Apr 12, 2023
It is important to acknowledge that disability is a natural and inevitable part of the human experience. However, our society's ableism perpetuates the isolation and exclusion of individuals who cannot contribute to the economy in traditional ways.
A "campus of care" is a concept that refers to a coordinated and integrated approach to providing a range of healthcare and social services to a community in a centralized location. This could include various healthcare providers, such as primary care physicians, specialists, mental health professionals, and social workers, as well as services like childcare, elder care, and affordable housing.
The University Health Network has obtained a city lease on a piece of land where 13 residential properties are situated, with an estimated value of $25 million, in order to create affordable and supportive housing in Parkdale. The properties, which include semi-detached houses, duplexes, single detached homes, and a vacant lot, would be leased to the city at below market value for 49 years.
The city would then redevelop the properties, with the goal of preventing health issues by addressing poverty and improving access to housing, mental health services, and primary care. This initiative is aimed at safeguarding the valuable Parkdale properties from private developers and dedicating the land to "social medicine."
A key aspect of this strategy is to support a campus of care through an affordable real estate strategy using community land trusts that incorporate affordable rates for commercial and residential tenancy, we can create a more cohesive community by adopting universal design principles that prioritize accessibility for all, investing in public transportation, walkable neighborhoods, and community engagement.
Across Toronto, campuses of care will prioritize the recruitment and retention of healthcare workers through affordable housing options and job incentives, as well as creating a supportive work environment with adequate staffing, competitive salaries, and benefits.
A building might have ground-level retail or office space for healthcare providers, with affordable housing units on the upper floors.
Employers could offer student loan repayment programs, professional development opportunities, and flexible scheduling.
To address the shortage of affordable childcare spaces in Toronto, the city plans to work in collaboration to establish a network of community-operated childcare co-ops that are publicly owned. These co-ops will be run democratically by elected members and staffed by educators, providing a range of benefits to families who participate.
In order to expand access to healthcare services and increase funding for early childhood education, the city will apply for federal transfer payments to provide support for families with children who have disabilities, and develop outreach and training programs to demystify gendered caretaking for parents and guardians.
To improve communication and provide clearer information on childcare availability, the city will focus on standardization and centralization of services, while also exploring public ownership as an important aspect of this plan.
Between 1960 and 1976, almost two-thirds of Canada's beds for people with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities were closed as part of the deinstitutionalization policy. This policy aimed to provide mental health care in the community instead of asylums.
Supportive modular housing and the "Stepped Care" concept can assist mobile crisis workers in providing care and shelter to vulnerable populations within a Campus of Care. The Stepped Care Concept offers personalized care and services to meet individual needs, while Crisis Management Teams respond to crisis situations. Collaborative partnerships with community organizations can also provide additional support services.
By implementing these strategies, negative interactions between individuals and law enforcement can be reduced, and a more supportive pathway to stable housing and better health outcomes can be provided. Improving the implementation of Paramedicine and Community Care, harm reduction training, multi-agency planning, consultation protocols, and occupational health and safety can further improve the care of vulnerable populations.
Creating an age-ready neighborhood is essential for older adults to age in place and maintain their independence. To achieve this, there are several key elements to consider, such as providing a variety of housing options, healthcare services, social activities, and ensuring accessibility. The Village, located in Langley, BC, is Canada's first Dementia village-style residence specializing in supporting those with memory-related conditions. Dementia villages are inspired by similar communities that reduce social isolation and promote social inclusion for both older adults and children, surrounded by secured grounds.
Using the Age-Readiness Innovation Fund can provide businesses and employers with resources to become more age-friendly. Adopting age-friendly street design, ongoing funding for support services, and partnerships with local organizations are crucial steps in achieving an age-ready neighborhood. With the support of organizations, we can create an affordable, accessible, and high-quality community for older adults.
Toronto Public Health and Hospital-Affiliated Care
As our population continues to age, it is imperative that we prioritize universal design and accessibility in all aspects of our lives. This is not only a matter of creating a more just and equitable society, but also a matter of ensuring our own future peace and security.
Providing accessible and comprehensive healthcare services through a campus of care can positively impact the perception of public healthcare and safety in communities. Centralizing a range of services can alleviate the pressure on emergency departments and other healthcare facilities, resulting in better health outcomes for individuals and the community as a whole.
Toronto Public Health (TPH) is partnering with community care providers from various sectors to promote disability rights in physical, social, and digital infrastructure. In addition, TPH can collaborate with health technologies like Empower Health, which operates iamsick.ca that allows users to filter healthcare providers based on location, hours of operation, language, and privacy preferences, thereby strengthening their privacy rights.
Additionally, TPH will leverage its revenue toward upscaling more grassroot volunteer organizations that rapidly develop projects like Vaccine Hunters who developed a website and leveraged social media that provided up-to-date information on vaccine availability and booking processes for different provinces and territories.
This will allow TPH to explore ethical and sustainable sources of revenue growth while also applying cost savings and improving information sharing systems within its hospital-affiliated campus of care network in several ways. Cooperation between Toronto Public Health and its network will produce:
By the gaps between "cradle to grave" healthcare in communities, TPH can support organizations like centralize registration and booking appointments, streamline services and reduce duplication of efforts, which can lead to cost savings. This can be achieved by coordinating services such as primary care, specialist care, social services, mental health, and rehabilitation services. The campus of care model can help to ensure that all of these services are provided in one location, which can improve efficiency and reduce costs.
The campus of care model can also help to integrate care across different providers, which can lead to better health outcomes for patients. This can be achieved by ensuring that providers have access to the same electronic health records, which can help to avoid errors and reduce duplication of services. Additionally, the campus of care can promote interprofessional collaboration, which can lead to better coordination of care and improved patient outcomes.
TPH has the potential to make money by leasing space on their campus to private healthcare providers and insurers. They can establish a data trust to manage data sharing while notifying individuals of their revenue generating and privacy rights. TPH can offer services such as data analysis and consulting to businesses and organizations interested in using the data. By using a mesh network and data trust, TPH can collect and utilize valuable health data and generate revenue to improve public health initiatives in Toronto. They will also apply for grants and funding from private and government sources to support their campus of care.
By providing a comprehensive range of services in one location, TPH can reduce the need for patients to travel to different locations to access care. This can reduce transportation costs for patients and can also reduce the need for TPH to provide transportation services. Additionally, by providing preventative care and early intervention services, TPH can reduce the need for costly hospitalizations and emergency room visits.
Toronto has the opportunity to lead the way in creating disability-friendly and age-ready infrastructure. Community organizations should work together to raise awareness about disability rights and advocate for their inclusion in all aspects of society. We need to integrate assistive technology, healthy food access initiatives, and home care services to support individuals with all types of disabilities and promote their independence.
Collaboration between healthcare providers, community organizations, and local governments can be fostered to address public health concerns and promote safety. TPH's campus of care model, affiliated with a hospital, has the potential to improve patient care and outcomes, generate revenue, and reduce costs to residents.