In 2014, the Board at PCHC decided to postpone the hiring of a new Executive Director to allow time to reflect on the future direction of the organization, to define what they need in the Executive Director role, and what was needed to continue to position Parkdale as a leader in the health care system.
In 2015, the PCHC Board chose to embark on a process to develop a Sustainability Plan that asked the organization, as well as clients, community partners and funders, the following questions:
- Where we do see the Parkdale Community in the next five, ten, and thirty years?
- How can we best continue to position PCHC as a leader in the health system?
- How can we ensure our longevity as a community health centre?
- How can we best improve client experience along the continuum of care?
As a result of this exercise, PCHC engaged in a number of conversations with other organizations at the governance level to determine the level of interest in further strengthening strategic partnerships and/or collaborations. One of the organizations engaged in this conversation was Queen West – Central Toronto Community Health Centre (QWCTCHC).
The QWCTCHC Board had also been discussing its own future. It had concluded that integration was one way to improve access to care for more people, allow clients access to a broader scope of services, and help the organization strengthen its voice in setting the regional primary care agenda. The QWCTCHC Board believed that in order to remain a key delivery vehicle for primary care to marginalized populations, there was an issue of capacity and size that needed to be addressed. Horizontal integration with PCHC could create value through back-office integration and enable Queen West to participate better in health care planning and improve coordination of care for their shared populations.
The decision to integrate followed a long period of members, client, staff, and community engagement: