ETHP Strategy Discussions: As the number of new cases of COVID-19 decline, we move into a different phase of the pandemic

As the number of new cases of COVID-19 decline and we move into a different phase of the pandemic, the ETHP Anchor Partners have started to consider the impact to our partnership, our Ontario Health Team priorities, building on the integrated care work we have advanced through COVID-19, and our new future state. In mid-June, we launched a planning process that included all our engaged partners through a survey and strategic conversations about:

  1. The lessons we are learning from COVID-19 about our partnership and how we work together

  2. Considerations for a ‘re-opening’ plan for East Toronto health and social services

  3. How COVID-19 has impacted our work and where we go from here

Although the planning work will continue through the summer, initial themes from our discussions include that:

While COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on our society, we have been successful in leveraging our whole East Toronto partnership to address the pandemic. Our integrated approach to COVID-19 is proof that the Ontario Health Team model is helping advance integrated care.

  • COVID-19 has impacted our partners on multiple fronts. For example:

    • We have rapidly shifted to greater use of virtual care and digital connections

    • Pressing concerns about funding and fundraising

    • Demand for services has changed – increasing in some cases and dramatically dropping in others

    • Our workforce has been hit hard with many front-line workers facing difficult working conditions and some choosing to find other employment

    • Major concerns about the mental health and well-being of our community and our workers.

  • Specific neighbourhoods and populations have been hit harder by COVID-19. We need renewed focus on health equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism in the multi-racial community of East Toronto. We also need to use this as an opportunity to develop stronger engagement across the community and with patients and their families.

  • Some things have accelerated in our Year 1 plan, while other work has slowed down. Where we have accelerated integration activities, we need to spread this learning to shape our long-term plans.

As we look ahead, we are already seeing how COVID-19 is reshaping our priorities and how much we will continue to need our whole partnership and our community working together. Managing the COVID-19 pandemic and focusing on infection prevention and control will be an important priority for us in the next year and beyond. We also know that how we deliver care as a system will change, particularly with respect to addressing health and social inequities as well as care for older persons. We will continue to keep our partners and our community posted on next steps in our planning process.

In the meantime, if you have questions or are interested in sharing your ideas, please contact our ETHP lead, Anne Wotjak at