Minister’s Medal

Minister’s Medal 2017 Honouring Excellence in Health Quality and Safety

Winner of Patient, Family, Caregiver Award:

Margo Twohig - Volunteer Patient and Family Advisor at North York General Hospital

Since 2012, Margo has been a Patient and Family Advisor (PFA) and is currently the Co-Chair of the Patient and Family Advisory Council at North York General Hospital (NYGH). As part of her work at NYGH, Margo has made valuable contributions to numerous projects on topics in quality improvement such as clinical recruiting practices, professional practices, quality recommendations, accreditation, QI research, ethics, education programs and community awareness.

Through the years, Margo has been an integral member of several committees, councils, boards, and task forces. She has shared her patient perspective on hiring panels for clinical chiefs, healthcare providers, research chairs, and served as a patient representative on several provincial organizations such as Health Quality Ontario. Some examples of her work include redesigning the chemotherapy clinic to better consider privacy and comfort for cancer patients, developing pamphlets for Alternate Level of Care (ALC) patients, and putting together an online platform for the PFA community to share experiences and lessons learned.

Not only has Margo shared her own perspective, she has been a leader in encouraging and empowering others to share their patient experience perspective. Her volunteer commitment to patient experience over the course of many years demonstrates immense dedication and personal motivation. 

Team Honour Roll: 

North York General Hospital Hip and Knee Integrated Care Collaborative

The North York General Hospital Hip and Knee Integrated Care Collaborative (ICC) was launched in April 2013 to address the issues encountered by hip and knee joint replacement patients across the care continuum. The ICC delivers value-based health-care by ensuring providers across the health system collaborate to address each patient’s unique needs. This model improves care for patients by assigning them a Patient Navigator – a Clinical Nurse Specialist who assists with managing care for pre-identified patient from referral to rehabilitation. The program is a success in part because of the collaboration between the patient and family advisor (PFA) and the inter-professional team, who work to streamline patients’ surgical experience and ensure they receive the best, most comprehensive care. 

The ICC is one of the North York General Hospital’s (NYGH) proudest achievements and is changing the way care is delivered in the hospital. Across all quality metrics, the NYGH ICC is positively exceeding targets and sustaining results, including increased community access to care, reducing the length of stay, and improving patient satisfaction. Furthermore, NYGH has had the lowest wait times in the Central LHIN for the past four years, and is a leader provincially. 

The ICC is an opportunity to lead the evolution of more accountable and sustainable health care in Ontario. By including the PFA as a permanent member of the steering committee to advise leadership on the directions for the ICC, NYGH is working to ensure that patient perspectives are heard and incorporated in the delivery of this program. The ICC has offered patients and their families a more patient centred experience by leveraging the expertise of all individuals who are involved in this work, to streamline and coordinate efforts to achieve better patient outcomes from diagnosis to rehabilitation. 

Cross Sector Complex Care Program for Young Adults with Complex Medical Needs and a Developmental Disability

The Cross Sector Complex Care program is a collaboration across a number of sectors including health, developmental services and housing with the shared objective of providing a community-based supported living solutions for nine young adults with complex health needs and a developmental disability. This collaborative program brings services together under one roof to provide seamless support delivered by a multi-disciplinary team. The model is driven by the individual needs and preferences of the persons being supported. 

The partners of the program include the Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), March of Dimes Canada (MODC), Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS), Reena Community Living Youth South (CLYS) and York Region Housing.  The model leverages the strengths and expertise from across the different partners to create an environment where the individual is supported in a holistic manner.

The program has offered young adults independence defined by their choice and preferences and provides an opportunity for them to live and thrive with their peers. The program has offered families new opportunities to help support their child and has provided an option for future planning to ensure their child is safe and supported throughout their life span.

Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care

The Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care (Yee Hong) is a non-profit organization serving seniors in the Greater Toronto Area. It plans and delivers services to enable seniors to live their lives to the fullest.

Yee Hong takes a client and family centered approach to the care they provide to clients, valuing the importance of educating, engaging and empowering their clients. There are frequent dialogues with the centre’s clients and families through phone calls and in person meetings. 

Yee Hong designs innovative programs to meet client needs such as a play intervention program that supports people with dementia and an electronic learning platform for clients and their families. Yee Hong collaborates with other partners to instill the latest research and best practices into their planning. These collaborative partnerships include working with HQO, University of Toronto, Windsor University, and Ontario Trillium Foundation.

All four Yee Hong Centres received accreditation with exemplary standing for 2016-2020 - the highest honour and recognition awarded by Accreditation Canada for an organization's commitment to Quality and Excellence.


Visit the Minister's Medal webpage.

Past Minister's Medal Champions and Honour Roll Recipients