Erie St. Clair LHIN Opioid Strategy Invests $475,000 in Windsor/Essex

As part of Ontario’s comprehensive Strategy to Prevent Opioid Addiction and Overdose, the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network (ESC LHIN) is investing $1 million in regional supports to help people impacted by opioid addiction and overdose. Through a new base-funding investment of $475,000, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, Windsor Essex Community Health Centre, and Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) are able to help support more people living with addiction by expanding access to withdrawal management and harm reduction services in the community. This expanded health care system capacity will ensure that people are receiving withdrawal management support closer to home.

Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare
This new funding will be used to hire more front-line outreach withdrawal management staff. The staff help opioid patients, who come into the emergency department and other pressure points in the system, access Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) clinics in the Winsor and Leamington areas. This service model also redirects clients to existing residential withdrawal management services if observation and bedded supports are required.

Windsor Essex Community Health Centre
The initiative is centred on Harm Reduction Community Outreach Workers that are aligned with the Windsor Essex Community Health Centre’s existing street health primary care services. The outreach workers are an important on-going arm of the ESC LHIN harm reduction approach as it aims to engage with clients where they need help and direct them to the appropriate service in a timely manner.

Victorian Order of Nurses
This investment will expand an existing Regional Chronic Pain Program, led by Nurse Practitioners in collaboration with addiction specialist physicians LHIN-wide, to serve two groups: patients going through withdrawal who do not have a primary care provider and individuals with chronic pain who are prescribed high dosages of pain medication requiring monitoring supports. The ESC harm reduction approach will add new opioid case managers to support the creation of an effective standardized clinical approach to care.

This investment supports the ESC LHIN’s Mental Health and Addiction Strategies by improving access to community and residential withdrawal management services for people needing assistance with a chemical or substance addiction.

This $1 million opioid strategy investment by the ESC LHIN is part of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s immediate investment of $22 million province-wide to support local addiction and harm reduction efforts.  Over the next three years, Ontario is investing more than $222 million province-wide to combat the opioid crisis in Ontario, including expanding harm reduction services, hiring more front-line staff, and improving access to addictions supports across the province.

Opioid Addiction and Overdose Initiatives



Base Funding

Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare

Outreach withdrawal management staffing enhancements


Windsor Essex Community
Health Centre

Outreach and harm reduction workers


Victorian Order of Nurses

Opioid case managers for pain clinic program



Community withdrawal management

$ 80,000

Bluewater Health

Interim withdrawal management beds



“The devastating impact of opioid use disorder and overdose has reached every community in Ontario, and crosses all demographics. Our government has been working closely with partners across the province to combat this urgent issue for more than a year, and we are continuing to strengthen our strategy and increase harm reduction, addiction treatment and other supports. It is through this collaborative, evidence-based and comprehensive approach that we will be able to effectively address this crisis and save lives.”

  • Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“The opioid crisis is reaching into our communities and impacting people from all walks of life. The Erie St. Clair LHIN is dedicated to rolling out solutions that meet local withdrawal management service needs. Our investment is designed to make a difference on the front-line, where we are seeing the greatest opportunity for impact.”

  • Ralph Ganter, CEO, Erie St. Clair LHIN

“This investment being made by the Erie St. Clair LHIN will allow Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare to continue to improve access to care and save the lives of those struggling with chemical or substance use.”

  • Janice Kaffer, CEO, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare

“We appreciate the support of the Erie St. Clair LHIN in this initiative. The funding will provide us with the capacity to provide outreach workers that will engage with individuals and groups at WECHC sites and other community locations to provide education and prevention information, harm reduction strategies, and support for those seeking treatment and recovery in the community.”

  • Patrick Brown, Executive Director, Windsor Essex Community Health Centre

“The current opioid crisis is one of the most serious issues facing our communities. As a leading community health care provider, and provider of chronic pain management programs, VON is acutely aware of the challenge, and is determined to play a part in the efforts to help support those affected. VON is thankful to the Erie St Clair LHIN for the opportunity to be a part of the innovative and collaborative work required to find solutions for our communities.”

  • Andrew Ward, VON Regional Executive Director, VON South West Ontario

Additional Information