New Chatham-Kent Ontario Health Team unveiled by the province

Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (File Photo)

The province announced the creation of the Chatham-Kent Ontario Health Team (CKOHT) Saturday with the aim to provide better patient care.

Health Minister Christine Elliott was not in attendance in Chatham for the announcement of the CKOHT as one of the first 24 teams in the province to implement the new health care model. The government claims it will fix a fractured operation.

"This is an exciting time for health care in Ontario as we finally break down the long-standing barriers that have prevented care providers from working directly with each other to support patients throughout their health care journey," said Elliott in a news release. "Together with our health care partners, the Chatham-Kent Ontario Health Team will play an essential role in delivering on our commitment to end hallway health care and building a connected and sustainable public health care system centred around the needs of patients."

The CKOHT includes 15 partners who will work across the health care sectors to enhance patient experience and improve outcomes for their patients.

The initial priority of the CKOHT will be seniors and those suffering from chronic disease.

Officials with the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance say more than 100 people came together as part of the collaborative effort.

"Over the last several months, a steering committee and six work streams made up of leadership and staff from partner organizations, patient advisors, physicians and nurse practitioners have been working to complete the application and move toward implementation," said Lori Marshall, CKOHT Steering Committee Co-chair and President and CEO of Chatham-Kent Health Alliance in a news release.

The province says the health teams will help to reduce wait times, coordinate care for patients, essentially taking the guess-work out of navigating the health care system.

It also claims the new model will also help reduce clinician burnout.

As the CKOHT works to implement the new model, officials say programs and services will roll out in the new year.