Strategic Priorities

Connecting Care

Select one of the Strategic Priorities below to learn more.


Strategic Goal: We will welcome every patient, resident and family caregiver as a person with a unique set of strengths, support networks, spirituality, physical and psychological conditions, and personal goals. We will create linkages across our programs and partner across the region to connect care and services to meet whole person needs.

What We Heard from Stakeholders

Participants in the strategic planning engagement sessions told us that they liked the approach we were taking with our patients, residents and family caregivers and have asked us to continue to pay attention to and respond to the unique needs of our patients, residents, family caregivers, focusing on body, mind and spirit.

They also recognized our strengths in integrating programs and services and building partnerships. As a result, they suggested that we build on these pockets of strength to create more integrated pathways for prioritized groups with the most complex conditions, and to continue our work to integrate programs and services to allow for a seamless flow for patients, residents, and family caregivers that meet whole person needs. With respect to partnerships, we heard that it is important for St. Joseph’s to partner with regional health care collaborators and funders to create links, funding models, networks and knowledge sharing that enable smooth, connected transitions in care.

We also heard participants identify a need for St. Joseph’s to focus on data and measurement of patient outcomes. To accomplish this, they suggested that we begin to measure meaningful patient outcomes related to whole person recovery and quality of transitions, and partner to build foundations for an interconnected system for patient information and data analytics across the region (ensuring that information is accessible, collaborative, seamless and meaningful for caregivers, clinicians and patients).

What we will
accomplish By 2021
  • We will have strengthened our relationships with London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and other partners to ensure patients are cared for in the right place and transitions between providers are smooth and supported.
  • We will evolve future-state regional health care that blends specialized in-person care with distributed and virtual approaches, where needed, to bring care to where people are.

Breathing in the benefits of fitness

Not long ago, Jim Kenny, 74 described himself as fragile and “in desperate shape.” He couldn’t walk to the end of his lane, was depressed with no social life and dwindling independence.

For Byron Ducharme, 76, taking a shower and putting on socks and shoes were herculean feats that would leave him exhausted.

And at only 52, Dawn Kennedy’s extreme low energy had taken a toll on her mental health.

For each of these individuals, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) had slowly imprisoned them in their homes and bodies. Battling for every breath and needing increasing help and medical care, many of life’s pleasures had slowly slipped out of reach. But on a warm sunny day in Gibbons Park, Jim, Byron, Dawn and about 45 others tossed a ball around and played games in the shade of a pavilion. Jim was up on his feet with a walker, foregoing his usual wheelchair. There were smiles, laughter, camaraderie, and an undeniable sense of confidence and hope.

All are participants in St. Joseph’s COPD and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program, which includes medical care, education, pulmonary fitness training and an exercise maintenance program. While many thought exercise was impossible, all are now rediscovering joys that had eluded them for years.

“Beyond medication, there is a lot we can do,” explains respirologist Dr. Don Farquhar, Medical Director of the COPD program. “With exercise training, we are optimizing the patient’s general fitness and conditioning, and thus their ability to manage the ventilatory burden that COPD imposes on their muscles. The predominant symptom of COPD is breathlessness, which leads to a downward spiral of inactivity, deconditioning, and more breathlessness. Exercising and improving their level of fitness helps patients break out of that spiral and become active again.”

Breaking down silos

At St. Joseph’s Hospital, a robust focus on chronic disease management brings programs together in new ways to address the needs of patients living with multiple chronic conditions. For example, the Diabetes Education Centre, Cardiac Rehabilitation and Secondary Prevention Program, Heart Failure Clinic and COPD and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program together provide expertise at the right time for the right patient.

“Looking at each patient and their multiple needs, care is integrated to improve quality of life,” says respirologist Dr. Don Farquhar, Medical Director of the COPD program. “There’s a fluidity of programs so that we can find the care pathway that best suits the patient.”

Patients of the COPD and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program enjoying a picnic at Gibbons Park
Patients of the COPD and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at St. Joseph’s Hospital enjoy a picnic at Gibbons Park in celebration of their progress in the comprehensive program, which includes medical care, education, and pulmonary fitness training. All are now rediscovering joys that had eluded them for years.

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