YELLOWKNIFE (September 15, 2015) – Members of the NWT Health and Social Services’ system Joint Leadership Council (JLC) met in Yellowknife last week to review progress on plans to establish a Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NWTHSSA).
Board Chairs and Public Administrators applauded the vision and leadership of the 17thLegislative Assembly in passing amendments to the Hospital Insurance and Health and Social Services Administration Act, allowing for the establishment of the NWTHSSA.
“Streamlining our system through the creation of a single authority will drive collaboration, and improve services for patients and clients, while setting the stage for us to increase efficiency within our system,” said Joe Handley, Public Administrator for Stanton Territorial Health Authority.
Existing regional health and social services authorities, with the exception of the Tłı̨chǫ Community Services Agency (TCSA), will be replaced by advisory Regional Wellness Councils effective April 1, 2016. Yellowknife Health and Social Services Authority Chair Liz Wyman noted that, while the move from being a Board of Management to a Regional Wellness Council will require some adjustment, “bringing Regional Wellness Council Chairs together formally as the NWT Health and Social Services Leadership Council will provide us a great opportunity to advance system-wide collaboration and planning at a territorial level.”
“While the TCSA retains its unique status under the terms of the Tłı̨chǫ Agreement, we believe that working with the NWTHSSA opens the door for Tłı̨chǫ residents to benefit from improved services and sharing of resources in a collaborative system,” said TCSA Chair Ted Blondin.
In addition to reviewing plans for establishment of the NTWHSSA, the JLC discussed the need for greater coordination of health-related research in the NWT.
“We share so many problems and challenges as communities, like the need for effective mental health programs rooted in Aboriginal culture,” said Danny Bayha, Chair of the Sahtu Health and Social Services Authority. “We need to find ways to ensure that the findings of research projects are shared throughout our system, to support evidence-based decision-making.”
Members of the JLC include the Board Chairs and Public Administrators of the territory’s eight health and social services authorities, and the group is chaired by Minister of Health and Social Services Glen Abernethy.
This was the last meeting of the JLC during the life of the 17th Legislative Assembly.
Government of the Northwest Territories