The Power of Partnership: Ontario Hospital Association (OHA)

With Annie Tobias, Vice-President Learning and Engagement, OHA
The Power of Partnership, OHA

Welcome to our series on the many HIROC partners who make a difference in safe care. Introducing the OHA...

How OHA came to be…

Since its inception in 1924, the OHA has influenced and helped shape healthcare policy in Ontario. The Trustees who formed the association had one primary aim: to improve standards in the delivery of healthcare. They pioneered a results-oriented, patient-focused philosophy that remains a cornerstone of the OHA to this day. 

The OHA is the voice of the province’s 141 public hospitals. It serves hospitals through advocacy, learning and engagement, labour relations and data and analytics to build a better health system. We achieve this by conducting evidence-based research, convening members and partners, developing relevant value, and encouraging responsible dialogue. This year, the OHA celebrates 95 years of providing services to its members, to the healthcare system in Ontario and ultimately to patients.

Three words to describe the OHA…

These are our values, embedded in what we do each day to help serve Ontario’s hospitals to build a better health system.

  • Discovery – We explore new ideas and possibilities.
  • Humility – We listen to and respect the views of others.
  • Passion – We bring energy and enthusiasm to what we do.

Why knowledge sharing and education are so important…

The demands on the people who work in Ontario’s hospitals and across the healthcare system have never been greater. We use learning and engagement to support professional growth and development, improve organizational excellence and influence system transformation. 

As hospitals and their partners undergo substantive system transformation, the practice of leadership also continues to evolve. OHA is committed to building the readiness of leaders for a system in transformation, including change leadership skills. 

The OHA does this through its learning and engagement portfolio that is grounded in three pillars:

  1. Advance OHA mandates and priorities with high-quality, timely and responsive programs that allow hospitals to fully appreciate the implications and opportunities presented by an evolving health policy environment in Ontario
  2. Develop ready leaders by strengthening skills of current leaders and developing the talent pipeline of potential leaders with the requisite capabilities and learning pathways to lead Ontario hospitals, and to influence the health system as a whole
  3. Enable purposeful continuous engagement for current and emerging hospital leaders to convene, engage, share and problem-solve toward relevant and purposeful ends. 

Why partnerships in healthcare are critical…

The OHA’s purpose is to serve Ontario’s hospitals to build a better health system.  Hospitals cannot achieve this goal alone. The notion of ‘collective impact’, and the value derived from diverse partners aligned to a common purpose, will be more effective than if every organization attempts to make this happen on their own. Given the current state of system transformation and upcoming care integration initiatives, partnerships are essential for building a health system where all players are focused on the patient in a coherent way. 

The OHA’s partnerships allow us to co-develop opportunities and to delve into sector-wide issues and challenges and identify actionable ways forward. Our partnership with HIROC stands front and center as exemplary. Leaders within our respective organizations maintain an open, candid dialogue. And there are multiple opportunities to collaborate on programs and to benefit from each other’s expertise and research. For example, OHA’s longstanding partnership with HIROC reinforces the importance of considering risk in all aspects of this integrated environment, risk is more important than ever within the four hospital walls as well as through the continuum of care.

This series was originally published in the Fall 2019 edition of The HIROC Connection.