Bill 41 or the Patients First Act was recently passed in the provincial legislature. The act focuses on four key objectives: improving access to the right care, connecting and providing a more integrated health system, informing patients so that the right decisions can be made and protecting the health care system to ensure sustainability.

Family physicians across the Niagara Region have been meeting for quite some time now to try and figure out how we can work together to provide better access to services for our patients. Out of these discussions came a plan to merge the Garden City Family Health Team with the Niagara-on-the-Lake Family Health Team. The new organization will be called the Niagara North Family Health Team. The new team will be inaugurated on April 1, 2017.

As the Executive Director of this new team, I hope that this merger will bring many positive outcomes for both communities. Giving patients more access to our programs and services at more locations, and at a variety of times is one benefit. In addition, we anticipate that the merger will allow the organization to provide more workshops and education events for all members of the community. Finally, having one administration will cut down on costs and will enable us to re-invest this money into providing increased community outreach support and programs.

The new family health team is also looking forward to having more community input into program planning and service delivery. For more information, please contact the Executive Director at, or join us at a public information session on February 21st from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Mary Keith
Executive Director
Garden City Family Health Team

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