Bringing Communities Together in Thorncliffe Park

Health Access Thorncliffe Park

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The Assignment
In 2014, Santis Health led a current state analysis, stakeholder engagement and strategic planning for a community health hub in Thorncliffe Park, one of Toronto’s fastest growing newcomer communities.

A leading destination for people immigrating to Canada, Thorncliffe Park has the highest birth rate in the City of Toronto.  At the same time, this burgeoning community of 30,000 – the size of Orillia – has poor health outcomes and unmet health care needs.

There were two main challenges:

1. Developing a compelling plan to convince the cash-strapped government of the need and value of increasing local health care services.

2. Bringing together a large and diverse group of health service providers, agencies, community groups and other stakeholders and reach consensus on the strategic blueprint to guide the development of a community health hub.

Santis reported to a Steering Committee of community health centres (CHCs), Family Health Teams (FHTs), Toronto East General Hospital, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the project funder, Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (TC LHIN).

What Santis Did
Santis led a current state assessment of health care in Thorncliffe Park involving significant quantitative and qualitative analysis including focus groups, interviews and surveys of: local residents, patients, executives, primary care physicians, other health professionals, the City of Toronto, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (Ministry), politicians.

Santis then supported all aspects of strategic planning and project management.  Santis collected and analyzed quantitative data from a range of sources, peer-reviewed and grey literature. Santis developed and led the implementation of a communications and stakeholder engagement plan. Santis facilitated multiple planning sessions and some 900 people were engaged in multiple languages, using tailored methods.

With the guidance of a Steering Committee, Santis wrote the Health Access Thorncliffe Park submission, which made a clear and persuasive case for the Health Hub and gave the LHIN and Ministry the critical information that they needed.

The Outcomes

– The strategic blueprint was endorsed by community leaders and health care providers involved, and supported by the TC LHIN, the Ministry and Premier. Eighteen stakeholders including neighbourhood groups, health care organizations, City of Toronto departments, and schools provided letters of support.

– The TC LHIN and Ministry have agreed to fund an interdisciplinary primary care clinic in Thorncliffe Park while longer term planning for an integrated community and health hub is underway.