About Us

Ontario Partners in Health (OPiH) is a privately-held, health services management company founded in 1989 with our first mandate being to manage health services for the University of Ottawa Health. Over the last 30 years we have operated officially as the University of Ottawa Health Services (UOHS), until 2019 when a name change was made to better reflect our broader mandate to develop and manage healthcare services for clients and partners in our surrounding community.

Since our inception, OPiH has expanded the breadth and scope of services offered to the University of Ottawa community as well serving alumni and the general community. We have gone from a small clinic with 3 full-time physicians, 1 full-time psychiatrist, a part-time physiotherapist, and 7 staff members occupying a 2000 square feet space to a large and modern inter-disciplinary practice that is approved as both a Family Health Organization (FHO, 2006) and a Family Health Team (FHT Wave 3, 2006). The University of Ottawa Health Services and the Family Health Team, now known collectively known as ByWard FHT, currently has over 100 health care professionals and 115 staff members with 6 locations comprising over 35,000 square feet of space on, and adjacent to, the University of Ottawa main campus as well as at its headquarters at 2310 St. Laurent Blvd. in Ottawa.

Under OPiH’s management and coordination, ByWard FHT providers and staff work tirelessly to deliver enhanced health services to the University of Ottawa and surrounding communities. The combined total of the operating budgets for fiscal 2020/2021 is over $13M.

ADMINISTRATIVE VALUES AND OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE

As a result of our innovative model, which incorporates services to the broader community, our skills and expertise have expanded well beyond the post-secondary context. OPiH has evolved into a premier primary health care services delivery organization, while maintaining excellence in the specific dimension of student health.

In addition to our core work managing the student health service of the University of Ottawa, OPiH has extended our activities into clinical services for a variety of other clients. Revenues generated by the activities managed by OPiH for our partners are retained by our partners, providing them with much needed funding to be used to increase services to their constituents.

Significant expansion of space and services, particularly over the last 10 years, has provided OPiH with many opportunities to hone skills and develop experience and resources in the areas of clinical management, human resources management, project management, facilities management, information management, marketing and communications, government relations, and in particular, student relations/placements and service excellence.

Administrative Team

In addition to the organization’s wealth of knowledge and experience overall, OPIH is led by a very solid administrative team. Our leaders and managers bring a wide range of skills to their work and are always eager to tackle new challenges, innovate for the benefit of patients and apply their skills in meaningful ways and in support of organizational goals. Our Executive Team, in particular, brings a diverse range of complementary skills to the organization:

OPiH President and CEO

Christopher Fisher, has occupied several upper management positions with the organization since early 2006 and has spearheaded a more than two-fold expansion of the organization through the conversion to a Family Health Organization and the addition of a Family Health Team. Mr. Fisher’s knowledge and experience in clinic and business management, change management and particularly the implementation of primary care models in a student-focused context have been honed through his work with OPiH over the last 15 years.

OPiH Medical Director

Dr. Danielle Gervais, has been a practicing family physician at ByWard FHT since 2002. In 2012 she became the OPiH Associate Medical Director and moved into the role of Medical Director following Dr. Kilby’s retirement from active medical practice in 2019. Dr. Gervais brings a solid clinical background to the role but, more importantly, a sharp and inquisitive mind for details and process. Danielle oversees the development of all clinical policies and sits on many internal committees to provide the physician perspective.

OPIH Director of Operations

Nathalie Laforest joined OPiH team in 2010. Mrs. Laforest has over 10 years of experience in leadership roles in both the public and private sector and has extensive knowledge of administrative support functions. She is an integral part of the management team responsible for planning the day-to-day operations of our administrative support teams. Nathalie is also responsible for developing and implementing several organizational strategies, policies and practices.

OPiH Associate Director (Clinical)

Denise Belanger, has been in position since late 2008 and brings a wealth of health care experience to her oversight of all OPiH clinical services. A registered nurse by training, Mrs. Belanger worked in a variety of clinical and administrative roles with the Ottawa Hospital before becoming that institution’s Clinical Director – Surgery. Subsequent to completing an MHS, Denise decided to transition to primary care and apply her skills and knowledge to this important component of the health system.

Founder and Former Medical Director

Founder and past President of OPiH as well as former Medical Director, Dr. Donald Kilby, has over 40 years of experience as a physician. He has previously been appointed chair of both Federal and Provincial Ministerial Advisory Councils for HIV and AIDS and brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and contacts to his work with OPiH. Although now retired from clinical practice, Don remains very involved with OPiH in an advisory capacity.