East Toronto Health Partners opens Health Access Taylor-Massey, a neighbourhood care model designed to improve health outcomes, help local residents ‘catch up’ on delayed care during COVID-19
October 17, 2022 (Toronto, ON) – East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP), the Ontario Health Team (OHT) serving East Toronto, is entering the next phase of its COVID-19 recovery plan, which includes:
- The opening of Health Access Taylor-Massey (HATM) in Crescent Town
- Expanded health and social services at Community Outreach Centres (COCs) in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park
- Walk-in bivalent COVID-19 booster clinics
During a time when Ontario hospitals and emergency departments are experiencing unprecedented volumes and high patient care demands, these new neighbourhood-based care models help local residents more easily connect to health, community and social services in one place that is closer to home.
The services are free. Many services can be accessed without a health card, medical referral or appointment.
The initiatives help local residents “catch up” on care they may have missed during the pandemic, such as preventative cancer screening. They also help address health and social issues, such as those related to mental health and substance use, which were worsened by the pandemic.
Health Access Taylor-Massey in Crescent Town
Health Access Taylor-Massey (HATM) is a healthcare, community and social services centre located in Crescent Town.
It offers connections to services and resources, including COVID-19 supports, to people who live in the Taylor-Massey neighbourhood and surrounding areas.
The site’s diverse team of healthcare providers includes family doctors, nurses, mental health counsellors, a resource navigator and others. They offer a wide range of walk-in, by-appointment and by-referral services. These include:
- A resource navigator, a healthcare professional who helps connect local residents with the services they need in the community, health and social services systems;
- Family doctors who provide short-term follow-up care when needed;
- Preventative cancer screening, including Pap tests and referrals for fecal immunochemical tests and mammograms;
- Mental health counselling;
- Prenatal care;
- Diabetes care by registered nurses and dietitians; and
- An Inter-Professional Primary Care Team, which provides people, including newcomers, with a range of services such as healthcare, supportive counselling, settlement services, and more.
Staff at HATM can also connect local residents with other health and social services available in the community, such as substance use and harm reduction services, seniors supports, settlement services, food security and more.
Many of these services are tailored to the Taylor-Massey community. They help address health inequities in the area that City of Toronto data indicates existed before the pandemic. These include higher rates of premature mortality rates and mental health and addiction-related visits to hospital emergency departments.
The site was designed with input from the Taylor-Massey Residents Wellness Council, a group of local residents interested in and passionate about improving access to health, community and social services.
HATM is led by ETHP member organizations East Toronto Family Practice Network (EasT-FPN), Michael Garron Hospital (MGH), South East Toronto Family Health Team (SETFHT) and WoodGreen Community Services. More information about HATM is available at ethp.ca/HATM.
Community Outreach Centres in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park
The Community Outreach Centres (COCs) in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park are community health hubs that offer health and social services, including COVID-19 supports, to people who live in these neighbourhoods and surrounding areas.
They currently offer walk-in PCR tests, vaccines and prescriptions for COVID-19 treatment like the Paxlovid pill. In the coming months, they will offer preventative cancer screening, mental health counselling and other services.
In addition, staff at these sites help clients connect to other community, health and social services available in the community. This may include connections to family doctors and nurse practitioners.
The COCs in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingon Park are led by ETHP member organizations EasT-FPN, Flemingdon Health Centre (FHC), MGH, Health Access Thorncliffe Park (HATP) and TNO – The Neighbourhood Organization. More information about the COCs is available at tehn.ca/CommunityOutreachCentres.
Walk-in bivalent COVID-19 booster clinics
ETHP is building on the success of its COVID-19 immunization efforts in East Toronto by operating walk-in clinics for the bivalent COVID-19 booster. Some of these clinics also offer the flu vaccine.
These clinics help make the bivalent COVID-19 vaccine as easy and convenient to get as possible, increasing community members’ protection against the highly contagious Omicron variant.
ETHP operates recurring clinics at Warden Woods Community Centre, Dennis R. Timbrell Resource Centre and East York Community Centre.
