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NYTHP welcomes New Zealand delegation to advance health equity through better integrated care

Photo: Collaborative Aotearoa visit North York General Hospital's Finch Site Reactivation Care Centre on May 17, 2023.

On May 17, 2023, North York Toronto Health Partners (NYTHP) welcomed Collaborative Aotearoa, a national network of primary health care and community partners from New Zealand to share our respective approaches to primary care and integrated services to improve health care for all.

On May 16, 2023, the delegation visited various health care organizations, including North York Family Health Team (NYFHT), Bernard Betel Centre and North York General Hospital’s (NYGH) Finch Site Reactivation Care Centre (RCC).

The tour provided the delegation with an inside look at the integrated care being delivered in North York through innovative partnerships between health care and community providers, patients, clients and caregivers.

Dr. Maria Muraca, Co-Chair of NYTHP’s Primary Care Network said: “We are very proud of the strength and ambition of our Primary Care Network, and we are grateful for the opportunity to share details of our primary care and integrated care models with the Collaborative Aotearoa delegation as part of their international study tour.”

“Since 2019, NYTHP has been developing strong partnerships and focusing on collaboration to improve the health of people across our communities. We have worked closely with community members, providers and organizations to support the development of a more integrated care system, and a more compassionate North York,” added Dr. Rebecca Stoller, Co-Chair of NYTHP’s Primary Care Network.

Chief Executive of Collaborative Aotearoa and Co-Host of the Study Tour, Amarjit Maxwell, said: “Our study tour represents multiple sectors, including health, local government, and community organizations and this supports the deep collaboration we’re building to achieve health equity. The shared learning gained will support the transformation that is expected across primary and community care in Aotearoa (New Zealand), as part of our Pae Ora Health Futures Legislation.”

“I am immensely proud that over 50% of our delegates are Māori, indigenous health, and community leaders from across New Zealand. As well as learning from our hosts across Alberta, Ontario, and the UK, we also have a great deal of richness to share,” said Irihāpeti Mahuika, Chair of Collaborative Aotearoa and Co-Host of the study tour.

Photo: Collaborative Aotearoa shared details of equity-based health and community care in New Zealand and learned about the important work of the Bernard Betel Centre on their site visit.

Neil Shah, CEO and Executive Director of North York Family Health Team said: “It’s so important to learn from others on how best to deliver population-based care. We were pleased to share our model of team-based primary care, and how we’ve been able to implement high rates of preventative screening and wrap care around those who need it most.”

“We are honoured to host the Collaborative Aotearoa at the Bernard Betel Centre to visit and learn how we deliver seniors’ recreation, health and wellness programs and services to our diverse membership using culturally appropriate service models. We are committed to working collaboratively with our community partners in providing equitable service,” said Gail Gould, Executive Director of the Bernard Betel Centre.

“We are thrilled to host the Collaborative Aotearoa to learn more about our Reactivation Care Centre (RCC). The RCC is one of our newest innovative transitional care models that supports patients, mainly seniors, with the restorative, recreational and rehabilitative care they need to safely transition back into the community after a hospital stay,” said Zahra Ismail, NYGH’s Program Director, Transitional Care and Community Integration.

NYTHP is one of two stops on the Ontario part of the study tour, Collaborative Aotearoa also visited Greater Hamilton Health Network Ontario Health Team on May 15, 2023.


About Collaborative Aotearoa

Collaborative Aotearoa (the Collaborative) is a national network of primary health care organizations and supporting partners committed to pursuing a vision focused on the health and wellbeing for whānau and communities.

The Collaborative has committed to expanding its reach to support its networks and continue to bring focus to equitable access to more general practices and communities across Aotearoa. It recognizes that the 2022 Health Reforms will bring transformation across the sector that will require trusted partnerships to implement change at pace and scale.

Our focus is strengthened through:

  • whānau-centred models of care and community led approaches

  • honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the principles including equity, and

  • ensuring Māori and Pacific are partners in the design and delivery of system change and implementation.

One of our core strengths is being able to connect people around equitable primary care responses and building trusting relationships, particularly with Māori and Pacific at the community level. We do this by drawing on the cultural resources and capability of our members and supporting partners, creating an environment where voices are heard and respected, and promoting a culturally appropriate and safe workforce.

We lean into well-established partnerships with a vast range of experts in health and wellbeing, localities, digital health and system change.

About Bernard Betel Centre

The Bernard Betel Centre is a vibrant, non-profit community centre located in North Toronto with offerings for older adults (55+). The agency provides a variety of in-person and online educational and recreational programs, fitness, special events, cultural celebrations, health promotion and wellness, clinics, volunteer opportunities, trips and travel, and community support services, including Kosher Meals on Wheels, friendly visiting, at-home respite, crisis intervention and service navigation. The Bernard Betel Centre has been providing essential programs and services to thousands of seniors in the community for 58 years.

About North York Family Health Team

North York Family Health Team (NYFHT) provides accessible, person-focused, and family-centered primary health care through an interdisciplinary team committed to transforming health knowledge into best practices. We are committed to maintaining a culture of mutual respect, accountability, confidentiality, and collaboration. We provide integrated, team-based primary care to over 90,000 individuals, and as a member of the North York Toronto Health Partners (NYTHP Ontario Health Team), are committed to improving the health and wellness of our community.

About North York General Hospital (NYGH)

NYGH is a top-ranked academic community hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto that provides high-quality acute, ambulatory and long-term care to approximately half a million people in one of Toronto’s most diverse and rapidly growing areas and to patients across the GTA. NYGH has been named the number one community academic hospital in Canada for five consecutive years by Newsweek Magazine. For more information about NYGH’s Reactivation Care Centre, visit

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