Family Health Teams
Learn how we are building a system of primary care to provide health programs and services to Ontario’s unique communities.
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Family Health Teams are primary health care organizations that provide health programs and services to their community and include:
- a team of family physicians
- nurse practitioners
- registered nurses
- social workers
- other professionals (for example, psychologists, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, chiropodists)
These teams provide primary care services based on local health and community needs, with a focus on:
- health promotion
- disease prevention
- chronic disease management (including mental health and addictions, diabetes education and management, lung health)
Family Health Teams were created in 2005 to expand access to comprehensive primary health care services across Ontario.
Ontario’s Family Health Teams are community-centred primary care organizations whose programs and services are geared to the population groups they serve. In addition to the Family Health Teams serving rural and northern communities, Family Health Teams are also providing primary care services to unique populations of patients with specialized health needs. Examples include:
- The Inner City Family Health Team in Toronto serves homeless and previously homeless people and has programs and services that aim to address the high incidence of mental health and addictions among this population.
- The Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team in Vanier serves the Inuit population of Ottawa. The Family Health Team provides culturally grounded care by formally capturing the role of Elders in the provision of information and advice, promoting strong community cohesion by maintaining ties with the broader Inuit community and offering programs and services which recognize the distinction of the Inuit.
- East Elgin Family Health Team serves patients of different religious backgrounds, including more than 400 Amish patients who do not have OHIP numbers and therefore, are unable to be enrolled. These patients are able to utilize all the medical services provided by the East Elgin Family Health Team. Translation services are also provided by the Family Health Team and the local Mennonite Community Services organization.
Understanding Family Health Teams
A Family Health Team is an approach to primary health care that brings together different health care providers to deliver and co-ordinate comprehensive primary care for patients.
There are diverse populations in Ontario which means that there are different needs for different communities. As a result, the composition of a Family Health Team is different from place to place. However, Family Health Teams across the province have core health care professionals, including doctors, nurse practitioners and nurses.
Family Health Teams are patient-centred and provide access to a number of primary health care services from a variety of team members, including your family doctor.
Eligibility and enrolment
To join a Family Health Team, you need to enroll with a physician who belongs to a physician group affiliated with a Family Health Team.
Some physicians may accept patients directly while some require interested patients to seek enrolment through Health Care Connect.
Health Care Connect helps Ontarians who are without a family health care provider (family doctor or nurse practitioner) to find one. People without a family health care provider are referred to a family doctor or a nurse practitioner who is accepting new patients in their community. Find more information about Health Care Connect.
Where to find Family Health Teams
For health care professionals
Employment with a Family Health Team
The ministry does not maintain a list of Family Health Teams that are recruiting staff. In some cases, Family Health Teams will post their employment opportunities with the Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario. Alternatively, you may wish to contact Family Health Teams directly in the area where you are interested in obtaining employment.
Starting a Family Health Team
Communities across Ontario embraced the Family Health Team concept and responded with overwhelming enthusiasm to the five calls for applications between 2005 and 2010. At this time, there is no ongoing process for accepting applications for new Family Health Teams. Opportunities to expand interprofessional primary care teams in the province are announced as they become available.
In 2019, the Government of Ontario made changes to the trillium logo, the foundation of Ontario’s visual identity, and to the Visual Identity System (VIS) Guidelines.
Updated templates that reflect Ontario’s current VIS Guidelines for Family Health Teams and meet the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), are now available for download.
|Powerpoint template 4x3 English
|Powerpoint template 4x3 Bilingual
|Powerpoint template 16x9 English
|Powerpoint template 16x9 Bilingual
|Report template English
|Report template Bilingual
|Flyer/Memo template English
|Flyer/Memo template Bilingual