Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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St. Joseph's Care Group

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Ontario Providing One-Time Funding to Support Alternative Level of Care and Patient Flow

Province providing funding to support Alternative Level of Care and Patient Flow initiatives

Province providing funding to support Alternative Level of Care and Patient Flow initiatives
Province providing funding to support Alternative Level
of Care and Patient Flow initiatives

Date: 2024-02-15

Thunder Bay, ON - Thunder Bay - The Ontario government is providing $4,688,980 in funding to support the Alternative Level of Care (ALC) and Patient Flow initiatives in Thunder Bay for 2023-24. Funding will be provided to St. Joseph's Care Group for Admission Diversion and Discharge Supports, which will assist with increased home, community and behavioural supports.

This investment is part of the $131 million one-time funding that is used to reduce ALC cases and support patient flow from hospitals to more appropriate settings.

"This funding from the Ministry of Health further demonstrates our government's commitment to supporting the work of our healthcare leaders as they deliver holistic, innovative models of care," said Kevin Holland, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan. "St. Joseph's Care Group will use this funding to increase capacity in delivering more appropriate patient diversion pathways to the varied populations of their vast service area. We wish to thank The Honourable Syliva Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, for her prudent leadership in enabling the reduction of ALC cases and improved patient flow, thereby moving us that much closer to achieving our collective goal of the right care, in the right place, at the right time."

"When it comes to the healthcare needs of our region, funding that allows for innovation and local solutions is crucial. This $4.6 million investment has increased capacity for care closer to home across Northwestern Ontario, provided more care in the right place for people whose needs are not best met in a hospital, and enabled earlier interventions to keep people healthier, longer." Janine Black, President & CEO of St. Joseph's Care Group.

These initiatives were launched in 2022-23 to support health system and recovery, with current projections show a reduction of approximately 2200 ALC cases by the end of this fiscal year.

Media Contact

Karson Cameron, Director of Communications
Office of Kevin Holland, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan

 Kevin Holland, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan
Kevin Holland, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan


On February 15, 2024, the Ontario government announced $4.6 million in one year (2023-2024) funding to increase capacity for care closer to home across Northwestern Ontario, provide more care in the right place for people whose needs are not best met in a hospital, and enable earlier interventions to keep people healthier, longer.

How St. Joseph's Care Group is meeting local and regional needs with this investment can be grouped into two categories: Admission Diversion and Discharge from Hospital With Supports.

Admission Diversion

Willow Place Community Transitional Care Unit - $2,264,900

Willow Place is a 32-bed community-based transitional care unit for people who no longer require specialized care in hospital and are waiting for appropriate space in the community to become available. Appropriate spaces can include supportive housing, long-term care, Indigenous housing, a return to home with modifications/renovations, or a return to their home community.

From opening in October 2022 through December 2023, Willow Place has admitted 112 clients with 79 people successfully moving to community.

Seniors Supportive Housing - $917, 080

This investment increases funding levels for supportive housing services. It means that seniors whose needs have changed will receive more services to continue to live as independently as possible in the community, delaying potential admission to long-term care. Examples of services include homemaking, personal support, security checks and care coordination services.

St. Joseph's Care Group operates two seniors' supportive housing apartment buildings, with 132 units at Sister Leila Greco Apartments, and 181 units at PR Cook Apartments.

North West Regional Rehabilitative Care Program - $190,000

The North West Regional Rehabilitative Care Program (RRCP) provides capacity-building, best practice education, and care management support. Coupled with outreach services to bridge physiotherapy and occupational therapy vacancies in the region, these strategies enable and elevate the standard level of care across Northwestern Ontario.

Between April and December of 2023, the RRCP has conducted 1,200 outreach service visits to more than 390 clients at 10 different sites. For people living in the region, it has saved 636,000km of travelling to receive care while reducing the wait time for post-surgical outpatient physiotherapy by 122 days.

Janine Black, President & CEO, St. Joseph's Care Group
Janine Black, President & CEO, St. Joseph's Care Group
Discharge from Hospital With Supports

Frailty Identification & Transition - $647,000

In partnership with Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC), early identification, screening and assessment of older adults at risk of frailty is conducted by a St. Joseph's Care Group geriatric-trained occupational therapist and physiotherapist in the emergency department, allowing for timely referrals or transitions to other care settings. For older adults, it means accessing the right care as soon as possible whether that is to home with supports, a referral to Seniors' Outpatient Services, or admission to St. Joseph's Hospital's Geriatric Assessment & Rehabilitative Care unit.

This funding also supports clients returning to community on completion of Geriatric Assessment & Rehabilitative Care through post-discharge services and therapeutic recreation. For older adults and their families, it instils the confidence to live well in the community, while also avoiding emergency department or hospital readmissions.

Behavioural Supports Ontario - $630,000

This funding has been primarily used to expand the reach of St. Joseph's Care Group's Psychogeriatric Resources Consultant (PRC) to grow capacity to provide safe, appropriate care for older adults who have or are at risk of responsive behaviours among hospitals and long-term care homes across Northwestern Ontario, including at Nipigon District Memorial Hospital and Geraldton District Hospital.

Responsive behaviours are actions, words or gestures presented by a person living with dementia as a way of responding to something negative, frustrating or confusing in their social and physical environment. By identifying and having a plan to avoid responsive behaviours, older adults are able to receive the care they deserve with dignity and respect. For providers, it means having the education, mentoring and supports they need to provide the best quality of care possible closer to home.

Bedsitter Program at PR Cook Apartments - $40,000

Following inpatient rehabilitative care at St. Joseph's Hospital, many people require outpatient rehabilitation after retuning home in order to complete their recovery. For people who live in the region, outpatient rehabilitation may not be available in their home community. The Bedsitter Program at PR Cook Apartments provides temporary accommodation and related expenses in an accessible environment with transitional services while they complete outpatient rehabilitation at St. Joseph's Hospital.

Unlike a hospital stay, the Bedsitter Program combines a homelike environment with outpatient rehabilitation, building confidence before returning home to the region. For the healthcare system, it means more inpatient beds are available for those in need, is more cost-effective than a hospital stay, and leads to more successful transitions back to community.

About St. Joseph's Care Group

St. Joseph's Care Group (SJCG) combines tradition and innovation in responding to the unmet needs of the people of Northwestern Ontario since 1884. Offering a broad range of programs and services in Mental Health & Addictions, Rehabilitative Care, and Seniors' Health across eight sites in the City of Thunder Bay and through our regional leadership roles, we continue advancing our vision to become a leader in client-centred care by being here for our clients, our people, our partners, and our future. With over 2,200 staff and growing, we pride ourselves on maintaining our core values of Care, Compassion, and Commitment. We are recognized as a leader in delivering safe, high-quality health care and have been Accredited with Exemplary Standing, the highest level awarded by Accreditation Canada.


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