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Home > news > Durham Mental Health & Rouge Valley recognized on Minister’s Medal honour roll

Nov. 20, 2014 — Durham Mental Health Services (DMHS) and Rouge Valley Health System (RVHS) have been placed on the Minister’s Medal Honour Roll for their integration of services making care more accessible to patients in their communities.

Awards for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s 2014 Minister’s Medal Honouring Excellence in Health Quality and Safety were announced today, including Honour Roll recipients across the province. As part of the Honour Roll, the joint RVHS-DMHS integration initiative is being showcased today at the Minister’s Medal booth, at Health Quality Transformation event in Toronto. The Durham Mental Health and Rouge Valley service integration will also be highlighted on the ministry’s website.

Deborah Hammons, chief executive officer of the Central East Local Health Integration Network (Central East LHIN), says, “This type of integration, where organizations from different sectors work together to improve the patient experience, is exactly the type of system change that the LHIN has been leading for the past eight years. Because of improved communication, better coordination of their resources and collaborative planning, Durham Mental Health Services and Rouge Valley Health System are making a real difference in the lives of people, who have mental health and addictions needs.” She adds, “This is aligned with the LHIN’s goal of  ‘Community First’ in supporting local residents to spend more time in their homes and in their own communities. Congratulations to everyone at DMHS and RVHS for being recognized at this year’s Health Quality Transformation event.”

Rob Adams, executive director of Durham Mental Health Services, “We thank Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins for honouring our integration of services with Rouge Valley. Durham Mental Health and Rouge Valley’s teamwork to make mental health services more available in the community is an excellent example of what healthcare providers need to do more of for our communities.”

Adams adds, “The Central East LHIN set a clear direction for local health service providers to identify and develop integrations that would improve the patient/client experience and lead to better community health. We strove to achieve these outcomes through integration with RVHS and are proud that this important work is being recognized at the provincial level.”

Cheryl Williams, vice-president of acute and post-acute care services (including mental health) at Rouge Valley, says, “This recognition by Minister Hoskins is terrific acknowledgement of the work by DMHS and RVHS for our clients. The recognition will encourage us to do more integrations for the benefit of our communities.”

She says, “Our joint initiative makes it possible for more people to be cared for in their community. With DMHS, we are leading the way in how mental health services need to be offered to best support people in the community.”

Williams adds, “Hospital crisis services are already heavily used. The continuing integration of community services with DMHS puts patients in the right place at the right time and reduces the load on our very busy hospital emergency departments and inpatient mental health services. In short, it’s much better for clients and it’s a much better use of the healthcare system’s resources.”

RVHS-DMHS: Strong history of integration for patients

Thanks to new funding from the Central East Local Health Integration Network (Central East LHIN) earlier this year, Rouge Valley was able to transfer funds for a new full-time nurse to work with mental health patients in the community.

The new full-time nursing position at DMHS will be integrated with Rouge Valley’s Assertive Community Treatment Team (ACTT) in its Stepped Care service. Stepped Care is a mental health treatment model that provides support to clients who are ready to leave the intensity of ACTT care, but who require some transitional support as they move to a less intensive model of service. The program helps people live in the community while receiving mental health care.

The latest initiative between RVHS and DMHS builds on their recent history of collaboration. Since 2011, RVHS transfers $200,000 a year to DMHS toward staffing a community crisis location in Ajax, again allowing people to be treated in the community rather than having to come to the hospital. The funding transfer is part of the Central East LHIN’s One Per Cent challenge initiative.

A strong, collaborative working relationship already exists between RVHS and DMHS, including these examples of service integration for clients:

  • RVHS’ continued financial support of the community crisis location in Ajax ($200,000 per year since 2011);
  • DMHS’s on-site case managers in place at both RVHS hospital campuses – Rouge Valley Centenary in Scarborough, and Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering in Ajax;
  • A cross-appointed geriatric psychiatrist working at both hospital campuses;
  • Shared office space from Rouge Valley in Pickering, as part of development of a hub site for service that will include ACTT, case management, peer support and day programing for mental health clients. DMHS also provides ACTT and Telehealth Ontario with a community satellite site;
  • New Leaf Day Program is a joint initiative between Rouge Valley’s ACTT and DMHS providing mental health services during the day to clients.

Minister’s Medal program objectives

The Minister’s Medal Honouring Excellence in Health Quality and Safety is an annual program designed to recognize healthcare partners across the system who work collaboratively to put patients in the centre of the circle of care and promote system value through quality. In addition to recognizing excellence, the program also provides an opportunity to share and spread successes across regions/settings.

Rouge Valley Health System (RVHS) — The best at what we do.

Rouge Valley Health System is an excellent acute care community hospital with many programs, including 24/7/365 emergency, obstetrics, paediatrics, surgery, mental health and regional cardiac care. Rouge Valley consists of several health sites, including two community hospital campuses: Rouge Valley Centenary in Scarborough; and Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering in west Durham. Together, a team of physicians, nurses and many other professionals care for a broad spectrum of health conditions. Working in consultation and partnership with community members, other hospitals, health care organizations, the Central East Local Health Integration Network and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Rouge Valley continues to improve its programs and cater to the needs of the growing communities of east Toronto, Pickering, Seaton, Ajax and Whitby.  

About Durham Mental Health Services

Serving Durham Region for over 20 years, Durham Mental Health Services (DMHS) offers a range of programs to help individuals and families manage the impact of mental illness and work towards recovery. Services include immediate crisis support, longer-term supportive housing, case management, mental health court support and specialized services for families. DMHS works in partnership with local healthcare and human service providers to deliver accessible, coordinated, and person-centred care. For more information, visit their website at

Contacts –

David Brazeau
Director, Public Affairs, Community Relations & Telecommunications
Public Affairs and Community Relations
Rouge Valley Health System

David Clarke
Coordinator, Training and Communications
Durham Mental Health Services
905-666-0831, ext. 3242