Ontario investing over $14 million to build new Community Health Centre in Quinte West

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TUESDAY, MARCH 3, 2020

Quinte West - Ontario is investing in community health centres to create a better care experience for patients and to build more capacity within the health care system to help end hallway health care.

Today on behalf of Minister of Health Christine Elliott, Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, was in Trenton to announce Ontario is investing more than $14 million for the construction of the Belleville and Quinte West Community Health Centre (BQWCHC) on Catherine Street across from Quinte Health Care’s Trenton Memorial Hospital (TMH). The Trenton satellite site project will increase primary care capacity in Trenton and surrounding community.

“By creating a modern and spacious permanent home near TMH for the Belleville and Quinte West Community Health Centre satellite site, the Province is helping residents find more convenient access to the care they need,” said Smith. “This one-stop health hub will promote collaborative patient care and ease the pressures of hallway health care in our hospitals.”

Under the BQWCHC Trenton satellite project, patients and families will have access to patient-centred and integrated health care services, including:

  • Primary health care;
  • Chiropody;
  • Dietitian/nutrition counseling;
  • Mental health services;
  • Health promotion and prevention; and
  • Chronic disease management.

This project is part of the government’s commitment to invest $27 billion over the next 10 years in health infrastructure projects across Ontario.

“As part of our comprehensive plan to end hallway health care, we’re investing in innovative models to bring better care closer to home,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Patients across the province are waiting too long for care and finding it difficult to navigate a disconnected and confusing health care system. One of the ways we are going to help solve this problem is by investing in innovative health care models, like this one right here in Trenton.”

BQWCHC Executive Director Sheila Braidek and Board President Brad Harrington expressed their gratitude that the Province’s commitment has allowed the project to proceed.

“This new building will allow us to expand our health promotion and community programming and to better accommodate our primary health care services. BQWCHC has always been a community health hub.  This project will expand what’s possible,” said Braidek.

“This project has been in the works for a long time and it is very exciting that we can now build a permanent home for BQWCHC,” added Harrington.  “We extend our sincere appreciation to the Province of Ontario for its generous support of this important capital project.  We would also like to thank Quinte Health Care and the City of Quinte West for their support.” 

Quinte West Mayor Jim Harrison was also pleased with the development.

"We couldn't be happier that this project is getting the funding it needs to move forward," said Harrison. "Quinte West residents will benefit from increased access to a variety of resources and services that will be available at the new facility."   

Quinte Health Care donated land to allow the project to proceed. President and Chief Executive Officer Mary Clare Egberts said the preventative care offered through the Belleville and Quinte West Community Health Centre is an important element of the local health services delivery model.

“Quinte Health Care was pleased to donate the land for this project as we know that the Belleville and Quinte West Community Health Centre will have a positive impact on our patients and will help support the work we do at the hospitals by providing enhanced prevention, screening and health promotion. We are thankful that the Province of Ontario is investing in this project,” said Egberts.

The development will occur in two phases: Construction of the new building, followed by decommissioning and disassembly of the existing modular site at 70 Murphy St.  During the construction phase, services will continue at the Murphy Street. The total square footage of those sites is 7,200 square feet.  Harbridge & Cross Ltd. has been selected as the preferred contractor following a request for proposals process held in Fall 2019. The anticipated completion date of construction is Summer 2021.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Ontario has a comprehensive plan to end hallway health care, which includes making investments and advancing new initiatives across four pillars:

  1. Prevention and health promotion: keeping patients as healthy as possible in their communities and out of hospitals.
  2. Providing the right care in the right place: when patients need care, ensure that they receive it in the most appropriate setting, not always the hospital. This includes investing in community-based health services.
  3. Integration and improved patient flow: better integrate care providers to ensure patients spend less time waiting in hospitals when they are ready to be discharged. Ontario Health Teams will play a critical role in connecting care providers and, in doing so, helping to end hallway health care.
  4. Building capacity: build new hospital and long-term care beds while increasing community-based services across Ontario. This includes expanding access to community health centres.

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Smith encouraged Loyalist College, local health providers may benefit from standalone nursing announcement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2020

Belleville - Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, believes Loyalist College and the Quinte region will benefit from Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano’s announcement this morning the Province is planning changes to allow colleges to offer standalone nursing degree programs.

Romano announced that pending a regulatory amendment under the Nursing Act, 1991, all colleges and universities would be able to apply to offer standalone degree nursing programs subject to receiving necessary approvals from the College of Nurses of Ontario and the government. Previously, colleges were required to partner with universities to be able to grant degrees.

“These proposed changes will allow colleges including Loyalist increased autonomy and a chance to deliver excellent nursing education in one location,” said Smith. “That will lead to improved access for students who don’t have to leave their community to pursue their education.”

Smith noted Loyalist College has been a keen advocate for the proposed changes. Currently, students in its collaborative nursing degree program spend two years in Belleville, then complete their bachelor’s degree with two years at Brock University in St. Catharines.  The college’s President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan said the distance between communities is not only a barrier to program participation, but it also may be having an impact on health services in the area.

“Fewer than five per cent of our collaborative nursing degree graduates return to work in the Bay of Quinte region where we really need them,” said Vaughan. “Providing students with the option to complete their nursing degree at Loyalist will improve health care delivery in our communities by attracting more individuals into nursing professions here.”

