Exploring needs in the District of Thunder Bay

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The District of Thunder Bay became home to a new Service Collaborative in September 2016. To help guide the Service Collaborative’s system improvement efforts, a capacity assessment is currently being conducted with the help of PSSP. The capacity assessment is an evaluation tool that helps communities explore their needs, skills, strengths and resources. PSSP does this by examining statistics about the community and holding interviews and focus groups to learn more about the local system.

“At the local level, the capacity assessment helps to lay the path for the required work to move toward a goal or shared vision,” says Karen MacCon, Acting Director of Performance Management and Evaluation Research at PSSP. “It is a critical first step when exploring what intervention the community may land on to address a specific issue.”

In the District of Thunder Bay, the Service Collaborative is focusing on adults. The capacity assessment identified the following challenges that the community may want to focus on:

  • Community capacity
  • Transition of care and discharge planning
  • Accessibility
  • Equity

Because the District of Thunder Bay covers a vast area and includes remote communities, the Service Collaborative is also considering the unique geographic challenges facing clients, families, and service providers in the District. For their own collaborative work, they are finding creative ways to overcome this challenge, such as holding meetings via videoconference.

“Despite these complex system challenges, stakeholders in the District of Thunder Bay are open and willing to participate in the Service Collaborative because they are ready and want change,” says Sharon LaBonte-Jaques, Acting Manager, North West Regional Implementation Team.


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