Select one of the Strategic Priorities below to learn more.
Strategic Goal: We will be active partners in building regional coalitions for health equity, in a compassionate, collaborative and kind way, to reach out and close gaps in care. Collaboratively, we will work to ensure that excellent care, as affirmed by our community, is accessible to everyone.What We Heard from Stakeholders
The feedback that we received from those who participated in our strategic planning engagement process was bold and broad. Participants recognized that St. Joseph’s already has foundational strength when it comes to reaching out. They urged that we leverage these organizational strengths and build on existing processes to identify the most significant regional health equity gaps, seeking to resolve, and ideally proactively avoid, resulting crises. Within that, participants would like St. Joseph’s to support individuals who are marginalized and/or at risk to navigate health care options and solutions to address unmet needs. We also heard that St. Joseph’s could play leadership and partnering roles by building on current collaborations across the region and fostering the creation of regional coalitions to address health equity needs in identified populations. This could also include supporting health care and social determinants of health, as appropriate; thereby collectively creating an “all doors are the right doors” philosophy to align services to priority populations for consistent quality of care across the region.
Participants also suggested that we intentionally use data, evidence and patient/caregiver input throughout this work to inform and anticipate needs to determine how to best serve as an organization.
accomplish By 2021
- Collaboratively, with our partners, and with a particular focus on frail seniors, mental health, and people living with complex health needs, we will have developed a regional strategy that enhances access, quality, and continuity of care, improves health equity and advances advocacy.
- In partnership with Indigenous leaders, we will have established a South West Indigenous Pathway to Mental Wellness.
Partnership brings life-sustaining HIV treatment to London’s most vulnerable
Access to crucial HIV/AIDS treatment has dramatically improved for marginalized individuals in London’s inner city through a partnership between St. Josephs’ Health Care London and the London InterCommunity Health Centre (LIHC).
Recognizing that many individuals with HIV and hepatitis C have difficulty accessing care or are reluctant to seek treatment at a hospital, St. Joseph’s and LIHC collaborate to provide a clinic twice a month at LIHC where St. Joseph’s specialists, along with the LIHC nursing and social work staff, see patients with HIV.
“Our partnership with LIHC staff has been an example of how well collaboration between organizations can enhance patient care,” says Dr. Michael Silverman, Chair/Chief, Infectious Diseases and Medical Director of the Infectious Diseases Care Program at St. Joseph’s Hospital. “We have been able to get many people on life-sustaining treatment who would otherwise not be followed for their HIV. By treating people, you make their virus undetectable, helping the patient and also helping prevent transmission in the community.”
In 2016, Middlesex London Health Unit officials reported that the city has seen staggering increases in HIV and hepatitis C in the last 10 years. The partnership between St. Joseph’s and LIHC, called the MyCare program, began three years ago as LIHC frontline staff began to recognize and track increasing rates in new diagnoses of HIV among clients of LIHC’s Health Outreach Program. By working together, St. Joseph’s specialized HIV care is integrated with the case management and primary care provided by LIHC staff , who have a long-term relationship and rapport with the city’s vulnerable HIV patients.
While HIV treatment now allows people to live long, healthy lives, it's difficult to treat HIV when the individual is also battling addiction, poverty and homelessness, says Dr. Silverman. “Many people with HIV have difficulty with transportation, have chaotic lifestyles and are challenged to keep appointments for long-term follow up. Many of the patients we see at LIHC were referred to St. Joseph’s but never came for their appointments. It’s clear having them travel to us is not going to work. As the only HIV care providers in the city, we have to make it available, which means bringing care to individuals where they are.”
St. Joseph’s and LIHC also partner to provide a weekly hepatitis C clinic at LIHC. Many patients with HIV also have hepatitis C and face the same barriers to care. And Like HIV care, hepatitis C treatment also transforms lives.
For infectious diseases specialists with St. Joseph’s, the opportunity to care for HIV patients at LIHC is gratifying. Many of the patients feel neglected so providing care is rewarding, they say. The outreach also has a ripple effect. When an individual feels better, they feel more confident and may seek support for other challenges in their lives.