North West LHIN’s health system planning and funding functions are now part of Ontario Health, a government agency responsible for ensuring Ontarians continue to receive high-quality health care services where and when they need them.

Person-Centred Stories

The North West LHIN highlights success stories from dedicated health system partners who are working to improve health care service delivery for the people of Northwestern Ontario.  



Patient-Focused Care Planning

Donna has been living with chronic musculoskeletal injuries for much of her life. For support, she turned to home and community care services to help manage her symptoms. After suffering from joint and muscular pain for so long, which resulted in the loss of her career and income, Donna became a recipient of home and community care.


Improving Access to Care and Reducing Inequities

Brad had two surgeries through the North West LHIN Regional Orthopaedics Program. The program, which provides seamless, coordinated care to patients with conditions such as back pain, traumatic injuries, arthritis, and hip and knee osteoarthritis, helped Brad get back on his feet without having to travel.


Building an Integrated eHealth Framework, Electronic Health is a Vertical Enabler to Health Care system integration

Jill found herself managing numerous appointments for her father, who was ill. Between her visits with his doctor, the nurses that visited him at home and frequent trips to the emergency department, she often repeated his medical history and current treatment plans. “I find myself going through the same things. I have had to tell his story over and over again”.


Carmen Blais, Matawa Health Co-operative’s Clinical Coordinator Wins Prestigious Minister’s Medal

Carmen Blais, a Clinical Coordinator at Matawa Health Co-operative, has been awarded a 2018 Minister’s Medal for her dedicated efforts to improving health outcomes for Indigenous communities in Northwestern Ontario.

This is the first time an individual from the North West LHIN has been awarded a Minister’s Medal since the program’s inception in 2013.


Heather’s Story: Rehabilitative Care in North Caribou Lake First Nation

As part of her role with the North West Local Health Integrated Network Regional Rehabilitative Care Program at St. Joseph Care Group, Denise Taylor visited North Caribou Lake First Nation to help launch an Elder Exercise program in partnership with the community and the Victorian Order of Nurses Exercise and Falls Prevention program. A physiotherapist by training, Denise offered to help with any physiotherapy services while she was in the community. That is when Denise met Heather.


Gary Fraser, Peer Leader, Chronic Disease Self-Management Program

At the heart of the CDSMP are dedicated peer leaders like Gary Fraser. Workshop peer leaders skillfully facilitate the Stanford University evidence-based Self-Management Program over a six week period to groups of 8-16 participants who have one or more chronic condition.


Jim Greenaway, Superior North Emergency Medical Services

Jim Greenaway, coordinator and analyst for the Community Paramedicine program of Superior North EMS, explains further: “Our paramedics, who are all certified, operational paramedics, will go and visit that client, in their home. They will do a baseline physical assessment, do some education around chronic disease management, when to recognize that their condition is changing, maybe worsening, how to identify an early stages exacerbation.” When the paramedics identify those signs and symptoms, they work with primary care (or the most responsible care provider) to determine the next steps for care. If the patient has an action plan in place, the next steps could mean treatment in their own home.


Paula Verin, Community Paramedicine -Improving Access to Care while Reducing Hospital Pressures

The Community Paramedicine program was initiated in 2014 by the Ontario government. It is based primarily in the community, in patients’ homes, where patients at high-risk for hospital admissions, including people over the age of 65 with multiple chronic diseases including Congestive Heart Failure, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and diabetes.



Kaleen Torbiak, Moving Through Transitions in Care

In November of 2015, Kaleen Torbiak fell 100 feet into a flooded mine on the Atikokan snowmobile trails. There, she spent three nights with a broken leg and fractured skull before being found by Search and Rescue.


George Saarinen, A co-Chair with a Flair for Community

To know George Saarinen is to be connected to and engaged in the community. Never shy to offer an opinion, George has spent a lifetime being an active participant in his community.


Building Relationships and Capacity: Indigenous Health Lead, Pauline Mickelson

Pauline Mickelson, the North West LHIN’s newest Indigenous Health Lead, is excited to bring her experience, education and community relationships to help improve access to care and health outcomes for the Indigenous population in Northwestern Ontario.

The Journey to Recovery: Cierra Garrow

If you meet Cierra Garrow, you’ll be struck by her warm personality and well-spoken, confident voice. But it wasn’t always that way for the Kenora resident. She was diagnosed with a mental illness at the young age of six.

Mental Health and Addictions Nurses in Schools (MHAN): Miranda Thibeault, MHAN Nurse

Care providers in Northwestern Ontario often face unique challenges that come with a large geography and a dispersed population. The most common challenges are often related to access to care, and the barriers faced by the people of the region in accessing their care in a manner that is convenient, timely, and close to home.

Improving the Patient Care Experience: Jim Shearer, Patient of the Regional Orthopaedic Program

When Jim Shearer fell on some ice last winter, he knew knee surgery might follow. Having had multiple surgeries on his knees before, Jim booked an appointment with his doctor. But what Jim didn’t know was the level of coordinated care and one-on-one attention he was about to receive.

