Weekly Newsletter: February 6, 2023

Dear HFAM Colleagues,

Last Thursday morning the Ontario government released Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care. Per their announcement, “the plan focuses on providing people with a better health care experience by connecting them to more convenient options closer to home while shortening wait times for key services across the province and growing the health care workforce for years to come.” So what does this mean for primary care? The big take aways are:

  • OHTs will be tasked with expanding team-based primary care. An investment of $30 million will be used to create interprofessional primary care teams and to help bridge the gap in accessing team-based care for vulnerable, marginalized and unattached patients.

  • OHTs will be tasked with creating a primary care network to be part of decision-making and to improve access to care for patients.

  • 1,200 physicians will be added to family health organizations (FHOs) over the next 2 years.

  • Over the next 2 years, access to training will be expanded for nurses by adding up to 500 registered practical nurses, 1,000 registered nurse training spots, and adding 150 education seats for nurse practitioners to help create faster access to primary care.

We will be delving more into the impacts of this plan on primary care at our March Town Hall, but in the meantime, if you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out (

With deep appreciation for all that you do,

Brian, Cathy, Dee, Kati, Scott, Tammy,

Your GHHN Primary Care Executive

Newsletter Highlights:

  • Black History Month

  • Educational Update

    • HFAM Rounds for February 2023

    • Past HFAM Round Presentations

  • A Fond and Grateful Farewell to Dr. Dee Mangin

  • Primary Care Nursing and PA Environmental Community of Practice

  • Health811 (Formerly ‘Telehealth’)

  • Gastroenterology Centralized Referral Service

Black History Month

In our commitment to celebrating Black Excellence, addressing the injustices faced and amplifying the voices and narratives across the Black community, each February HFAM newsletter will include learning opportunities and materials with which we invite you to engage. We hope you can find space in your busy schedule to attend a virtual event, watch a video, listen to a podcast, and/or reflect. This is a time that calls for learning and unlearning as individuals, practitioners, and a primary care community. If you have resources or events you would like shared, please email us at

Author Rebecca Skloot publicized Ms. Lacks’ story in her book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks in 2010, and her story was turned into a film of the same title in 2017, starring Oprah Winfrey. In 2021, the World Health Organization posthumously awarded Henrietta Lacks the WHO Director General’s award, recognizing her world-changing legacy. As the WHO stated: “In honoring Henrietta Lacks, WHO acknowledges the importance of reckoning with past scientific injustices, and advancing racial equity in health and science. It’s also an opportunity to recognize women - particularly women of colour - who made incredible but often unseen contributions to medical science.”

If you would like to learn more about Henrietta Lacks, you can:

Written by Anjali Menezes


  • Black History Month Storytellers’ Symposium

    • Date: Thursday February 23, 8-10AM

    • Additional details can be found here.

    • Register here.

  • Diversity Through the Eyes of Stories

    • Date: Monday, February 27, 4-5PM

    • Additional details can be found here.

    • Register here.

  • Reverend John C Holland Awards

    • Date: Saturday, February 18, 5:30PM

    • Additional details, including how to register, can be found here.

  • A Black History of Hamilton and Ancaster - Hamilton Speaker Series

    • Date: Tuesday, February 21, 7-8PM

    • Additional details can be found here.

    • Register here.

  • Celebrating Black Resistance - Black History

    • Date: Wednesday, February 22, 5:30-7:30PM

    • Additional details can be found here.

    • Register here.

Educational Update:

HFAM Rounds Schedule - February 2023

  • Wednesday, February 8:

    • Fatty Liver, What’s the Big Deal?

    • Presented by: Dr. Subhas Ganguli

  • Wednesday, February 15:

    • Contraception Update

    • Presented by: Dr. Dustin Costescu

  • Wednesday, February 22:

    • Substance Use Disorder in Pregnancy - Tips and Resources

    • Presented by: Dr. Amie Davis and Dr. Suzanne Turner

Click here to view/download the February schedule with Zoom Link information.

Past HFAM Round Presentations:

  • Approach to Personality Disorders in Primary Care (Dr. Jon Davine) - Slide Deck

  • Palliative Medicine: An Approach to Difficult Conversations (Dr. Samantha Winemaker) - Slide Deck

A Fond and Grateful Farewell to Dr. Dee Mangin website which she was also instrumental in creating and maintaining. Patients cared for by their family doctors in this way had better outcomes – and fewer deaths – than those without this kind of access. What a powerful demonstration of the power of the continuity based relationship between a patient and their family doctor and/or primary care team!

Dee’s contribution to the academic Department of Family Medicine in her role as Professor, Associate Chair, Research and David Braley and Nancy Gordon Chair in Family Medicine are too numerous to outline here. She will be dearly missed by her colleagues, students and the deep friendships she has formed during her time here.

Dee has been called back to New Zealand to be a loving daughter and carer for her mother. Hamilton will always be her second “home” – and we look forward to maintaining virtual connections and ongoing friendships with Dee for years to come.

Ten years isn’t a long time to leave a lasting legacy – but Dee’s impact will continue to reverberate in many corners.

Primary Care Nursing and PA Environmental Community of Practice

Register Here

Health811 (Formerly ‘Telehealth’)

On January 30th, Dr. Sacha Bhatia, Senior Vice President, Population Health and Value Based Health Systems, Ontario Health, released a memo regarding Health811. You can view the full memo, which outlines its services here.

If you are having issues with the service or getting feedback from your patients, please let us know by emailing us at

Gastroenterology Centralized Referral Service

The Gastroenterology Service at HHS recently reached out to remind us that there is a centralized referral service for family physicians. Using the centralized referral service ensures that patients receive the most appropriate care for their condition in the most efficient manner possible. Currently wait times for diagnostics are quite short with capacity to see urgent patients in 1-2 weeks.

By referring your patients for diagnostics via this centralized referral service you can be assured that results will be followed up by specialists in the 2F Digestive Diseases Clinic.

To refer to the Gastroenterology Centralized Service you can use the HHS referral form found at: Or you can fax a generic referral to 905 526 0594. The target for triaging urgent referrals is within 24 hours. You can select a specific GI provider to send the referral to, or if you indicate “any GI,” the referral will be triaged to the first available appointment. Please ensure that the referral is complete.

If a patient needs to be seen in the Urgent GI Clinic within 1 week, referring providers can call or email our Nurse Navigator (Phone: 905 521 2100 Ext. 76933 or Email: to facilitate the booking.

Important Contact Details:

Missed a Past Newsletter?

We know our inboxes are all bursting at the seams and it can be easy to miss a newsletter. In an effort to make HFAM communications easier for you to find, we’ve added a Newsletter Archives section on our website here.