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Reading: A local system response to COVID19 Pandemic: Lessons learned for advancing an integrated care


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Poster Abstracts

A local system response to COVID19 Pandemic: Lessons learned for advancing an integrated care


Sara Shearkhani ,

East Toronto Health Partners, Canada, CA
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Anne Wojtak,

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Mark Fam

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Introduction:  East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP) is comprised of 50+ health and social organizations in East Toronto, with a leadership council consisting of patient/caregivers and six anchor organizations representing the continuum of care.  ETHP is implementing a new model of integrated care (IC) and the stakeholders of ETHP collaborated to respond to the pandemic since March of 2020. We evaluated ETHP’s collective response to the COVID19 pandemic.

Aim and methods: The main objective of this evaluation was to understand and document ETHP integrated response to the COVID-19 pandemic from a partners and staff perspective. We interviewed 30 key informants, who have been identified as playing critical roles in the East Toronto COVID-19 response across acute care, home care, community care, and long-term care. The semi-structured interviews were designed to learn about the ETHP COVID-19 strategy and impact of the response, and lessons learned moving forward for advancing a new model of IC in East Toronto.

Key Findings: The main building blocks of our response included, but not limited to, caring and critical roles of champions, innovation and risk taking, distributed leadership, distributed knowledge and capacity building, community and clinicians’ leadership, leveraging existing relationships and building new partnerships, agility and nimbleness, active use of data for planning, taking an equity lens in shaping our response, and advocacy on behalf of our community. Participants identified missed opportunities including advocacy for broader health care reforms; better (re)allocation of resources for mental health needs and food security; and fully catalyzing our relationship with government agencies. The main implications for advancing the new integrated model of care within ETHP are to continue using the structures built during COVID19 to not only support infectious disease but also chronic disease management, as well as a greater focus on population health and integrated of health and social care services.

Conclusion: Lessons learned from this evaluation will be used to inform the ongoing COVID-19 strategy as well as next steps in the development of integrated health and social care (Ontario Health Team) in East Toronto.
How to Cite: Shearkhani S, Wojtak A, Fam M. A local system response to COVID19 Pandemic: Lessons learned for advancing an integrated care. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2022;22(S3):414. DOI:
Published on 04 Nov 2022.


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