Recent News

Recent News

Choosing Leaps over Wintering: CEO Kathryn Nichol Shares VHA’s Priorities for 2023

January 26, 2023
A picture of Dr. Kathryn Nichol

2023 marks the fourth year of VHA’s Strategic Plan 2020-2025: Care to Transform. As ever, we are focused on our mission of creating possibilities for more independence, championing the needs of clients and families and delivering high quality, integrated care. Concurrently, Ontario continues to push forward with their agenda of transforming the health system to a more integrated model.

During times of change, an organization can either choose to Leap or to Winter. As you may have guessed, choosing to Leap means that you choose to continue to move forward, to innovate, to make assumptions and to seize opportunities, in areas with the potential for a great and positive outcome. Wintering, on the other hand, means taking a similar posture to plants and animals in winter, where they hibernate, rest, retreat and wait for the period of time to pass. There is no doubt that VHA is choosing Leaps over Wintering and I am delighted to kick the year off by sharing some of the many exciting Leap projects we have on the go.

Working collaboratively with partners has never been more important and we are committed to building on and developing new partnerships and alliances. VHA is proud to partner with health and social support organizations in 18 Ontario Health Teams where we provide service. We are also looking forward to continuing our current integrated programs with University Health Network, Michael Garron Hospital and The Hospital for Sick Children among others, and we look forward to building new integrated programs to help patients transition home from hospital and to help them receive more care in their homes and communities where they most want to be.

Digital transformation is an important area of focus this year that will help drive our partnership work and will enable enhanced communication with clients and families. We are anticipating our Client Portal myVHA will be a game changer for clients and families, supporting access to schedules and appointment information and facilitating communication with our care team. We are looking forward to adding to its functionality and seeing many more clients, families and caregivers register for myVHA. Another exciting digital initiative underway is to enhance care and help build system capacity through the addition of a remote care monitoring platform and program at VHA.

A commitment to caring for the most vulnerable in our communities has always been a guiding force for us and a new area of focus is to expand our mental health services. For many years, VHA has offered clutter and hoarding support therapy and extreme cleaning focused on preventing homelessness in addition to parenting relief programs. As caring for people in their homes almost always involves interacting with and supporting families, VHA care providers have unique skills in the area of mental health support and this year we are looking to expand and grow in this area.

VHA takes great pride in our high-quality services and providing care that involves the best and leading clinical practices. In 2023 we will be working to continue our designation as a Best Practice Spotlight Organization with the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario. VHA has been a BPSO since 2015, and together with being accredited by Accreditation Canada, this certification is a top priority for us. We will be adopting two new interprofessional best practice guidelines this year and continuing to champion the many guidelines we already have in place.

Finally, we are continuing to invest in research and being the voice of home care research in Ontario. This is a key differentiator for VHA and as system change is in play, this is a critical time to be generating evidence and data-informed knowledge on leading home care practices and the best ways to integrate home care with other parts of the health system.

At the heart of VHA are our highly skilled and compassionate front line clinical and administrative team members and our phenomenal leadership team, who together ensure we are able to provide much-needed care every day to clients and families in their homes and communities. Ours is a team of home care specialists and I couldn’t be more proud to be part of the team at VHA.

So here’s to choosing Leaps over Wintering for 2023! And I look forward to updating you on our progress as the year unfolds. Wishing you all a safe and happy rest of winter and may we all see an early start to spring.