Thank you for increasing access to care! An update on the While You Wait initiative
“Waiting is the hardest part,” says a parent whose child was on the waitlist at George Jeffrey Children’s Centre. There were families unsure about how to help their children. They were waiting for care. With demand for services rising and the need for new strategies becoming apparent, the While You Wait initiative was established to increase access to care for those waiting.
The support of our community has been essential to this project. As a result, significant progress has been made in bridging the gap of services available for children and their families.
The initiative focused on reducing the number of families on the waitlist as well as the length of time spent waiting. Best practices were researched, new strategies for service delivery were developed, and feedback from families was gathered and evaluated. A dedicated While You Wait team saw the first chapter of this initiative through.
When the While You Wait project started, there were 465 clients on the waitlist. In the first year of the project alone, the number of clients waiting at any one time was reduced by close to a third. Wait times have been reduced in all program areas.
While You Wait was layered with many new ideas and innovative practices, including education sessions for caregivers, consultation clinics, workshops, resource kits, and a portal of helpful information on the Centre’s website.
Keeping pace with demand will continue to be a great challenge. The reality of the waitlist is that it will stay busy with new referrals as diagnostic services improve and awareness about the importance of specialized care increases throughout our region. The Centre is now much more well-equipped to handle the consistent flow of referrals onto the waitlist. Children and their families will continue to benefit.
While You Wait has already been celebrated – it earned the 2016 Innovative Project of the Year award at the RBC Northwestern Ontario Innovation Awards held earlier this year!
With the initial chapter of this effort now complete, everyone involved wants you to know how important your support has been for the initiative. “While You Wait has been successful because of a dedicated project team, input from families, and the support of our community. We are most grateful to everyone who helped make this initiative a reality,” says Tom Walters, Chief Executive Officer of George Jeffrey Children’s Centre.
Over the last two years the number of annual clients served at George Jeffrey has increased by 377. Supporting access to care at George Jeffrey will continue to be a priority for our Foundation. Our “No Child Should Wait” commitment will not waver. To learn more please call Steve MacDonald at 807-625-6052.
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