Recent News

Recent News

VHA celebrates one year of Integrated Care partnership with UHN

June 15, 2020
Elderly man pictured with wife and paid caregiver

June 2020 marks a very exciting milestone for VHA: the one-year anniversary of our Integrated Care (IC) partnership with the University Health Network (UHN) and St. Joseph’s Health System. The goal of the program is to create a better care experience for patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers – while being more cost effective and improving patient outcomes and population health.  

St. Joseph’s Health System in Hamilton originally developed this evidenced-based model of integrated care. Dr. Kevin Smith, UHN President and CEO, was involved in that work and decided to introduce the model to UHN.  

Since last June, VHA has completed over 1,000 visits to Toronto General Hospital Thoracic surgery patients across five GTA LHINs as part of this program. And now VHA and UHN have  laid the groundwork to expand the model to other pathways this year.  

First year Milestones

  • Launch of surgical integrated pathway with 450+ patients cared for to date
  • Expanded integrated care in two additional pathways, Congestive Heart Failure and COVID Care, that have cared for 200+

Highlights to Looking Ahead

  • Expand to all surgery and medicine
  • Advance opportunities to address social determinants of health with Social Medicine team
  • Improve integration with Primary Care and Emergency Medicine

“The program has been a huge success since the beginning,” says Hemjot Mal, VHA Integrated Care Program Manager. “We’re looking forward to taking the lead on further expansion.”  

The first area of expansion of the program began in May with UHN’s Congestive Heart Failure patients. Unlike the Thoracic surgery pathway, VHA is piloting this new option as the sole home care partner and Service Provider Organization (SPO), an exciting advancement that Hemjot feels VHA is fully prepared to take on.  

The current pandemic is also presenting a unique opportunity for expansion, notes Hemjot, with a new pathway for those discharged from hospital in stable condition with COVID-19. This is set to launch in Fall 2020 and VHA will also take the lead as SPO.  

“This program is a great example of why VHA is seen as such a strong partner.  We are willing to try new things to keep trying to make care better for the communities we serve”, notes Courtney Bean, VHA’s Vice President of Integrated Care and Partnerships.