Operations and Implementation
Within publicly funded Canadian healthcare there are defined pockets of clinical expertise aligned wit affiliated academic health care centres across the country. These geographic and clinical locations are often inaccessible to patients and families who live in rural and remote locations. Provincial and territorial jurisdictional and licensure boundaries create barriers in accessing services when the required clinical expertise does not exist within your area while "not all provinces pay for the same list of medical services and health-related benefits". Tele-Link Mental Health at the Hospital for Sick Children (Sickkids) in Toronto Canada has moved to a model of care for one of it's Telemedicine services that incorporates Public and Private Partnerships (P3) to reduce these barriers and allow patients to access services via technology regardless of their location within the country.
Tele-Link Mental Health has partnered with The Royal Bank of Canada and Cisco Canada to provide Psychiatric services to rural and remote indigenous populations spanning 2 provinces and 1 territory. Funding was provided to cover the clinical and technology required in providing capacity enhancement, education and direct clinical care to populations who have historically been excluded from these services. By funding direct clinical care from a national perspective Tele-Link has eliminated interprovincial billing requirements that are often partially or not successful at all, leaving the provider organizations unable to cover costs or ensure sustainability. In some instances such as "Quebec, which does not have a reciprocal agreement with any other province; you are required to pay for services up front and apply for a reimbursement".
Through technology and bandwidth donations, rural and remote nursing stations now provide telemedicine locally in areas historically forced to med-vac all patients to larger southern healthcare facilities.
Tele-Link Mental Health, Telemedicine, Psychiatry
The Hospital for Sick Children
David Willis manages the clinical needs of the Brain and Mental Health Program at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario Canada. Within the deparmtent of Psychiatry Willlis manages the Tele-Link Mental Health Program, Consultation Liaison Psychiatry, Ambulatory Psychiatry, Mental Health Access Program, Urgent Care Clinic, Collaborative and Transitional age clinics, Eating Disorders, Transgender Clinic, Young Families and Substance Abuse. He brings to this role over 20 years of clinical front line and management experience within the children’s mental health field.
Willis' role in video-based health care within SickKids provides strategic leadership in Telemedicine to over 60 clinics and departments as they develop and implement new programs, service agreements and external partnerships with the goal of connecting Sickkids expertise to those most in need of care. In addition, he provides clinical management for the unique revenue generating clinical programs under the Tele-Link Mental Health program that provides psychiatric assessments, education and capacity building within the children’s mental health sector provincially, nationally and internationally.
Willis is currently the President of the Board of the South Riverdale Community Health Centre, Chair of the Elizabeth Manson Awards, Chair of the Toronto Telemedicine Collaborative and participates in several provincial working groups in the area of Indingenous and Latency Age Mental Health Willis has a Post Baccalaureate Degree in Management and a Master’s in Business Administration/Health Care. For fun Willis coaches downhill racing and owns and operates an Apple farm close to Georgian Bay and Lake Huron.
Sunday, April 23
3:20 PM – 3:39 PM