“When you get the public involved … you get way better results”. Strengthening Healthcare in Southeast Ontario
Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

“When you get the public involved … you get way better results.  When you leave it up to a politician … it takes too much money; it takes too long; and they’ll probably get it wrong!” (Lou Rinaldi, Ontario MPP for Northumberland-Quinte West)

When Ontario MPP Lou Rinaldi opened a media event with this tongue-in-cheek observation last week, he certainly got a good reception from the audience, ranging from nodding heads to roars of laughter.

He was in Belleville, along with staff from Ascentum, for the official launch of the Community Engagement for the South East Local Health Integration’s “Clinical Services Roadmap” initiative – a project to involve communities across the region in helping design measures for improving the way health care services are organized and delivered locally.

Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) were created by the Ontario Government six years ago, as vehicles to bring a local perspective to health system planning.  Part of their role, which they have taken on enthusiastically, is to “engage” or involve members of the public in setting directions and making important decisions about health care.

Ascentum’s excited to be partnering with the team at the South East LHIN on the project.  We’ve worked with them to develop an engagement website and a series of deliberative workbooks to gather informed feedback from local residents, health care workers and community groups.  Through these engagement tools, participants can learn about issues ranging from mental health and addictions to restorative care, and engage in the same tough choices that the LHIN and hospital staff need to make to design a system that meets people’s different needs in different communities.

At the end of the project, the goal is to have plans that truly reflect the values, priorities and views of the local community, as well as clinical evidence and good practice.

And, you can get involved as well!  If you live in southeastern Ontario, or have friends or family there, you can help us spread the word about the project.  It’s a great chance to influence local decision making on heath care – services they are almost certain to need, whether it’s today or tomorrow…  Just go to:

Ellis Westwood and Stephan Telka

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  2. […] I use both tools to help dissect and understand the views of the publics we engage. During a recent project, I was responsible for reading through 85,335 words of comments (about the same length as the […]