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April 28, 2022

Ontario children’s hospitals welcome critical funding for integrated pathway to support families with complex medical and social needs

Ontario budget lays the groundwork for the creation of wrap-around services to help young people with multiple medical conditions who are also living with social vulnerabilities

TORONTO, April 28, 2022, 4:30 p.m. – Three leading children’s hospitals welcome the investment of $32.3 million annually announced in today’s provincial budget for a new program that will support families of children with multiple complex medical, behavioural and social needs.

The Extensive Needs Integrated Pathway is led by CHEO, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and McMaster Children’s Hospital. The program will provide personalized care and wrap-around services for a subset of the population of children and youth with complex special needs in Ontario who have co-occurring medical, physical and developmental complexities and/or social vulnerabilities.


“The children and families that will benefit most from this investment live with unimaginable struggles; often they also have to fight for access to care and to avoid falling through the cracks. Every child deserves to lead their best life with healthier outcomes and simpler journeys; this welcome investment is an important step toward that goal. Ultimately, we want to bring family-friendly services like these into the 1Door4Care Integrated Treatment Centre, so we can provide fully supportive and world-class wraparound care for all who need it.” – Alex Munter, president & CEO, CHEO

“We are heartened by this announcement in today’s budget. This new pathway will support those exceptionally complex children and youth who have consistently slipped through gaps in our current system. We can help them and their families get the support they need in a way that is coordinated, comprehensive and caring.” – Julia Hanigsberg, president and CEO, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

“The Extensive Needs program truly puts children and families first. It will make a huge difference for children who require care across multiple streams, and simplify how families interact with a health system which was not designed to meet their child’s unique needs. It will mean more time spent in school and less missed days of work, fewer emergency visits, and reduced wait times for care. Ultimately, parents will spend less time navigating the system and have more time to focus on what’s most important – their child’s wellbeing.” – Bruce Squires, president, McMaster Children’s Hospital.

Integrated Care Pathway = Better Outcomes for Families

Following a comprehensive evaluation of needs to assess eligibility, a multi-disciplinary team of professionals will be available to support clients and families through the Extensive Needs Integrated Pathway. This may include, but are not limited to a neurologist, psychiatrist, developmental pediatrician, clinical psychologist, behavior analysts, social worker or youth counsellor. See backgrounder for additional information.

The integrated pathway will help streamline the process for families with children and youth living with multiple medical, physical and developmental complexities and social vulnerabilities to access help in support of optimal health outcomes.

The proof of concept phase will support some 1,140 children and youth in Ontario per year.


About CHEO

Dedicated to the best life for every child and youth, CHEO is a global leader in pediatric health care and research. Based in Ottawa, CHEO includes a hospital, children’s treatment centre, school and research institute, with satellite services located throughout Eastern Ontario. CHEO provides excellence in complex pediatric care, research and education. We are committed to partnering with families and the community to provide exceptional care — where, when and how it’s needed. CHEO is a partner of the Kids Come First Health Team, a network of partners in Eastern Ontario working to create a high quality, standardized and coordinated system for pediatric health care that is centred around children, youth and their families. Every year, CHEO helps more than 500,000 children and youth from Eastern Ontario, western Quebec, Nunavut and Northern Ontario.

About Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital believes in creating a world where all youth and children belong. We are the only children’s rehabilitation hospital in Canada focused on combining world-class care, transformational research, and academic leadership in the field of pediatric disability. We are a top 40 Canadian research hospital that is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. Providing both inpatient and outpatient services, Holland Bloorview is renowned for its expertise in co-creating with clients and families to provide exceptional care and is the only organization to ever achieve 100 per cent in three successive quality surveys by Accreditation Canada. Holland Bloorview is a founding member of Kids Health Alliance, a network of partners working to create a high quality, consistent and coordinated approach to pediatric health care that is centred around children, youth and their families. Together we dream big. Together we champion a world of possibility. For more information or to donate, please visit hollandbloorview.ca or connect on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and parent-blog BLOOM.

About McMaster Children’s Hospital

McMaster Children’s Hospital (MCH) is home to the fastest-growing kids-only emergency department in Canada, one of the country’s most advanced neonatal intensive care units, and a range of programs and clinics with unique expertise in a number of areas including children’s cancer, digestive diseases, interventional radiology, and child and youth mental health. Based in Hamilton, Ontario and affiliated with McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Medicine, it is ranked in the Top 4 elite pediatric teaching hospitals in the Canada, serving children and families across a region of 2.5 million. MCH is also home to the Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre, a state-of-the-art facility providing children’s development and rehabilitation, child & youth mental health, and autism services with more that 75,000 visits annually. It also hosts the Offord Centre for Child Studies and the MacART Autism Research Team, which conducts leading edge research for integration into practice.