Thanking doctors for keeping Halton healthy

Halton’s Physician Appreciation Week (April 28-May2) is the perfect time to thank our doctors for all they do to keep us healthy.

Now in its 11th year, Physician Appreciation Week in Halton was originally established in 2003 as part of the Halton Physician Recruitment program, supporting our commitment towards achieving the best possible health and wellbeing for all.

During Halton Physician Appreciation Week, we say a collective thank you to all of Halton’s dedicated physicians who work tirelessly year round, making a difference in every life they touch. Thanks to our physicians, Halton is a safe and healthy community, and a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

Attracting new doctors to establish medical practices in Halton is a priority in Halton’s Citizens’ Priorities Action Plan. A collaborative effort with all four Halton Local Municipalities, local hospitals, clinics and community representatives, the program has helped bring more than 200 new family doctors to Halton since 2003.

Not only does our Physician Recruitment program market Halton to current and prospective physicians to help ensure all our residents have access to a family doctor, it also supports the Halton McMaster Family Health Centre in Burlington. The Family Health Centre is part of the 2009 Halton McMaster partnership which saw Halton Region and the City of Burlington provide 10-year funding to McMaster University to help establish a variety of programs in the Region.

And this partnership is garnering concrete results with more physicians staying in Halton. Last year, the first group of Halton McMaster Family Health Centre family medicine residents completed their training and from those five residents, three are now establishing practices in Halton.

For a list of doctors who are accepting patients across Halton, dial 311 or visit www.halton.ca/newphysicians. To learn more about the physician recruitment program, visit www.haltondoctors.ca.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Enhancing online information for local physicians – The new www.halton.ca/physicians

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hosting our local physicians at Halton’s Physician Appreciation dinner. The dinner is held in honour of Physician Appreciation Week as a token of thanks for the contributions physicians make each and every day. Our local physicians strengthen our community and are one of the key reasons Halton is a wonderful place to call home.

Achieving the best possible health for our citizens is one of the key priorities for Halton Region, and we recognize we can’t do this alone. We work every day with physicians and other health care professionals in our community to offer programs, engage residents in active, healthy lifestyles, and provide consistent, quality health information.

Physician web

Of course one of the key ways we provide health information is through our website, and over the past few years, we’ve been focused on increasing the interactivity of our site and improving the content we make available to our residents and professionals in the community. This includes the recent launch of our new physician-targeted web pages at www.halton.ca/physicians.

This section of our site has been completely revamped to provide more targeted and timely public health information to physicians to help them in the everyday care of their patients. It also informs physicians about the range of local services and resources available by the Health Department and other organizations who support their patients outside of the doctor’s office.

The new section of the site is easier to navigate, more visually appealing and will be kept up to date with the latest health information. The pages also link to our physician recruitment section targeted to new physicians who may be looking to set up practice here in Halton.

We hope the new online tools will benefit the work physicians do every day to make Halton Region the best place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Physician Appreciation Week – Celebrating Halton’s Physicians

Halton’s physicians are committed to excellence and deliver high-quality care to patients.Physician appreciation

This week, April 29 to May 3, is Physician Appreciation Week. Now in its 10th year, Physician Appreciation Week in Halton was originally established in 2003 as part of the Halton Physician Recruitment program.

Together with local hospitals, we celebrate the efforts of Halton’s physicians and recognize their contribution to our community. Local hospitals will host coffee or luncheon events with the Mayors of their respective communities this week and, with support from corporate sponsors, Halton Region will host a networking event for physicians across the region.

Attracting new physicians to establish medical practices in Halton is a priority in Halton’s Citizens’ Priorities Action Plan. A collaborative effort with all four Halton Local Municipalities, local hospitals, clinics and community representatives, the program has helped bring 182 new family doctors to Halton since 2003.

Halton physicians play a major role in the high quality of life we enjoy in Halton.  During Halton Physician Appreciation Week, we say a collective thank you to all of Halton’s dedicated physicians. Halton doctors work tirelessly year round, making a difference in every life they touch. Thanks to our physicians, Halton is a healthy and safe community, and a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

For a list of newly recruited doctors who are accepting patients across Halton, dial 311 or visit www.halton.ca/newphysicians. To learn more about the physician recruitment program, visit www.haltondoctors.ca.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

The second annual update on the Citizens’ Priorities Action Plan – 2012 Report to the Citizens

Yesterday Halton Region released the 2012 Report to the Citizens, our second annual update on the Citizen’s Priorities Action Plan. The 2012 Report to the Citizens highlights accomplishments related to key actions and initiatives in the Citizens’ Priorities Action Plan.  Reporting to residents about progress on the Action Plan ensures transparency and demonstrates Halton’s commitment to accountability and the public engagement process.   

Key accomplishments highlighted in the 2012 Report to the Citizens illustrate how Halton Region continues to deliver value to taxpayers.  Highlights from the Report include:

  • Maintaining a AAA credit rating and an approved 2013 budget with a zero percent tax increase for Regional programs and services 
  • Initiated Economic Development Implementation Plan to bring more investment and jobs to Halton 
  • Completion of infrastructure projects such as the Sixteen Mile Creek Bridge on Dundas Street and the Canadian National Railway overpass on James Snow Parkway 
  • Partnered with non-profit and private sectors to build 57 new affordable housing units 
  • Recruitment of 22 permanent family physicians to Halton
  • Diverted approximately 60 percent of residential waste from the landfill.

In 2013, work continues on a number of key priorities and actions as Halton Region continues to focus on the programs and services that are important to residents.  A list of the 2013 key actions is available at www.halton.ca/actionplan.  Regional staff is currently working to complete 2013 actions and will report progress and achievements to Regional Council and the public in early 2014. 

