About the Waterloo Wellington LHIN
The Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network (WWLHIN) plans, integrates (connects and improves), and funds health services to improve the health and well-being of approximately 775,000 residents in Waterloo Region, Wellington County, the City of Guelph, and the southern part of Grey County.
WWLHIN staff work with local residents and health care providers to identify and meet the unique health needs of our community. The WWLHIN team is comprised of doctors, nurses, and other health care and business professionals who are dedicated to providing a resident-focused approach to local health care funding, design, and improvement.
Our sole purpose – our mission – is to lead a high-quality, integrated health system for our residents. We are obsessed with acting in the best interests of our residents’ health and well-being, and always mindful that a decision affecting one part of the population or one service cannot be made without considering the impact on the whole. We work closely with clinicians, administrators and staff in our 74 health service providers and a range of other community partners. Together we are ‘community building’ and a big part of that is ensuring better health and better futures for all our residents.
Our residents and families are at the heart of our strategy to improve access, service and quality within our local health care system.
The LHINs assumed responsibility for health system management within their designated boundaries on April 1, 2007. More background is available in the Local Health System Integration Act 2006 or you can also read about the Value of LHINs. As a crown agency, the WWLHIN operates on the provincial fiscal year (April 1 – March 31). Financial information related to the WWLHIN can be found in the WWLHIN Annual Reports.
Communities We Serve
The WWLHIN serves approximately 775,000 residents in Waterloo Region, Wellington County, the City of Guelph, and the southern part of Grey County. This covers approximately 4,800 square kilometers, stretching from Proton Station in the north to Ayr in the south, Clifford at the most westerly point and Erin to the east. It also encompasses the major urban centers of Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge, and Guelph. 90% of our geography is rural, and 90% of our population lives in urban areas.
As of Q3 2013, the WWLHIN's 775,000 residents included the following population demographics:
- 9,000 residents who self-identify as Aboriginal
- 15,500 residents who are Francophone
- 93,000 residents who are visible minorities
- 103,000 residents who are over the age of 65
The WWLHIN includes all of the following communities:
- Eden Mills
- Glen Allan
- Little Lake
- Mount Forest
- New Dundee
- New Hamburg
- St. Agatha
- St. Clements
- St. Jacobs
- Swinton Park
- West Montrose
Our Community Profile
The WWLHIN is home to approximately 775,000 people, 5.7% of the population of Ontario. Since 2007, the WWLHIN’s population has increased, on average, by 1.2% each year. The population of Ontario increased by 1.1% annually during this same period of time. The WWLHIN has a relatively young population with 87% of residents under the age of 65 years.
Although over 20% of the population of Waterloo Wellington are immigrants and 11.7% cent are visible minorities, these percentages are lower than the provincial averages. Approximately 1.2% of WWLHIN residents self-identify as Aboriginal and 2% of the population is French-speaking.
Both the unemployment and low income rates in Waterloo Wellington are lower than provincial rates. 58% of adults (age 25+) have attained post-secondary education credentials.
Our Health Profile
The health of residents in Waterloo Wellington is measured by a number of different health indicators. These indicators are compared to provincial averages to determine how healthy residents are compared to the rest of the province.
Life expectancy among males and females in Waterloo Wellington is similar to life expectancy for Ontario. The percentage of newborns classified as “small for gestational age” was less than the provincial average, while the percentage classified as “large for gestational age” was slightly higher. This is important because low birth weight is a determinant of infant health.
Self-reported health, an indicator of overall health status, can reflect aspects of health not captured in other measures, and Waterloo Wellington residents are more likely than Ontarians to rate their overall health as “Excellent” or “Good”.
Poor health practices are related to increased risk of chronic conditions, mortality and disability. Examples of poor health practices are smoking (20.3% of residents smoke), not eating well (only 37.5% report eating the recommended number of healthy foods), and not exercising (56.7% report being physically active). More than 50% of residents report that they are overweight or obese.
The chronic conditions with the highest mortality rates in Waterloo Wellington are cancer, ischemic heart disease, and stroke.