division, as Chair. Both of these individuals have lots of experience in the health care system and have had many contacts with UHN. I spoke with both Barry and Penny and assured them that UHN is looking forward to being a part of an integrated system and that the people of UHN could be called upon to support their work.

Our organization has initiated many integration initiatives to improve patient care, including cancer system planning, stroke network development and SIMS providing services to other partner providers.
I encourage you to link to www.health.gov.on.ca <http://www.health.gov.on.ca> under LHINs to see the Toronto Central LHIN's geographic boundaries and the listing of health care providers.
Please send me your feedback on what I think is an exciting new chapter in Ontario's health care history.


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