Frequently Asked Questions


What is Winnipeg Integrated Services?


Winnipeg Integrated Services (WIS)
is a partnership between the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA), Manitoba Family Services and Housing (FSH) and Manitoba Health (MH) that will bring about the integration of health and social services in community areas throughout Winnipeg. By integrating services and providing them from convenient community locations, WIS will make it easier for citizens to access services and information, and improve coordination between services.

WIS will also build and support community activity and development; assess community needs and provide services that reflect those needs; and provide opportunities for citizens to participate in the design, delivery and evaluation of services.

What are the main objectives of WIS?

The main objectives of WIS are:

  • To treat individuals and families as a whole rather than dealing with each issue in isolation.

  • To make it easier for individuals and families to find all of the services that they require by bringing those services together under one roof, in a convenient community location.

  • To coordinate health and social services so that they reinforce and complement each other.

  • To establish coordinated and collaborative processes, and develop joint planning mechanisms which support the delivery of multiple, cross-program services.

  • To involve clients, families and the community in service and program planning.

  • To explore opportunities to partner with other organizations.

What types of services will be available to the community through WIS?

Each community area has unique characteristics that will be considered when determining the appropriate range of services and programs. However, typical services will include the following:

  • Child Day Care
  • Child and Family Services
  • Children's Special Services
  • Community Engagement and Development
  • Community Mental Health
  • Employment and Income Assistance
  • Employment Supports for Persons with Disabilities
  • Home Care
  • Housing
  • Primary Care
  • Public Health
  • Service to Seniors
  • Supported Living

What will be different in the way services are delivered?

At the present time, WRHA and FSH deliver services separately from a variety of locations. Under WIS, wherever possible staff from WRHA and FSH will work from common community locations. They will answer to the same manager, and they will function as a health and social service team, responding to the unique needs of the community area. Service provision will be coordinated to improve access and to lessen duplication and fragmentation, and citizens will be assisted in identifying and connecting with the services they need. Staff will also assume a more active role in the community, building and strengthening relationships with community organizations.

What has been accomplished so far?

WIS has recently defined a Community Access Model that will serve as a road map for integrating services by providing the necessary framework and concepts for improving service delivery and coordination; by improving access to information and services; by building community connections; and by making important structural and technical changes. Work is also underway to develop local implementation plans for service delivery.

We have created six "paired community areas", and have appointed a Community Area Director or Interim Area Director in each. These Area Directors and their team managers and supervisors will oversee the delivery of integrated health and social services in their communities. Work is underway to align staff and their clients with the community areas, and to develop procedures for coordinating services.

At the present time, there are three new ACCESS Centres in development. ACCESS River east, located at 975 Henderson Highway, is very close to completion, and is scheduled to open in January of 2004. We are currently looking for a suitable location for ACCESS Transcona, within the boundaries of McMeans Avenue on the north, Ravenhurst Street on the east, Pandora Avenue on the south and Plessis Road on the west. ACCESS Transcona is scheduled to open in 2005. ACCESS Inkster is still in the early planning stages, and we are currently focusing on defining program and space requirements. An opening date has not been determined.

Will each community receive a new ACCESS Centre?

Some communities will receive new facilities and some will offer services from existing facilities. That decision will be based on community need, the availability of appropriate existing facilities, and other relevant factors. Whether new or old, all community service locations will qualify to use the term ACCESS Centre if they meet the following criteria:

  • Encourage the community's perspective and input in addressing main health and social issues in the community.

  • Support approaches that promote citizen and community health and well being.

  • Have information available to citizens about the full range of services offered by the WRHA, FSH and MH, as well as information about related community services.

  • Have service navigation available to assess citizen's presenting needs, and to arrange appointments and make referrals to an appropriate program specialist, intake worker or case worker.

  • Have staff participating actively in the community area's network of services and interdisciplinary service delivery teams.

  • Have hours of operation and locations of service that are convenient to the public.

  • Provide services collaboratively with other community organizations, such as the police service, community services, recreation, etc.

  • Have on-site services that include one or more services from each of the WRHA and FSH, as well as primary care services.

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