(WATERLOO – March 26, 2019) – Ontario Works clients who experience chronic pain now have access to care that can help them return to work. The Region of Waterloo, in partnership with the Ontario Chiropractic Association and Langs Community Health Centre, has launched the Health2Work program. The Health2Work program provides clients receiving Ontario Works (OW) and non-disabled family members on Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) access to chiropractic care, funded by the OW program.
Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions – like back, neck and shoulder pain – are the leading cause of disability in Canada and can have a significant impact on the ability to work.
“This pilot program is a significant partnership,” said Regional Chair Karen Redman. “Residents will have access to much needed chiropractic care. Where musculoskeletal conditions are barriers to participation in the workforce, this program has the potential to improve mobility, function and general quality of life, as well as to provide new opportunities for returning to work.”
In addition to treating and managing MSK pain, chiropractors and caseworkers work together with OW clients to select suitable employment paths and job training programs based on their physical capabilities. “There mostly seems to be programs suitable for employment ready participants and those with extra or unique needs may fall through the cracks,” said Carey O’Hanlon, Caseworker with the Region of Waterloo. “Assessment from a chiropractor provides us with a better understanding of the person’s physical capabilities and determines next steps that will help them move forward and foster hope for a better future.”
Historically, access to publicly funded care for MSK conditions has been limited and untreated MSK conditions often worsen over time. The Health2Work program gives people the opportunity to relieve their pain and return to work or enter job training programs.
“I busted up my knee and after that I ended up with severe problems in my back and my neck,” said a Health2Work participant whose identity is confidential. “I’d been doing construction for a long time, but I wasn’t able to work. I’m back doing work as an electrician. Not long ago, I could barely get off the floor!”
“Most importantly it gives hope to individuals who experience chronic pain that didn’t think a successful return to work was in reach,” said Bill Davidson, Executive Director at Langs Community Health Centre.
“Getting Ontarians back to work is the priority for everyone involved in this partnership,” said Caroline Brereton, Chief Executive Officer at Ontario Chiropractic Association. “As we continue to expand this program, more patients will be able access the care they need, when they need it most.”
The Health2Work program is currently offered in Cambridge and will be expanding to other cities and townships within Waterloo Region by the end of 2020. Caseworkers, employment facilitators and local community agencies, such as Small Steps to Success – YWCA Cambridge, can refer clients to the program.
For more information on the program, please visit www.health2work.ca.
About Region of Waterloo
The Region of Waterloo’s Employment and Income Support team in Community Services is responsible for the administration of Ontario Works and the Health2Work program in Waterloo Region. Ontario Works provides income support for basic living expenses and can help you prepare for and find work. Learn more here: www.regionofwaterloo.ca.
About Ontario Chiropractic Association
The Ontario Chiropractic Association represents the professional interests of more than 3,600 Ontario chiropractors. More than two million Ontarians rely on chiropractic care every year to help them get back to work and back to doing the things they love. For more information about chiropractic care, go to www.chiropractic.on.ca.
About Langs Community Health Centre
Langs Community Health Centre (CHC) is a community development agency that provides comprehensive health and social services to its community. The main site is located in Cambridge and there is a satellite centre, the North Dumfries CHC, which provides services in that area. More information about Langs CHC can be found at: www.langs.org.
For more information please contact:
Director, Communications and Marketing
Ontario Chiropractic Association
Community Services, Region of Waterloo