• News
  • April 30, 2018

Ontario Investing Additional $1 Million to Expanded Primary Health Care Services in Thunder Bay and Atikokan

Ontario Investing in More Primary Care, Nurses, Mental Health Across the Province

NEWS                                                                                                                    April 30, 2018

Ontario is providing more people with better access to high-quality health care closer to home, with an expanded team of health care professionals coming to Thunder Bay and Atikokan.

Over $1 million in new funding is being invested to expand services offered by NorWest Community Health Centre and Atikokan Family Health Team to connect people with a range of health care professionals and address a broad variety of healthcare needs, including mental health and chronic disease management.

For NorWest Community Health Centre the funding will be used to serve unattached and complex patients in the City of Thunder Bay including individuals with multimorbidity, mental health and addictions needs, and seniors, in addition to Indigenous populations and new immigrants.

Expanded services include chronic disease education and management, smoking cessation including mental health, and harm reduction, as well as programs specific for LGBTQ, seniors, and Indigenous populations, in addition to adopting care coordination and a Health Links approach to care.

For Atikokan Family Health Team the funding will be used to serve unattached and complex clients in the District of Rainy River, including individuals with low socioeconomic status, multimorbidity, and the Indigenous and rural populations. An estimated 700 additional patients to be rostered from this Family Health Team expansion by December 2019.

Services and programs include chronic disease management, mental health and addictions, and palliative care, while adopting a Health Links approach to care.

Team-based health care clinics help empower patients and their families and encourage them to be active participants in living healthy lives. Ontario is creating new and expanded primary care programs and services in order to respond to the health and social service needs of communities across the province, including Franco-Ontarians, newcomers and seniors.

Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.


“I am proud that our government continues to invest in health services in Northwestern Ontario. I want to congratulate the North West LHIN, NorWest Community Health Centre and Atikokan Community Health Team for their dedication to the health and well-being of residents in our community and commitment to health equity, quality, and patient-centered care; reducing barriers to access for vulnerable populations; providing proactive, coordinated care; enabling continuous comprehensive care; and building and expanding a high-quality primary health care system.”

— Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan

“Our government is committed to ensuring everyone in Ontario has access to high-quality primary care, closer to home. The support of interprofessional primary care teams in the community is an important and significant step toward achieving this goal.”

— Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“The North West LHIN advances health equity and patient centred-care through improved access to primary care services for the people of Northwestern Ontario. The expansion of interprofessional care teams will continue to build a high quality primary health care system that is tailored to individual communities, patients and families.”

— Laura Kokocinski, CEO, North West LHIN


  • In the 2017 Budget, the province made a commitment of $15.5 million for 2017-18 and an additional 27.8 million in 2018-19 to create and expand interprofessional primary care teams (Family Health Teams, Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics, Community Health Centres) focusing on areas with the greatest needs. 
  • Ontario has also committed $329.2 million over five years to recruit and retain interprofessional primary care professionals.
  • There are currently 294 interprofessional care teams across Ontario delivering care to more than four million people.
  • The province is providing $23 million per year over three years to improve care coordination for complex patients through the Health Links initiative.


Health Links

Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care

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