Fireside Chat: Enhancing Primary Care Delivery in the Inner City Through Interprofessional Team Work

CHHRN FireSideCs

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Brief Description:

Interprofessional collaboration increasingly plays a key role in effective primary care delivery models across North America, including Family Medicine teaching sites.  Collaborative, team-based care has been demonstrated to improve: access, the quality of care, patient satisfaction, health care outcomes; employee retention and satisfaction with work-related quality of life. This has further led to more efficient and effective utilization of health care resources.  In addition, in order for future health professional trainees to be collaborative practice-ready graduates they require a comprehensive understanding of how to work as a team, each others’ practice roles and scopes and the importance of non-hierarchical health team structures. 

The panel will describe the evolution of an interprofessional model of primary healthcare delivery within a hospital-based setting. The DFCM provides services to the inner-city community of Toronto through 5 clinical sites located conveniently in the downtown east core. Our model of care incorporates patient- and family-centered approach; interprofessional collaboration; incorporation of advanced communication technology, and accessible evidence-based care and research. Evaluation of our efforts has proved emancipating for both patients and clinicians —with the delivery of integrative healthcare services, improved coordination of care, enhanced patient outcomes and satisfaction, improved quality of work life for our health professional team, and patient/family empowerment in self-help strategies. The session will describe our experiences in building our integrative healthcare team including interprofessional team development, faculty development and our interprofessional education programs for mixed health professional learners. Opportunities and challenges to the development of our integrative model of primary care will also be described. Specific strategies that have facilitated success in our experience will be shared.


Dr. Deborah Kopansky-Giles is a chiropractor/researcher on staff in the Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM) at St. Michael’s Hospital and is a Professor at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College.  Dr. Kopansky-Giles coordinates the chiropractic program in the DFCM and co-leads the department’s Interprofessional Education Working Group and interprofessional team development for the DFCM.  In addition, she is actively involved in conducting research on modelling in IPC and IPE.

Dr. Fok-Han Leung is a family physician in the DFCM at St. Michael’s Hospital and on faculty at the University of Toronto (U of T), Faculty of Medicine, DFCM.  He is the past medical lead for the 80 Bond Health Centre.  Dr. Leung is in active clinical practice in addition to teaching family medicine residents and conducting research on innovative models of collaborative practice and the use of technology to support interprofessional team work.

Dr. Kelly Horner is a psychologist and an adjunct faculty member of Ryerson University. She is the Director of the Psychology Training Clinic that services all five DFCM’s.  Dr. Horner coordinates practicum, provides supervision and Interprofessional training to all practicum students from Ryerson University’s Graduate Clinical Psychology Program. She is involved in research that is focused on the integration of this model.

Who should attend:

The Fireside Chat will serve as a opportunity for policy makers, leaders of primary care organizations, front line providers and researchers to learn about an innovative IP model of primary care at St. Michael’s Hospital and to discuss the challenges and opportunities for successful patient-centred health team collaboration.


St. Michael’s Hospital:


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Health Canadacihr logo1This initiative has been generously funded by grants from Health Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the funders.