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at  gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on FacebookTo receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

The new Family Health Information Line – your connection to a local public health nurse

Did you know that you can talk directly with a local public health nurse any weekday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. about a wide range of topics for you or your family? The Halton Region Health Department now offers the Family Health Information Line (FHIL) where nurses will provide you with comprehensive, research-based information, support and counselling.

When you call FHIL, you will talk with one of seven nurses who can help you with your questions related to:

  • Mental health
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Safety and injury prevention
  • Local supports and programs
  • Overall health and wellness

These nurses also service the telephone support for HaltonParents, where local parents can get advice and support about:

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding support
  • Parenting – from birth to teens
  • Child/youth behaviour and health concerns
  • Preconception information
  • And much more…

HaltonParents public health nurses also offer support to parents online through the website, Twitter (@HaltonParents) and a parenting blog, with Facebook soon to come.

But FHIL is not restricted only to parents and the general public. It is also a great service for professionals across the Region. Physicians and other health providers, school professionals and child care professionals can receive access to evidence-based information and resources for patients and families, information about the Health Department’s programs and services, linkages to other local organizations, how to refer patients and families to services, and much more.

Establishing FHIL has been part of the Region’s Citizen’s Priorities Action Plan as a key initiative to enhance access to health information and services for residents in Halton. And because our public health nurses also work in the community, FHIL nurses can link you to the programs and services offered by many other agencies and organizations. FHIL allows the Health Department to be more inclusive, efficient and customer friendly.

So, to access the Family Health Information Line, simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000 and ask for the Family Health Information Line. You can also email one of the nurses at familyhealthinfo@halton.ca. To find out more about the line, visit www.halton.ca/fhil. Devon, Cindy, Nicole, Hilary, Kirsty, Andrea, and Tamara—are waiting to help you!

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Hats off to Halton’s Physicians

May 1, 2011 was the first ever Doctors’ Day in Ontario External Link. The date was chosen to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Emily Stowe, the first female physician in Canada. Reza Moridi, MPP Richmond Hill, successfully introduced the motion to the Ontario Legislature last month to formally recognize the incredible work that doctors do.

In Halton, we have celebrated Physician Appreciation Week for nine years. During this week, May 2 to 6, 2011, Halton Region and local hospitals recognize physicians for their contribution to our community.  The week was originally designated by the Halton Physician Recruitment program which was established in 2002 to ensure residents have access to effective health services today and in the future.  Since its inception, the program has helped bring over 130 new family doctors to Halton.

Halton physicians keep our community healthy and thriving.  We are fortunate to have such excellent medical care available. During Halton Physician Appreciation Week, we join together as a community to say thank you to all of Halton’s dedicated physicians.

As an additional gesture of appreciation, this year Halton Region partnered with the Doctors’ Hockey Club and the Alzheimer Society of Hamilton Halton External Link to host Docs on Ice External Link, an annual fundraising doctors’ hockey tournament.  Doctors volunteer in the community through events such as Docs on Ice, helping to make Halton a wonderful place to live, work, raise a family and retire.  The tournament brought over 900 doctors and medical students to Halton in April. With the help of local volunteers, the Docs on Ice raised $150,000 for the Alzheimer Society of Hamilton Halton.

There was a wonderful feeling of camaraderie throughout the three-day event. I know this same spirit exists among the physician community as a whole, and contributes to its success here in Halton. 

Once again, thank you to all of Halton’s physicians.  We very much appreciate your role in keeping Halton healthy.

To see a list of newly recruited doctors who are accepting patients across Halton, visit www.halton.ca/newphysicians. To find out more about Halton Physician Appreciation Week or Halton Region’s Physician Recruitment Program, contact Angela Sugden-Praysner, Physician Recruitment Coordinator, by dialing 311 or 905-825-6000, or visit www.haltondoctors.ca External Link.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Physician Recruitment program scores high

Halton Region’s Physician Recruitment program has attracted and retained an impressive number of physicians. Since 2003, the program has helped bring over 130 new family doctors to Halton. In addition, several family physicians have been recruited to cover long term locums, such as maternity leaves, and several other new family physicians have established part time practices in the area.

The Physician Recruitment program addresses the issue of family medicine physician recruitment, ensuring the delivery of effective health services to Halton residents today and in the future. The program has enjoyed tremendous success: over 20 family physicians have established their practice in Halton over the past year. To see a list of newly recruited doctors who are accepting patients across Halton, visit www.halton.ca/newphysicians.

An increased patient demand, an ageing population, planned physician retirement, changing physician practice patterns and a projected population growth in Halton of 25 per cent by 2019, mean that the need for new physicians will continue.

An award winning marketing and promotion strategy for the Physician Recruitment program includes, among other things, community tours and physician meetings for prospective family physicians, a website, participation in trade shows, recruiting events and an advertising campaign. This year’s campaign also includes sponsorship of Docs on Ice External Link, an annual fundraising doctors’ hockey tournament.

As a former hockey player, I’m really looking forward to this event, and to be able to showcase Halton as a tourism destination of choice.

The Doctors’ Hockey Club, host for the 2011 tournament, is made up of Halton, Hamilton and Mississauga hockey-playing doctors.  With the help of local volunteers, the tournament raises funds through a combination of registration fees, sponsorship, donations and special events. Funds raised through Docs on Ice Oakville 2011 will support the Alzheimer Society of Hamilton Halton.

A number of NHL Alumni will be honoured guests at Docs on Ice Oakville 2011 including former captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs Wendel Clark and two-time Vezina Trophy winner Johnny Bower.

You can learn more about the tournament by visiting www.docsonice.ca External Link.  For more information on Halton Region’s physician recruitment program, visit www.haltondoctors.ca External Link, dial 311, 905-825-6000, ext. 7929, toll free 1-866-442-5866, or TTY 905-827-9833.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”