Remote Work

Terms of Reference

1.0 Purpose

To bring together a multi-sectoral team (based on the Healthcare Pentagram Partners – see Appendix) to oversee the development and implementation of a Northern Physician Resources Action Plan, that is built on the ideas and strategies that were identified in both the College of Family Physicians of Canada’s Rural Road Map for Action and at the Summit North: Building a Flourishing Physician Workforce (held in January 2018).

2.0 Background

Following Summit North, a multi-stakeholder Task Force was created to finalize a summary report and to ensure that the deliberations, and those actions, from the summit are realized, and momentum sustained, across Northern Ontario.

To help support that work, the Task Force retained a consultant, whose work included mapping the strategic initiatives that were identified at the summit and  creating a “made in the North” Action Plan.

The ultimate goal of the Task Force is to create and facilitate a model (or combination of strategies) that will help communities build health workforce capacity in the North and introduce innovative models that will lead to more equitable access to care for patients and greater health equity for rural, remote and Indigenous communities.  To that end, the task force will also continue to support the development of a Knowledge Transfer Project which will involve the creation of a new “service and workforce design” model, built on a similar strategy adopted in Queensland, Australia.

The work of the Northern Physician Resources Task Force was originally intended to take no longer than eight-months however, circumstances have evolved and there is ongoing need to maintain a focus on the actions of the task force.

3.0 Scope and Functions

Much of the work of the Task Force (i.e. to create a Northern “Action Plan”) has been accomplished.  In 2019-2020 the work scope of the work will include:

  1. Revising a Terms of Reference which will clarify renewed scope
  2. Reporting back to Summit North participants to keep them informed and updated on work of the Task Force and progression of action items.
  3. Ensuring that the final Northern Physician Resources Action Plan is understood in the context of the evolving provincial context
  4. Establishing baseline data/performance indicators to help measure success
  5. Planning a potential subsequent Summit North 2 (as needed)
  6. Recalibrating the work of the task force to align with and support the development of and emerging direction of Government including the creation of Ontario Health
  7. Supporting the creation of a data collection and assessment tool that will aid in future Health Human Resources planning and service/workforce design
  8. Prior to close of the task force, establish a mechanism through task force organizations to ensure that there is sustained attention to the physician resource issue.
  9. In completing its work, the Task Force should have regard for other complementary initiatives and strategies related to the North and other jurisdictions including, including, but not limited to: NAN Health Transformation project, Northern Policy Institute, Northern Health Equity Strategy, Health Workforce Planning Advisory Table, etc.
  10. Ensuring a strategy is in place to facilitate appropriate and timely communications and document dissemination to Summit North participants, and others in keeping with the need for all pentagram partner in Ontario to understand and embrace the work of physician recruitment and retention
  11. Identifying other work that can support the work of the task force member organizations (i.e. Making it Work: Recruit and Retain)

4.0 Reporting and Decision Making

The Task Force will be co-chaired by two members, each of whom represent one of the organizations of the Task Force. Appointments to co-chair will be for a 6-month period and may rotate (or be extended), as appropriate, to address the evolving provincial context.

Regular reports/material will be circulated by the Co-chairs in advance of meetings.

Any member may table/circulate documents/information at meetings and/or via e-mail although time for advance preparation for the meeting is helpful and circulation in advance of meetings is strongly encouraged.

Decisions of the task force will be made by consensus, based on the members present at a meeting where decisions have been discussed. Only compelling information could result in a decision being brought back to the Task Force, of which a request for reconsideration would first be presented to the Co-Chairs.

5.0 Task Force Process

The Task Force will oversee the implementation of the action plan including the monitoring and guidance of work being undertaken by Task Force members/groups who are given lead assignments. The Task Force will also have oversight of work and material prepared by any consultants retained for this project.

Much of the material would have been generated at the Summit which the Task Force will distill and formulate an action plan that is achievable and impactful in helping transform physician recruitment and retention effectiveness in those areas of the North that continue to struggle.

Time commitment to the Task Force will include reviewing material and attending about five meetings (WebEx tele/video conferencing) per year.

6.0 Composition


One representative from each of the following partner organizations:

  • Northwest Local Health Integration Network
  • Northeast Local Health Integration Network
  • HealthForceOntario Marketing and Recruitment Agency
  • Northern Ontario School of Medicine
  • Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
  • Ontario Medical Association
  • Ontario Hospital Association
  • Nishnawbe Aski Nation
  • Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities
  • Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association
  • Northern Teaching Hospital Council
  • Réseau du mieux-être francophone du Nord de l’Ontario

NOSM will also provide additional staff resources to support the administrative/secretariat work of the Task Force, including the housing and maintenance of a web-based presence for the task force.

As needed, guests will be invited to attend a meeting(s) with the consensus of the group.

7.0 Meetings

Meetings will be held on a regular basis (generally bi-monthly), or at the call of the Co-chairs, to ensure the functions and goals can be achieved in the intended timelines.


Partnership Pentagram
Partnership Pentagram