The Mississauga-Halton Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) commissioned MASS LBP to convene a 36-resident reference panel to deliberate on health trends and issues before drafting recommendations for the LHIN's integrated health service plan.
Problems and Purpose
In 2009, MASS LBP completed a lengthy engagement process to help the Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) determine priorities for $1.8 billion in annual health care spending.
Over three months, MASS LBP engaged health service providers, physicians, community leaders and citizens about their priorities for the next three-year (2010-2013) Integrated Health Services Plan (IHSP). The process concluded with the Citizens' Reference Panel on Local Health Priorities, a body of thirty-six randomly selected citizens assembled to give residents of Mississauga Halton an opportunity to have their voices heard.
Background History and Context
Established in Ontario in 2005, Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) were "given a mandate to engage the residents and health service providers in their communities." Every three years, the LHIN is expected to create an Integrated Health Service Plan to guide priorities and actions for the LHIN for the following three-year period. Across Ontario, there are 14 LHINs, one of which is the Mississauga Halton LHIN.
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
MASS LBP operated as contractor for the Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network (MH LHIN), creating and facilitating the public engagement process.
Participant Recruitment and Selection
The 36 members of the Reference Panel were randomly selected through a civic lottery.
Methods and Tools Used
This case used the civic lottery and Citizens' Reference Panel methodologies characteristic of other participatory events designed by MASS LBP Citizens' reference panels refer to "a non-compulsory public jury used in Canada to provide policy advice to public and elected officials. They are generally convened by the government or a public agency and typically meet several times over a period of weeks or months to learn about, discuss, and reach agreement (or alignment) on a contentious public issue."
What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation
Preparation for the 2010-2013 IIHSP began in late April when MASS LBP hosted a workshop with leaders of Mississauga Halton's diverse communities. The afternoon of learning and discussion allowed the LHIN to connect with representatives of ethno-cultural groups and associations. Leaders had an opportunity to hear about the services available throughout the region, while the LHIN learned about how they can make existing services more accessible. In the end, the session proved to be a valuable learning experience for everyone involved.
A few weeks later, MASS LBP facilitated a dedicated session en francais for leaders of the Francophone community to address their particular needs.
In early May, MASS LBP hosted a forum for over 100 health service providers representing hospitals, community support services, mental health and addictions, and long term care. The forum was an intensive, full day event where providers were introduced to the LHIN's strategic priorities before sitting down in small groups to talk about how their needs will be met — or not met — by the plan.
Shortly thereafter, MASS LBP sat down with physicians at the Trillium Health Centre to discuss how the LHIN can better equip them with the information they need to help their patients access treatment at the community level.
The final stage of Preparing for 2010-2013, was the Citizens' Reference Panel on Local Health Priorities. Held over two Saturdays in May and June, the Panel brought together randomly selected citizens from the Mississauga Halton region to learn about health care delivery, exchange ideas and make recommendations for the 2010-2013 IHSP.
Throughout, a series of specially designed and facilitated activities helped panelists work collaboratively on advice to the LHIN. Together, they studied the LHIN's IHSP framework, defined and provided key insight into the six strategic priority areas and key enablers to achieve those goals.
- Empowering Citizens
- Health Human Resources
- Education and Prevention
- Serving Populations within the LHIN: Paediatric Care, Seniors, Mental Health and Addiction Services
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
The recommendations of the Citizens' Reference Panel was released in a report to the Mississauga Halton LHIN.
The Panel's proceedings concluded in a special ceremony where each panelist was presented with a personalized certificate of public service.
Altogether, Planning for 2010-2013 represents one of MASS LBP's most comprehensive and challenging public engagement programs to date. Feedback was received from dozens of agencies and hundreds of people from different walks of life, all passionate about the shared health care system.
Analysis and Lessons Learned
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 Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network. (2009). Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network: Citizens’ Reference Panel on Local Health Priorities: May 30th and June 13th, 2009. Toronto, ON: MASS LBP. http://www.mississaugahaltonlhin.on.ca/~/media/sites/mh/uploadedfiles/Ho... [pdf]
 MASS LBP. (n.d.). MASS celebrated its 25th panel in 2016 — making Canada a modern leader in deliberative democracy. https://www.masslbp.com/rrp
 MH LHIN. (2009). Mississauga Halton LHIN Integrated Health Service Plan, 2010–2013. https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&u...[pdf]