Vaughan said Loyalist believes it is positioned well to develop a sustainable, in-demand program due to its demonstrated faculty expertise and academic excellence in health-related programs as well as its state-of-the-art integrated health and human studies learning environment on the third floor of the Northumberland Wing.  The Province supported the redevelopment of that wing.

Carol Smith Romeril, the Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Quinte Health Care said the local hospital corporation is “delighted with this great news for Loyalist College and our community. We look forward to welcoming students and graduates into our care environments.”

The policy changes may also allow for laddering pathways that could see personal support workers and registered practical nurses stay in their communities and train to qualify as registered practical nurses and registered nurses, which are both in need in the region.

Smith believes there is a clear benefit for the Quinte region in allowing students to complete their training here.

“Students completing their courses and practical placements in one community have a chance to develop professional and personal connections there,” he said. “Upon graduation, it is only natural for them to build on those ties as they start their careers.”

Romano said changes like the provision of standalone nursing programs show Ontario remains responsive to the needs of its people.

“Safeguarding Ontario’s competitiveness and building Ontario’s economy means ensuring our postsecondary institutions are training students for the jobs of today and the future. That is why Ontario is introducing a new pathway for nursing education, to offer greater choice for students.”

QUICK FACTS

  • To become a registered nurse in Ontario (and a member of the College of Nurses of Ontario), students must obtain a baccalaureate degree in nursing.
  • Except for Queen’s University and the University of Toronto, which have independent nursing programs, all other institutions in Ontario offer nursing programs for future registered nurses through a collaborative partnership.
  • Since the collaborative nursing education model was implemented in 2000, postsecondary education and health systems have grown and evolved. Many colleges now have experience in delivering and managing degree programs.
  • Successful implementation of this new policy is dependent on the Ministry of Health working with the College of Nurses of Ontario to amend a regulation made under the Nursing Act, 1991.
  • Providing institutions with the option to continue a collaborative partnership or offer a stand-alone program for future registered nurses allows greater flexibility in meeting particular needs in local communities, while continuing to equip students with the skills and training necessary to meet the standards of care Ontarians deserve from our healthcare professionals.

 

 

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Ontario recognizes Bell Let’s Talk Day, supports mental health initiatives in Quinte region

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2020

Bay of Quinte – Approximately 30 per cent of Ontarians will experience a mental health and addictions issue at some point in their lives. Every year, two million Ontarians go to their family doctor for a mental health or addictions challenge.

Today on Bell Let’s Talk Day, Canadians across the country are joining in on the conversation about mental health. Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte is encouraging Ontarians to come together to take action on mental health and help create positive change.

“Mental health affects all of us,” said Smith. “Everyone in our communities can get involved in the important conversations that are taking place on Bell Let’s Talk Day and take action to help those who may be struggling.”

Whether by phone, email or text, there is no better time than today for those in Bay of Quinte to reach out to one another, talk about mental health and how each member of this community can work together to help those who are struggling.

Ontario is committed to creating a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions system that works for all Ontarians. That is why the province invested an additional $174 million to expand community-based mental health and addictions services this past year, including supporting people and families in Bay of Quinte by enhancing peer support programs, opioids addiction treatment and services, youth mental health supports, and supportive housing.

“I encourage everyone to take part in Bell Let’s Talk Day and help to create positive change,” said Smith.And I urge you to continue these important conversations not just today, but throughout the year so that together we can make a difference in our communities.”

Ontario is investing $3.8 billion over 10 years to create new mental health and addictions services and expand existing programs. Locally, the Quinte region stood to benefit from $1,273,045 in new funding through the $174 million announcement last spring.  Service providers welcomed the investment.

"This funding is completely dedicated to front-line addictions and mental health clinical support for people who are seeking clinical recovery from the challenges associated with opioid use and to enhance clinical case management and counselling for both addictions and mental health,” said Addictions and Mental Health Services – Hastings and Prince Edward chief executive officer Gary Laws. “Many thanks to the Province for recognizing how imperative these supports are here to the citizens of Hastings and Prince Edward because this will create more opportunity to serve more clients.”

The Quinte Healthcare Corporation’s mental health program director Kerry-Lynn Wilkinson said the investment should also help limit hospitalization and re-hospitalization.

“Making additional investments in mental health in the region will strengthen services available to help individuals receive the care they need in the community, helping to reduce the number of individuals seeking mental health services at the emergency departments of QHC hospitals,” she said.

Also, the Province recently committed $900,000 toward a skills training program offered by the Canadian Mental Health Association to help people facing barriers find stable employment. 

“This is an incredible project that will help those who face barriers when it comes to finding work,” said Smith. “This will have a transformative impact not only on these individuals, but also on the public services that support them, and on our broader Quinte region economy.”

If you are in need of mental health supports, consider reaching out to service providers in our region...

Addictions and Mental Health Services - Hastings-Prince Edward - 613-976-4734

Canadian Mental Health Association - Hastings and Prince Edward - 613-969-8894

Children's Mental Health Hastings Prince Edward - 613-966-3100/613-476-8252

Peer Support South East Ontario -  613-969-0122

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