GHHN Integrated Strategic Plan 2022-2023

The Greater Hamilton Health Network’s (GHHN) strategic plan is created to shape and direct strategic decision-making for our Ontario Health Team.

The GHHN 2022-23 Strategic Plan is a blend of both local, community, and provincial priorities. The core areas we will be focusing action are: integrated population health, governance, primary care leadership and engagement, COVID-19 response and recovery and patient navigation/digital care. These core priorities are complemented by three overarching GHHN principles: health equity, patient/community engagement and environmentally sustainable healthcare. We know these three overarching principles are key to all the work we do at the GHHN.  The GHHN will be making decisions on care pathways based on these core principles over the next year but will remain nimble enough to respond to ongoing system and community pressures.

Health Equity

Health equity is the absence of unfair systems and policies that cause health inequalities. It is the ability for all people to reach their full health potential and receive fair and appropriate care.

At the GHHN we work to provide an equitable and seamless continuum of care that actively improves population health while meeting the individual needs of the community.

The GHHN’s Health Equity Framework aligns with Ontario Health’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Framework, with an additional focus on anti-oppression and broadening the focus to include additional groups.

In January 2021, the Greater Hamilton Health Network began the development of a health equity framework that would serve as a guide on issues of equity as well as a complement to the governance report by Ernst and Young. The mandate of the work was to develop a framework and action plan in three specific areas:

  1. Delivering care to patients from a lens of health equity;
  2. The operations of the GHHN staff team (the Project Management Office);
  3. The governance and corporate culture of the GHHN.

Year 1: Enact framework recommendations and emerging priorities through GHHN Health Equity Action Plan 

To guide the implementation of this work, the GHHN will align our work with Ontario Health by adopting the Ontario Health Equity Framework and adding the commitment to address oppression in all its forms.

To read the full report please visit our Media & Reports page.

GHHN Gender-Affirming Care Position Statement

The Greater Hamilton Health Network recognizes the right to receive gender-affirming care for all in our catchment area and beyond. Bodily autonomy faces unprecedented challenges. In a global environment where gender-affirming care has been politicized to justify restricting or limiting access, we stand in support of our local Two-Spirit, transgender, non-binary, and gender diverse communities. Providing gender-affirming care confirms bodily autonomy to those we serve and is consistent with our Health Equity framework.

Gender-affirming care refers both to healthcare related to medical transition and to general healthcare that is safe and gender-affirming. There is much diversity within the 2SLGBTQ+ communities, with an array of services and approaches needed to provide adequate gender-affirming care.

The GHHN is committed to supporting increased capacity for gender-affirming care for transgender and non-binary people through its Trans Health Community of Practice, as well as creating safer spaces for those in the 2SLGBTQ+ community through the Positive Space Working Group. Further recommendations given to the GHHN and partners in consultation with the 2SLGBTQ+ communities in Hamilton may be found in the GHHN Health Equity Framework and Supplementary Report.

Living Healthy in Congregate Care

Living healthy in our community and aging in place is a main priority for the GHHN. Creating a system of support in our congregate settings is more important than ever. This work is grounded in the following principles:

  • Building partnerships amongst stakeholders, providers, patients and those with living experiences
  • Address virtual care inequities
  • Wrap care around where people live
  • Improve system navigation
  • Build capacity in the community
  • Improve the quality of life of those living in congregate care
  • Embed a health equity lens

We are also working to ensure our congregate care work is aligned to ministry priorities and the learnings of Covid-19. The four streams of work under our Living Healthy in Congregate Care Strategy are:

  • Women’s Homelessness
  • Residential Care Facilities
  • Retirement Homes
  • Long-Term Care Homes

To learn more about the GHHN Long Term Care Advisory please click here.

Digital/Virtual Care

The Greater Hamilton Health Network’s Digital Health Secretariat (DHS) is a committee made up of individuals from GHHN member organizations, contracted service providers, and patient advisors that were established to support the GHHN digital health portfolio, including: 

  • The alignment and promotion of GHHN digital health initiatives 
  • The communication of digital health barriers and anticipated outcomes for patients, families, caregivers, providers, and systems at local, regional, and provincial levels
  • The development of and adherence to the work plan to achieve our OHT’s digital health goals.  

Digital Health Goals:

  • Establish a GHHN single identity-managed digital front door (patient portal) to facilitate seamless access for patients to online appointment booking, patient health data, community services, and existing portals.   
  • Leverage population health management tools to support research, proactive patient engagement, and targeted care planning. 
  • Build digital equity partnerships with community organizations serving those with language barriers and marginalized populations in order to improve access to services and information, support digital innovation, and increase adoption of digital tools. 
  • Enable GHHN members (primary care and acute care) to digitally share information across providers through eReferral 
  • Enable online appointment booking for GHHN members (primary care and acute care) 
  • Introduce electronic medical records and/or health information systems to paper-based GHHN organizations 
  • Enable GHHN members to digitally share information across providers and sectors through Secure Messaging  
  • Improve virtual care maturity and access. 
  • Implement patient navigation supports. 


Engagement is an ongoing process that meaningfully engages patients, families, and care partners as active partners and decision-makers in their own care, and at the organizational and system levels. The GHHN is engaging patients, families, carepartners, community organizations, the community and primary care to co-design and transform health care in the Greater Hamilton area.


  • Ongoing engagement and co-design with Patients, Families and CarePartners
  • Implement the Patient, Family CarePartner Declaration of Values
  • Support ongoing capacity building around engagement at the individual, organizational and system levels
  • Develop a Community of Practice to support local engagement work

Check out our online engagement platform, EngageGHHN, to share your voice on current engagement projects! We look forward to working with Hamilton, Haldimand and Niagara Northwest to transform health.

Environmental Sustainability in Healthcare

The World Health Organization defines an “environmentally sustainable health system as one that improves, maintains or restores health, while minimizing negative effects on the environment.”

The GHHN invites partners and collaborators to join them in incorporating sustainability in how they work, the things they choose to procure, and the way they deliver and organize care to have a positive impact on the environment.

The GHHN believes sustainability initiatives align with improving the health and well-being of our population and will work with partners and local leaders to support environmental sustainability in healthcare. 

To learn more about this work read our Environmental Sustainability in the GHHN, Research Findings and Report June 2022

If you are interested in joining the GHHN Environmental Sustainability Community of Practice or Environmental Sustainability Secretariat please email for more information.