CHFHT Annual General Report

Lead Physician’s Report

June 9th, 2019

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

It brings tremendous pride to report on some the key developments and successes of the Central Hasting Family Health Team (CHFHT) over the last year.

We continue to provide comprehensive health care to over 8000 patients. That number is slowly rising as some of the new physicians and nurse practitioners grow their practices.

With respect to quality of care, CHFHT upholds a standard of excellence as illustrated by the measures of Health Quality Ontario. For example, the percentage of our patients who are screened for colon and cervical cancers exceeds the Provincial average. Breast cancer screening rates parallel Provincial averages. We are amongst the leaders in the Province in statistics that relate to diabetes care. The percentage of our patients who need to visit the Emergency Room is 28% better than the Ontario average, and 40% better than our LHIN average.

These metrics are all the more impressive when one considers that the patients for whom we care are far more elderly and far more impoverished than the majority of the Province.

CHFHT thrives in the realms of innovation and embraces digital health technology. Last year, we began offering patients the option of booking appointments online via a patient portal. The portal also offers secure messaging back and forth with the clinic, even directly with one’s physician or nurse practitioner. Over the last year, we have been raising awareness of these services and the number of patients who are registered on the portal is growing.

Our patients enjoy some of the highest accessibility to care in the province. The clinicians provide a wide range of choices for booking appointments and receiving care: Same Day Booking, Next Day Booking, Pre-booking Appointments that are routine or less urgent, After-Hours Clinics every night of the week, communicating via email, or communicating via the aforementioned online portal. We further suspect the option of Virtual Video visits will begin to blossom.

Thus, while the Auditor General has reported that “57% of Ontarians wait two or more days to see their family physicians”, and that “52% of Ontarians found it difficult to obtain medical care in the evening, weekends, or holidays,” that is certainly not the case with CHFHT. With our multitude of possibilities, essentially every one of our patients can be offered the option of receiving care the very same day on which they call, or whatever option best suits their needs.

Not only is the care at CHFHT highly accessibly, it is also comprehensive and robust. Our established programs continue support our patients’ high areas of need, including programs for: Diabetes, Lung Health (which includes Smoking Cessation) High Blood Pressure, Mental Health, Healthy Eating, and Foot Care. We are excited to announce that we have started a formal program for Chronic Pain, which includes support in reducing opioid medications and also focuses on non-medication ways of managing chronic pain.

The last few months have included busy but exciting times with respect to the evolution of our health care system. CHFHT is piloting a project that embeds a Home Care Coordinator who becomes an integrated part of our Team. By having this person working within our very own office and readily accessible, the goal is to improve the efficiency and effective of the Home Care services that our delivered to our patients. On a broader scale, CHFHT has been keenly engaged with the Province’s newly announced Ontario Health Teams. We are actively listening and determining where the CHFHT best fits into local proposals. We will surely be a valued partner when the times comes.

On a final yet most important note, it must be emphasized that none of these achievements would be possible without the exemplary team of people that comprise the Central Hastings Family Health Team. They are the heart and soul of this organization. Each and every person is movingly dedicated to the betterment of our local community’s health and wellness. A special culture of friendship and family has allowed us to endure several challenges throughout the last year. With every obstacle overcome, our team becomes increasingly proficient and resilient. This is truly one of the best teams to which one could belong, and in turn, our patients are amongst the best cared.


Dr. Adam Stewart

Lead Physician