North Simcoe Community Health Link and Georgian Bay General Hospital Win Award at Health Quality Transformation 2016

November 10, 2016  

MIDLAND, ON, November 10, 2016 – The North Simcoe Community Health Link (NSCHL) and the Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) were honoured with a 2016 Health Quality Transformation Distinction Award, a province-wide award given by Health Quality Ontario (HQO). The award recognizes the work done by the NSCHL and GBGH towards improving patients’ health care experiences, decreasing usage of the hospital’s emergency department, and leading by example for other healthcare organizations who are seeking to address the social determinants of health in their communities. Held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on October 20, this year’s Health Quality Transformation conference focused on “Quality Matters” – the health system quality framework on how to realize excellent care for all. Over 2500 delegates from across Ontario’s health system, including patients, families and members of the public came together to share experiences and best practices.

The award was based on a system partnership between NSCHL and GBGH that has improved cross-jurisdictional health care experiences for a targeted patient population. These patients account for approximately five percent of the population, yet use two-thirds of the health system resources. Through this partnership, driven in part by an intake tool modeled on the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, NSCHL and GBGH together have been able to improve patient health outcomes and use healthcare resources more efficiently.

Non-medical issues such as poverty, social isolation, food insecurity and transportation were also taken into account and measured.

In just over one year, NSCHL and GBGH were able to establish a system change – with emergency department visits reduced by 31 per cent, inpatient admissions reduced by 45 per cent, length of hospital stay reduced by 34 per cent and quality of life improved for 85 per cent of clients in the program.

“We are pleased to share this award with the North Simcoe Community Health Link. Success for us is success for our patients as it means a decrease in the number of emergency room visits, shorter inpatient stays and improved quality of life for our patients,” said Dawn Major, Director of Performance Excellence at GBGH.

The award comes shortly after the unveiling of the NSCHL groundbreaking report “Deepening the Understanding of the People We Serve” which highlights that by addressing non-medical issues – by connecting people better to their community, its resources and services, and each other – the NSCHL has been able to improve health outcomes and reduce health system costs.

“We are honoured to receive this important award in partnership with GBGH,” said Tracy Koval, RN, Clinical System Navigator, NSCHL. “By providing our clients with a more robust and holistic picture of their health at the outset of their care, we’re able to nurture collaboration inside and outside the health care system according to the individual’s and the community’s needs and capacities. This allows for referrals and health interventions to happen earlier, reducing the need for emergency and inpatient hospital care. It’s a win-win situation across the board.”


About Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH)

Georgian Bay General Hospital is a 105-bed community hospital that serves the communities of Midland, Penetanguishene, Tiny Township, Tay Township, Georgian Bay Township, Springwater Township and Christian Island. The hospital sees more than 45,000 patients in the emergency department every year.

About North Simcoe Health Links (NSHL)

Health Link brings providers together from across the continuum of care including Primary Care Providers, Specialists, Hospitals, Mental Health, Long Term Care, and Community Providers such as supports for Daily Living, Alternative Healing and Spiritual Health. Through the collaboration of care providers with the goal of developing patient-centered solutions, there is an improved patient experience. For more information, please visit


Centre de santé communautaire CHIGAMIK Community Health Centre is a not-for-profit health care service funded by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, through the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network. It offers bilingual and culturally-sensitive care. It encourages persons who identify as First Nations, Francophone, Inuit, Métis or Aboriginal and live in North Simcoe Muskoka to register. For more information please visit

Media Contact:

Louise Picot

Communications, CSC CHIGAMIK CHC