12th February 2007-
Hamilton Family Health Team
Family Health Teams are a key piece of the Ontario provincial government's plan to build a health care system that promotes good health, reduces wait times and improves access to care. In Family Health Teams, family doctors work with other health care professionals such as nurse practitioners, nurses, mental health counsellors, dietitians and pharmacists to see more patients and to keep them healthy.
Since April, 2005, the Ontario government has approved 150 Family Health Teams across the province. The Hamilton Family Health Team is the largest, serving approximately 250,000 people and was built on the "platform of the H-W HSO Mental Health and Nutrition Programme.
The Hamilton Family Health Team includes:
The Hamilton Family Health Team serves approximately 250,000 people. It is the largest of the 150 approved Family Health Teams in Ontario. The services provided by the Hamilton Family Health Team are free of charge to patients.
How can the Hamilton Family Health Team help patients get healthy and stay healthy?
How can this improve the health care system?
The Hamilton Family Health Team currently includes four programs: Mental Health, Nutrition, Nursing and Pharmacy. A number of other programs are in the planning stages.
In each program, health care professionals with special training, skills and experience work with family doctors to provide care to patients and their families.
For example, registered dietitians are experts in the area of diet and nutrition. Working with the family doctor, they can play an important role in preventing, assessing and treating conditions where diet is a factor such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Pharmacists are experts in the area of prescription and non-prescription drugs. In collaboration with the family doctor, they can help patients to better monitor and prevent side effects and adverse drug reactions and interactions.
The Hamilton Family Health Team also has several pilot projects underway. These include a child & youth mental health pilot, a substance abuse/addictions pilot and a peer support pilot.Peer support looks at how people living with an illness (in this case, diabetes or depression) might benefit from being matched with a peer support worker who has the same illness. The peer support workers receive special training from the Hamilton Family Health Team. They can share experiences and provide support and advice. Other pilot projects are currently being developed.