The Ontario Medical Association was navigating ongoing and complex negotiations with the Ontario government on behalf of it’s membership. They turned to us with a simple ask: how do we do something for our members, Ontario Doctors, that builds trust and amplifies the good that they deliver?
There were already well-documented stories about doctors from downtown Toronto hospitals and children’s health care. How could we tell the stories of the impact doctors were having on their patients and, even more so, their communities?
A series of road trips took us to Chapleau, Kenora, Ear Falls,Hamilton, Sudbury and points in between, where we met some remarkable healthcare practitioners doing truly ground-breaking work. We met Dr. Doris Mitchell, an Ojibway doctor who returned to her home town to become its first resident doctor in a generation. Dr. Jennifer Brasch, whose pioneering integrated care approach is changing the lives of addicted mental health patients in Hamilton and Dr. Jeffrey Turnbull who has take his practice to the streets and shelters of Ottawa, and revolutionized healthcare for the homeless and many, many others. Through spending concentrated time with each we were able to understand just how important the role these doctors played in their communities was.
The result is a growing body of work that is improving public perception, building powerful allies for the organization and renewing the participation and complicity of the membership.