Territorial Health Investment Fund (THIF)
The Territorial Health Investment Fund provides funding from Health Canada to the three northern territories until March 31, 2018.
In Yukon, this funding is intended to examine system improvement and integration activities in the mental health and addiction, and chronic disease management sectors. THIF activities will focus on increasing capacity, and strengthening collaborative approaches that enable care providers to work together to deliver effective services to clients across Yukon.
Mental Health and Addictions:
The goal is work collaboratively with stakeholders within the department, and outside of government, including First Nations Partners, to implement sustainable, coordinated changes to the health and social service systems.
The THIF Mental Wellness project is focused on integrated changes to the Yukon Mental Health and Addiction system with an aim to strengthen connections among services providers through regular training programs and knowledge exchange opportunities, to support the delivery of collective, responsive and culturally appropriate mental health and addiction services. Additional initiatives focus on building communication and understanding between providers, the use of technology to increase access to services; streamlining referral processes and service delivery pathways, and establishing indicators to measure effective service delivery.
A major initiative of the mental wellness project is supporting the development and implementation of the Yukon Mental Wellness Strategy: Forward Together, and supporting the initiatives form the three working groups on: improving access; community capacity building; and child, youth and family focused initiatives.
Chronic Disease Management:
The project goal is to work collaboratively to increase access, build capacity and connect system transition points in Yukon’s Chronic Disease Management (CDM) system. The CDM team is focusing on wound care, spirometry access, discharge planning, and Home Health Monitoring (HHM) applications.
The five main areas of the project’s workplan were developed using the internationally accepted Chronic Care Model developed by the MacColl Institute for Healthcare Innovation as a foundation. The project focuses on system improvement, rather than direct service delivery to clients. Improvement pieces are initially focusing on rural Yukon, and include improving quality of care through skill development, increasing access to services through establishing team-based care and exploring technology options, and formalizing discharge planning processes from acute treatment and hospital care to community placement.
Home Health Monitoring (Self Management Supports) for COPD is now in place as a time limited trial.
Spirometry testing is another focus and has expanded into Dawson City with equipment stationed in the community.
Wound Care Skill Development is about working to formalize and develop clinic skills, with a second year focus on rolling these skills out to rural Yukon community-based providers including First Nations home and support workers.
CDM toolkit is undergoing an update and a privacy impact assessment.
To offset the continued cost burden associated with medical travel, Yukon received funding to help alleviate the significant expenditures. It is expected that as health care system needs are addressed by increasing services "in-territory", the requirement for medical travel will be reduced in the years to come.