Our Priorities

In year 1, the Elgin OHT partners will focus on the respiratory health of Elgin county residents who are 65 and older. This population has been selected for a number of reasons, including:

  • 18.1% of Elgin County population is 65 years of age or older compared to 16.7% of Ontario residents [Source: Statistics Canada 2016 Census]. In the 15 year timeframe of 2016 to 2031, the growth in the 65+ age cohort is projected to be 60% [Source: Ministry of Finance, Spring 2018 Release];
  • prevalence of COPD in the population (7.7% compared to 4.1% for Ontario);
  • rate of hospitalizations due to COPD was higher in Elgin-St. Thomas compared to Ontario (2016: Elgin St. Thomas = 312.5 per 100,000 population and Ontario = 171.8 per 100,000 population);
  • mortality rate due to COPD was higher in Elgin St. Thomas compared to Ontario (2016: Elgin-St. Thomas = 44.1 per 100,000 population and Ontario = 26.6 per 100,000 population); and
  • more residents of Elgin-St. Thomas smoke compared to the province and the peer health units and rates are not decreasing over time.

Throughout Year 1, the Elgin OHT will adopt a health promotion and health equity focus as it offers care to the whole person and moves beyond the initial disease specific model. The model will adopt an upstream approach examining the social and environmental determinants of health with a focus on keeping people healthy and out of the hospital. This will reduce emergency department visits and hospital utilization, and will contribute to ending “hallway healthcare”.