Chronic disease management and prevention are important components of good mental health. The North East Local Health Integration Network (NE LHIN) is addressing chronic conditions as a priority because people living in Northeast Ontario suffer from some of the highest rates of chronic disease in Ontario, and also have a higher percentage of people with risky health practices.
In Northeastern Ontario 53,000 people live with diabetes. That represents eight per cent of the population compared to six per cent in the rest of the province. In First Nations’ communities along the Hudson and James Bay Coasts, 24 per cent of the population lives with diabetes. With these alarming statistics, diabetes has been identified as a NE LHIN priority (Integrated Health Services Plan, 2010-2013.)
In October the NE LHIN hosted their first-ever Chronic Disease Prevention and Management Forum. Close to 100 people participated and shared best practices on the care and prevention of chronic diseases.
The four key forum themes were:
- Tools to better share information and increase access to chronic disease care in Northeastern Ontario
- Integration/collaboration opportunities among chronic disease health care providers
- How to implement a Common Referral and Assessment Tool across Northeastern Ontario
- Increasing access to chronic disease care in First Nation and Francophone communities
The input provided will assist in the creation of a new NE LHIN action plan for “Chronic Disease Prevention and Management.”
For information on the NE LHIN’s initiatives on chronic disease, go towww.nelhin.on.ca.