ETHP is also working closely with community partners to organize mobile and pop-up clinics in high-density apartment buildings and other sites in neighbourhoods with historically high positivity rates of COVID-19 and lower vaccination rates.
More information about these clinics, including eligibility, is available at tehn.ca/VaccinePopUps.
Collaborating with local residents
ETHP member organizations are working closely with community ambassadors and advisors in Taylor-Massey, Thorncliffe Park, Flemingdon Park and their surrounding areas to help share information about these sites and services through door-to-door outreach, information sessions, flyers and other communications and engagement strategies tailored to these communities.
By collaborating with local residents who speak languages commonly understood in these areas and who are familiar faces in these neighbourhoods, ETHP aims to further build trust in these communities and encourage people to seek care close to home.
“As residents of Taylor-Massey, we have seen first-hand the unique health and social challenges that many people in the area face. Many are newcomers or immigrants, for example, or do not speak English as a first language – making it difficult for them to navigate a complex healthcare and social services system to find the help they need. With Health Access Taylor-Massey, we hope local residents will find a place close to home where they feel welcome and where they can discuss and share any challenges they are facing. This helps the team connect them to the care they are looking for – whether it’s a family doctor, settlement services, senior supports, mental health counselling, home care, housing supports or something else. We appreciate ETHP’s efforts to involve local residents in the co-design of HATM and are excited to see so many health and social services partners committed to building and maintaining integrated and equitable services in our community.”
– Razia Rashed and Mohammad Shabani, local residents and Co-Chairs of the Taylor-Massey Residents Wellness Council
“While family physicians are many clients’ first connection to the healthcare system, we recognize that health and well-being encompass more than just medical care. To this end, East Toronto Family Practice Network’s members look forward to working with the interprofessional teams at Health Access Taylor-Massey and the Community Outreach Centres in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park where, together, we can help connect local residents to services from across the community, health and social sectors.”
– Dr. Catherine Yu, Medical Director and Family Physician at Health Access Taylor-Massey (HATM) and Health Access Thorncliffe Park (HATP), and Member of East Toronto Family Practice Network (EasT-FPN)
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, our teams have established presences in priority neighbourhoods in East Toronto to help connect local residents to the care and supports they need the most. We’re thrilled to be continuing this partnership – and furthering our work with local residents and community ambassadors – to help ensure our communities have easy access to a wide range of health and social services that help address health inequities and improve health outcomes for all.”
– Dr. Jeff Powis, Medical Lead, Integrated Care at Michael Garron Hospital (MGH)
“South East Toronto Family Health Team is excited to be co-leading Health Access Taylor-Massey by providing programs, physicians, specialists, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, care navigators, mental health workers, child and adolescent and clinical administrative supports who offer primary care, prenatal care, supports for newcomers and other services. By making these services more readily available in Taylor-Massey, we aim to provide client-centred care that addresses health inequities and recognizes how factors like income, housing, and food insecurity affect an individual’s holistic health.”
– Stephen Beckwith, Executive Director at South East Toronto Family Health Team (SETFHT)
“The Taylor-Massey neighbourhood is a high-needs community in East Toronto and a priority for WoodGreen to support. We want to help remove barriers for this population, so they can get access to much-needed services and assistance. That’s why WoodGreen Community Services is proud to co-lead Health Access Taylor-Massey by offering free walk-in counselling and psychosocial services to help Crescent Town residents to improve their overall well-being.”
– Kevin Edmonson, Vice President, Community Care Seniors and Wellness at WoodGreen Community Services
About East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP)
East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP), the Ontario Health Team (OHT) serving East Toronto, is a group of more than 50 community, primary care, home care, hospital and social services organizations in East Toronto working together to create an integrated system of care across our communities. Collectively, ETHP is responsible for providing care and support to the 300,000 individuals who live in East Toronto communities, as well as an additional 75,000 clients who choose to receive health care in the local area. Clients, family members and caregivers are partners in every aspect of the development of ETHP, working together to improve the way East Toronto residents access and receive care. Visit ethp.ca to learn more.