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Positioning a health care association for the future: Ontario Community Support Association


The Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) represents over 400 home care and community support service agencies in Ontario and is a central player in the Patients First reforms in Ontario.

Santis has provided strategic advisory to OCSA over the past two years, but was initially engaged in 2015 to assist in the creation of a three-year Strategic Plan. OCSA embarked on its Strategic Plan during a time of unprecedented health system change when, despite increasing annual investments, many community and home care organizations were struggling to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse and complex seniors’ population.  By December 2015, the government announced Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) would be integrated with the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). There were also indications that significant changes in the CCACs’ role would have major implications for a stretched and home care and community support services (CSS) sector.

What Santis Did

Santis designed a highly-participatory and robust process, which an in-depth environmental scan, informed by facilitated discussions with internal stakeholders and the Board, key informant interviews stakeholders including the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Minister’s Office, association and other partners, community agencies, LHINs and seniors.

A Board Strategic Planning Working Group guided the process. Santis planned and facilitated three sessions with the Board, including a scenario planning session and the final presentation of the internal and public-facing Strategic Plan for validation and approval. Two sessions with the senior team and all-staff brought the full team’s ideas into the process, fostering understanding and buy-in.

Santis facilitated a series of webinars to allow members from across Ontario to provide feedback on the OCSA’s strategic goals and priorities. Live polling was used to rank options.

Santis worked with the CEO, senior team and Board Strategic Planning Working Group to develop a three-year implementation plan identifying annual milestones, outcomes and indicators.


The OCSA continues to engage Santis on different strategic projects, including providing the keynote presentation at the OCSA’s Annual Conference in October 2016, and leading a symposium for community and home care executives and Boards on Integration in the context of Patients First in spring 2017.