Tuesday March 13, 2018

Voluntary Integration

Proposed Integration of Addiction Counselling Services

House of Friendship and St. Mary’s General Hospital announced a proposed plan to voluntarily integrate addiction counselling services. This proposal will be considered by the Waterloo-Wellington Local Integration Health Network (WWLHIN) at its regular board meeting on March 28, 2018.

This voluntary integration will see addiction counselling services currently provided by St. Mary’s Counselling Services transferred to House of Friendship, a local not-for-profit leader in providing addiction services throughout the Region of Waterloo.

This integration of services (from counselling through to treatment) with one provider provides an opportunity to improve service delivery by:

• Ensuring that existing services are maintained while increasing the ability to meet the more complex and varied needs of our community;

• Increasing access to addiction counselling services for men, women and their families, within the Region of Waterloo, including Cambridge;

• Providing increased ability for service participants to transition between different services and levels of care; and

• Minimizing the duplication of services within our community.

If approved by the WWLHIN board, as of June 1, 2018, House of Friendship will provide these addiction counselling services to men, women and their families within Waterloo Region who suffer from problematic substance use, including alcohol and drugs, as well as problem gambling.

This proposed plan has been developed through extensive consultation with the WWLHIN and builds on previous engagement with community stakeholders. Collectively, House of Friendship and St. Mary’s General Hospital have developed a plan to ensure a smooth transition.

“We are honoured to have the opportunity to build on the great work of the counselling staff of St. Mary’s General Hospital,” said Pam McIntosh, Addiction Services Director, at House of Friendship. “With this new model of service delivery, patients will enjoy smoother transitions between different levels of care.”

“St. Mary’s Counselling Service has a long history of serving program participants with compassion, dignity and respect,” said Sherri Ferguson, Vice President, Quality, People & Performance at St. Mary’s. “We are grateful to our dedicated staff for their years of devotion. We are confident that our participants will receive the same high quality and caring service with House of Friendship, and will benefit from additional services offered by the House of Friendship team, should our plan be supported by the WWLHIN.”

This proposal aligns with the ongoing mission of the WWLHIN, to lead a high-quality, integrated health system for Waterloo-Wellington residents. Integrated health systems lead to better health outcomes and better patient experiences, with greater continuity of care.

House of Friendship and St. Mary’s General Hospital are committed to working closely together to ensure a smooth transition, so that any participant in any recovery program today will experience a minimum of disruption and inconvenience. St. Mary’s Counselling staff will communicate with all current program and service participants personally, to provide the information they need to ensure clarity throughout the transition. is distributed twice weekly; Tuesday and Thursday

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