What is a Family Health Team
Family Health Teams are primary health care organizations that include a team of family physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, social workers, dietitians, and other professionals who work together to provide primary health care for their community. They ensure that people receive the care they need in their communities, as each team is set-up based on local health and community needs.
Family Health Teams were created to expand access to comprehensive family health care services across Ontario. Since 2005, 184 Family Health Teams have been operationalized through five waves of implementation, with the last 50 implemented in 2011/12. There are currently over 3.4 million Ontarians enrolled in Family Health Teams in over 200 communities across Ontario.
Family Health Teams are community-centred primary care organizations whose programs and services are geared to the population groups they serve. In addition to the 72 Family Health Teams serving rural communities and 44 Family Health Teams serving northern communities, Family Health Teams are also providing primary care services to unique populations of patients with specialized health needs. Examples include:
- The Inner City Family Health Team in Toronto serves homeless males who reside in four shelter locations run by the City of Toronto’s Seaton House. The Family Health Team has programs and services that aim to address the high incidence of mental health and addictions.
- The Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team in Vanier serves the Inuit population of Ottawa. The Family Health Team provides culturally grounded care by formally capturing the role of Elders in the provision of information and advice, promoting strong community cohesion by maintaining ties with the broader Inuit community and offering programs and services which recognize the distinction of the Inuit.
- East Elgin Family Health Team serves patients of different religious backgrounds who utilize all the medical services of the Family Health Team. Translation services are also provided by Family Health Team and the local Mennonite Community Services organization.
- There are 5 Aboriginal Family Health Teams providing culturally grounded care for First Nations populations located on and off reserve.
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