  Leaders from our Community: Heather Lee, CEO, Meno Ya Win Health Centre

For Heather Lee, taking on her new role as the CEO of Meno Ya Win Health Centre in Sioux Lookout was part of a natural progression. Originally a Registered Nurse (RN), Heather’s career has continued to evolve as she has sought out opportunities to have an ever-growing, positive impact on the health care system. 

A Day in the Life of a Home and Community Care Coordinator: Collaborative, Exciting and Rewarding

Like many Home and Community Care Coordinators, Kathryn MacIsaac will tell you that her role in the health care system is all about adaptability.

A Day in the Life of Home and Community Care Coordinator Cynthia McQuay

The work of Home and Community Care Coordinators is both varied, and essential to the delivery of home and community care in Northwestern Ontario.

A Nurse for All Seasons: Director of Home and Community Care, Operations, Placement and Complex Care

Samantha Moir began her career in health care in her hometown of Thunder Bay and never shied away from an opportunity to keep learning. Starting as a Personal Support Worker, Samantha continued on, earning her diploma in Nursing from Confederation College, followed by her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Lakehead University.

Making Forward Strides: New Vice President of Home and Community Care, Rakib Mohammed

As the North West LHIN embraces its new mandate to include Home and Community Care programs and services, it is pleased to introduce its first Vice President of Home and Community Care, Rakib Mohammed.

Karen Parent Director of Clinical Support Services, Meno Ya Win Health Centre

Like many leaders in Health Care, Karen Parent’s job is actually many jobs. As Director of Clinical Support Services for Meno Ya Win Health Centre, in Sioux Lookout, Karen has a multifaceted leadership role that extends across various departments, including admitting, health records, pharmacy, laboratory, diagnostic imaging and rehabilitation.

People, Programs and Passion: NorWest CHC Finds a New CEO in Juanita Lawson

Juanita Lawson took on her new role as CEO at the NorWest Community Health Centre (CHC), located in Thunder Bay’s south core on Simpson Street. Lawson had served as the Director of Clinical Services at NorWest for nearly eight years before moving into the CEO role.

Integration on the Front Line

Working as a front-line care provider in a small community presents unique challenges. But when that small community makes the effort to integrate health care with a focus on serving patients and their families, those challenges can be overcome.

Community Support Services:A One Sector Experience

Mary is elderly and wishing to remain in her own home as long as possible. She has some medical conditions that are not uncommon for her age. Both she and her family have indicated the need for some assistance to maintain “the quality of life years” that she envisioned.

Innovation in Addictions Management: A Fresh Start at Thunder Bay Shelter House

The New Year is often said to be a time for fresh starts and new outlooks, and in 2017 that was certainly the case at Thunder Bay’s Shelter House. Following the announcement that the North West LHIN will provide $185,000 in new funding for Shelter House’s Managed Alcohol Program (MAP), the community in Northwestern Ontario took notice, with plenty of positive media coverage and excitement surrounding this innovative program.

People From Our Community: Gloria Pronger, A Vocation in Health Care

Beginning at the Thunder Bay psychiatric hospital, followed by the surgical unit at St. Joseph’s hospital, it wasn’t until Gloria found her way to the Intensive Care Unit that she really had found her true calling. “It’s probably one of my favorite areas in my whole career. I really enjoyed working there because you work so closely with families.”

Shirley Maki’s Story: Teledermatology Dramatically Reduces Wait Time for Treatment

Shirley Maki’s palmoplantar psoriasis became so painful last winter that she eventually had to take medical leave. Palmoplantar pustulosis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition and is considered by some to be a variation of psoriasis.

Lesley Read's Journey

Lesley Read will tell you first and foremost that she is a family person. What she may not share is that she is a passionate volunteer, and is committed to bringing about positive changes in the community. A few years ago, sudden changes in Lesley’s health marked the beginning of a journey that would jeopardize the activities and interactions that mean the most to a spirited, active, and independent person.


Integrated Musculoskeletal Care in the North West LHIN - Shaping the Future: Lawrence Karpowich's Story

Musculoskeletal care has evolved to provide the right care, at the right time, by the right clinician. Musculoskeletal disorders are defined as injuries or disorders of the muscles, nerves, tendons and joints of the body which may be caused by sudden force or trauma, or prolonged exposure to repeated factors such as vibration or repetition (US Centers for Disease Control, 2015).

Telehomecare Post-Acute Care Program: MeetTrudy Epp

Telehomecare is a life-line for me. It is a very important resource for people like me, coming out of the hospital with a new, serious diagnosis. I am privileged to be a part of this beneficial program,” says Trudy Epp, a congestive heart failure (CHF) patient of the Telehomecare Post-Acute Care Program at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC).



If you would like to share a story, please contact: 

Jennifer Wintermans, Interim Director, Communications and Engagement 

Phone: (807) 684-9425

Toll free: 1-866-907-LHIN or 1-866-907-5446  

Fax: (807) 684-9533