City, county, RVH, health unit, police to sign first-of-its-kind agreement to provide health and safety to Barrie

Barrie Health Accord to be signed during virtual event Monday

Five of Barrie’s leading health and well-being organizations will sign an agreement to help provide long-term solutions to community health and safety.

On Monday, representatives of the City of Barrie, County of Simcoe, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH), Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) and the Barrie Police Service will sign a new Barrie Health Accord. The goal of this agreement is to address the root causes of health conditions that drive demand for emergency services and treatment.

Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman expects this will be just the first step in a collaborative path to address urgent issues in the city. “I’ve been working to pull together these five organizations—who collectively control annual budgets of more than $1.2B—because we have the chance to change our future,” said Lehman in a joint statement Thursday. “For far too long, we have had to focus on being reactive, on emergency response. Addressing root causes together is the way we will shape a healthier, safer future for all our residents.”

“As our population increases dramatically, so does the demand for the specialized care RVH provides, but we know the focus on health and wellness must begin outside our health centre walls,” explains Charlotte Wallis, RVH Board of Directors Chair. “As we plan for a major expansion of RVH, along with a new south campus, it’s vital that partners work together to identify and address the issues that shape community health and wellbeing. The Barrie Health Accord will ensure we are all focused on the root causes—and solutions—that impact a healthy community.”

This accord, which brings together municipal and regional governments, public health, hospital, and a police service, marks the first of its kind in Canada. The signing of this accord will take place during a virtual event at 1 p.m. Monday.