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March 23rd, 2012
Closing the Gap
Access to Primary Health Care in French for Francophones
March 23rd, 2012 - Mississauga – More than 50,000 Francophone residents in the Mississauga and Brampton area finally have access to primary health care services in French thanks to an expansion of The Credit Valley Family Health Team.
After more than 20 years of waiting, the Francophone community can now access their primary health care in French. The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care recently approved the expansion of The Credit Valley Family Health Team to dedicate a second site to the provision of comprehensive, inter-professional primary health care in French.
According to the French Language Services Act, Mississauga and Brampton, are designated cities which entitles the Francophones to primary health care services in French. Until now, the nearest French language, primary health care services for families in this region have been available in Toronto or Hamilton.

The Équipe de Santé familiale Credit Valley/Credit Valley Family Health Team recently opened its bilingual site to offer French language primary health care services to the Francophone population covering two separate Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). The second site is an expansion of this already established Family Health Team, Academic site, recognized for excellence as a best practice model.

Increasingly, Family Health Teams have become known for their expertise in the promotion of wellness through programs such as obesity management, smoking cessation and newborn wellness initiatives. They also have a mandate to proactively manage chronic diseases such as depression, COPD, asthma and diabetes. Based on the expectations outlined in the Ontario Diabetes Strategy, the family health team model offers the most comprehensive approach to best manage all aspects of the disease. Both sites of The Credit Valley Family Health Team offer diabetes management as part of their care.

The Francophone population in the region is diverse. It includes many Canadians, but also people from Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean, to name a few. Based on their origin, many Francophones are identified as at-risk for developing diabetes. The inter-professional approach, emphasized by primary care reform in Ontario and embodied in the Family Health Team model, is designed to collaboratively manage this disease for optimal health outcomes.

Belle Jean, a patient from the existing Credit Valley Family Health Team, academic site, describes her care by the Family Health Team as ‘one-stop shopping’. Her care to manage her diabetes is captured and documented in one place so that all members of her health care team - her physician, chiropodist, registered nurse and dietitian - are working from the same information. “Ì feel safe here. I feel like I get complete care,” she says.

Louise Smith, Executive Director of both the Academic and Bilingual sites of the family health team, is eager to offer a broad spectrum of primary health care services and programs to meet the needs of the Francophone population as the patient roster grows. “We are bringing everything we’ve done well at the Academic site to the Bilingual site so that patients benefit from a team of health care providers who promote wellness and manage chronic disease together in our journey to offer high quality comprehensive care to the Francophone population and the community we serve,” she says.

For more information, please visit our web site at www.cvfht.ca and to register as a new patient, call us at


Louise Smith, Executive Director, Équipe de Santé familiale Credit Valley/Credit Valley Family Health Team 905-813-1100 ext. 6757
Helen Reilly, Communications Consultant, helene.reilly39@gmail.com cell: 647-801-7507