Date and Time

25 June 2024, 12-1 PM ET

For people without a regular source of care, and people with urgent needs who can’t see their regular primary care clinicians, navigating access can be confusing. Many provinces and territories have implemented different strategies to connect people with needed primary care, redesigning the “architecture” of first-contact care. Multiple jurisdictions have implemented centralized waitlists for primary care clinicians, with variations in how patients are matched to care. In addition, multiple jurisdictions have introduced new or enhanced tools to support patient self-management and access to care, including expanded services through Health 811 and a range of connected services. This panel will bring together researchers and policymakers to discuss these innovations. The goal is to learn from research evidence alongside cross-jurisdictional policy experience to identify promising strategies to support patients in navigating primary care, and to connect patients to primary care services with the goal of supporting equitable access to primary care.


  1. Describe strategies to improve first contact care for acute, chronic and preventive care
  2. Describe the features of Health 811 platforms in different regions of Canada
  3. Discuss key challenges in implementation and evaluation of Health 811 platforms


Onil Bhattacharyya, MD, PhD

  • Director, Women’s College Hospital (WCH) Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care
  • Frigon-Blau Chair in Family Medicine Research, WCH
  • Associate Professor, University of Toronto

Shelley Morris, RN

  • Director, Patient Access & Navigation Services, Population Health and Value Based Health Systems Portfolio at Ontario Health
  • Responsible for oversight of the Health811 service in partnership with the OH Digital Excellence in Health team
  • Fellow, AMS-Fitzgerald Fellowship in AI and Human-Centred Leadership

Kendall Ho, MD, FRCPC

  • Emergency Medicine Specialist
  • Professor and lead, Digital Emergency Medicine Unit, Dept. Of Emergency Medicine, UBC
  • Medical Director, BC Ministry of Health HealthlinkBC 811 Virtual Physicians Program
  • Executive Director, inter-Cultural Online health Network (iCON)

Register in advance for this webinar here!