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CHEO to be new home for School Health Support Services

Ottawa—May 1, 2018—In an important step toward a more integrated system for children and youth that require support to participate fully in the school curriculum, CHEO and the Champlain LHIN have announced their plan for transferring administration and oversight of the School Health Support Services in publicly funded schools from the LHIN to CHEO during the upcoming summer months.

School Health Support Services offer children occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech language pathology services in their schools. Referrals are made by the child’s school and the processes will largely remain the same. The date of transfer is still being negotiated, but is expected to happen during the summer months to ensure a smooth transition before the new school year.

Families of children and youth with special needs, who receive School Health Support Services, tell us they want a seamless system that focuses on their needs and provides better transition between services at CHEO, at home and in the community.

“Too many families must work too hard to connect the dots of our service system,” said Alex Munter, CHEO’s President and CEO. “The purpose of this transfer is to make sure that kids who need physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language services benefit from a more connected system. This change also means that the community based therapists providing these services can collaborate and share pediatric expertise with CHEO’s team in terms of training, technology and other resources, strengthening the program for families.”

CHEO, in addition to being a hospital, is a children’s treatment centre that provides long-term supports to kids with physical and developmental disabilities, as well as a school for pre-school and kindergarten. The transfer of school-based health support programs from LHINs to children’s treatment centres is taking place across Ontario, as part of the province’s Special Needs Strategy.

Through the School Health Support Services becoing a CHEO-run program, we have an opportunity to identify children earlier who might benefit from other services and expertise available at CHEO, making their lives better, sooner. We can also seamlessly support the children graduating from our school program as they make the big transition to their community school.

In the Champlain LHIN, referrals for School Health Support Services will come to the program from the child’s school and CHEO will connect the child to their community based therapist at the LHIN or CommuniCare. CHEO will manage the Program and provide oversight of these services. School Health Support Services will continue to be provided by:

  • LHIN therapists in Renfrew County and parts of the Eastern Counties
  • CommuniCare Therapy in Ottawa, North Lanark/North Grenville (NLNG) and parts of the Eastern Counties

“We look forward to working with our partners at the LHIN and CommuniCare to deliver School Health Support Services” said Anne Huot, CHEO’s Vice President of Child Development and Community Services. “These services enable children and youth to achieve their goals at school and make progress towards their dreams.”

Anyone looking for more information can call 613-737-7600 ext. 6256.

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Media contact

Marie Belanger
Communications Specialist, CHEO
o. 613-737-2343 | c. 613-513-9578

About CHEO

CHEO is a global leader in pediatric health, dedicated to helping children and youth live their best lives. A health centre based in Ottawa, CHEO combines excellence in clinical care, research and education with a commitment to working with our partners to advance seamless care that’s provided where, when and how it’s needed. Every year, CHEO helps more than 500,000 children and youth from Eastern Ontario, Western Quebec, Nunavut and Northern Ontario.

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