In 2019-2020, Carlington enjoyed many achievements that are worthy of mention. We are pleased to share a few highlights:
When the six Ottawa Community Health Centres (CHC) embarked on the development of a collaborative strategic plan, it was done in anticipation of significant changes to the way that health and social services would be delivered in Ontario. As it turns out, the commitments to access, quality and leveraging of the collective capacity of the centres turned out to be the cornerstones of what would be a significant series of events that will shape the health care systems in Ottawa for the next generation.
With the Minister’s announcement in April 2019 of the Province’s shift to a model called “Ontario Health Teams” (OHT), the six CHCs recognized an opportunity to bring the strategic plan to life. The enthusiasm was and remains palpable.
After six more months of hard work, we received word on December 6, 2019, that the Ottawa Health Team/Équipe santé Ottawa, comprised of the six CHCs and over sixty community organizations had signed on as partners was designated as one of the first 23 OHTs in the Province. Two priority groups were identified for our efforts in the first year: people struggling with mental health and substance use disorders; and frail older adults. Action teams have been formed around both of these groups and work is underway, with Carlington supporting the work of both tables.
In April, we welcomed our new neighbours to the Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCH) apartments, which are part of the building expansion at 900 Merivale Road. Our staff ensured that the new residents were welcomed and made aware of the services of the CHC. The partnership with OCH is continuing to build as we share the responsibility of providing support for these tenants.
In March, after ten years of anticipation and work we finally received approval from the Ministry to begin work to fit out the new clinic; and then move on to the renovation of the “schoolhouse” on Merivale Road. The clinic will be completed in October 2020, and the entire project will be completed by December 2021. The new space and configuration will ensure enhanced access to clients, better space for our staff and a welcoming environment for our community.
In March, Carlington, along with all other community organizations in Ottawa was forced to make significant changes to its services, in light of the ravages of COVID-19. We moved quickly to address needs that emerged, as the reality of the situation became clear. During this time, staff were asked to pivot from their normal work and ensure that services continued to our most vulnerable neighbours, who were faced with circumstances that exceeded their capacity to cope. With the support of our funders, the teams responded with compassion, determination and professionalism; and literally everyone that needed our help received support. Substantial investments were made in virtual care, as we moved staff off-site and scaled back services at the centre. These changes have opened up new horizons for how we work, and in many cases they will actually enhance accessibility and remove barriers.
Much of the next fiscal year will be dedicated to the safe recovery from the pandemic—taking stock, understanding the new risks and responsibilities of the post-COVID-19 era; and ensuring that services remain strong and sustainable for those who seek us out.
We wish to thank our staff for their dedication, creativity and leadership; our Board for its support and guidance; our partners for the commitment to ensure that every gap was filled for our clients; our funders, particularly for offering the flexibility to offer seamless transitions to our pandemic response; our elected officials at all levels of government for their guidance and willingness to engage and help; and to our community for its generosity, in donations and in spirit.
To improve, support and promote the health and well-being of the people and diverse communities we serve.
A healthy and inclusive community for all.
CHAIR Linda Savoie
VICE-CHAIR Louise Grace
TREASURER Alex Bushell
SECRETARY Anne-Marie Parent
PAST CHAIR Laurie Rektor
BOARD DIRECTORS Josée Charbonneau Jackie Choquette Brittany Fritsch Isabelle Sirois Christine Soon Nadine Valk Hieu Vu Jennifer Wilson
STAFF REPRESENTATIVE Hanady Rahme
Keeps clients out of hospital: during the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the 85 clients receiving ACTT services spent 629 days in the hospital. In the two years before coming into the ACT program, those same clients spent 20,343 days in hospital.
Trains and develops new mental health professionals: the ACT Team hosted three psychiatry residents, two medical students, one physician assistant and a student working toward a Master or Social Work degree.
Worked hard to make the tenants in the apartments at 1290 Coldrey Avenue feel welcome and comfortable in their new homes. They hosted social and recreational activities to build the community and meet the needs of the seniors who are our neighbours.
With community partners, many community events were held to bring people together for fun and to tell them about what supports they can get at our agencies.
Built on the strong harm reduction program and added the support of peer workers in the community to provide safe use supplies and information about addictions services.
Continued to support women in abusive relationships with counseling and referrals.
Continued to support our youth with mental health counseling, with special supports for transgender youth.
Welcomed children and parents to its brand new early years playroom, which opened in January. The room was built to offer EarlyON play groups and family support services.
Saw the Annavale Headstart Program expand its use of outdoor play with children by taking them to explore nature and get dirty!
Enjoyed another successful year for the SWAG program, where students completed their high school diplomas, despite having to work through COVID-19.
Moved to a new Electronic Medical Record (EMR), which took some time to get used to; but is now allowing the clinical team to be more efficient in their work.
Served 2,755 unique clients with 16,752 appointments—this included 80 brand new clients.
Gave 607 vaccinations to children; gave 736 flu shots to clients; and completed 84 home visits to clients who could not make it into the clinic.
Ensured that everyone doing the frontline work had the tools they needed to get it done: a safe, functional building; a new clinic being built, finance, payroll and HR support.
Presented yet another clean audit to the Finance Committee and to the Board!
CCHC recognizes the importance of our volunteers as essential in forging the bond between the Centre and our clients. Volunteers represent the mortar between the bricks of our building, supporting the foundation and the purpose, year after year.
Between April 2019 and March 2020, we had 118 volunteers contribute more than 4,000 hours in 28 different positions, including seven new roles! For the first time in years, volunteers could be found supporting every team at the Centre.
Every year we give a special mention and celebration to those who have joined our 300 Club of those who have surpassed 300 hours in sharing their time with us. This year we recognized Sheena C. and Frances T. One volunteer achieved another milestone contributing over 600 hours! Thank you Alice Z.
The Annavale Headstart Program offers child care and school-readiness programming to children aged 2-4 for families that are impacted by many systemic barriers, preventing them from accessing the excellent care their children need. The teachers and support staff have adopted a ranged of evidence-informed strategies to mitigate the affects of the social determinants of health and of ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences). The team has also made outdoor learning a key part of the children’s experience at Annavale, with weekly trips to parks and forests, to explore and thrive.
Annavale Headstart started offering an extended program allowing for earlier drop-off and later pick-up of our little pre-schoolers, thereby enabling several families to find meaningful employment, and facilitating enrollment in adult study programs for others.
Annavale also kick-started its partnership with Crossroads Children Mental Health Centre and First Words for on-site services. Both organizations are working at Annavale, with teachers, children, and their families to ensure optimal specialized support services are easily accessible.
The commitment and ingenuity of the staff was integral during he COVID-19 response, as they maintained contact with families virtually, and created YouTube channels that included play-along activities with the teachers they know so well! With all that these children will face during the pandemic recovery, they will know that they can count on the support of Annavale through their journey.