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Toronto Central LHIN Receives Honour Roll mention in Minister’s Medal 2018 Awards

Honouring Debra Walko for the Individual Champion Category

TORONTO, ON (October 15th, 2018) – Toronto Central LHIN is pleased to announce the honour roll mention of Debra Walko, Senior Director of Complex Care and Seniors Services at LOFT Community Services, for the 2018 Minister’s Medal Awards Honouring Excellence in Health Quality and Safety.

Debra was nominated for her 30 years of effort in transforming the healthcare system, championing the right for seniors who deal with mental health, addiction and responsive behaviours, to live with dignity and independence. This was especially challenging as at this time there was very little acknowledgement regarding these issues.

The theme of this year's Minister’s Medal awards is Innovating Integration, which focuses on recognizing the innovative and transformative initiatives being undertaken across the province to improve patient and provider experiences, support better value, and improve health outcomes across the province.

“Toronto Central LHIN and the people we serve are fortunate to have a champion like Debra Walko as partner, advocate and leader for community support services. Debra’s contribution to our local health care system has been invaluable and most deserving of this recognition. Thank you Debra, for all your hard work and dedication to date, and for your continued commitment to putting your clients’ needs first.”

— Susan Fitzpatrick, Chief Executive Officer, Toronto Central LHIN


“Debra never loses sight of the people we serve and her values are rock-solid. She has vision and she is effective at co-creating innovative projects that will help make health services accessible to all. Debra has created partnerships with hospitals and other community agencies to help serve seniors who do not need to be in hospital or are in the shelter system. Debra has limitless abilities to connect, transform and act.She is an inspiration to all of us.”

— Heather McDonald, Chief Executive Officer, LOFT Community Services


The Toronto Central LHIN received 27 applications, three times as many received the previous year. Including 20 nominations in the Team category, two nominations in the Individual Patient/ Caregiver category and five nominations within the Individual Champion category.



Dave Richie
Director, Transition Communications and Engagement
Home and Community Care Support Services


About Home and Community Care Support Services

Home and Community Care Support Services (formerly known as Local Health Integration Networks) has a focused mandate to deliver local health care services such as home care, access to community services and long-term care home placement. These agencies previously had additional responsibilities for local health system funding and management, but these functions were transferred to and assumed by Ontario Health on April 1, 2021.

Home and Community Care Support Services is dedicated to ensuring the ongoing delivery of local services while Ontario makes changes to improve the health care system to give patients better connected care with health care providers working as one coordinated team in Ontario Health Teams.

Although these agencies are operating under new business names, services and contact information remain the same, including home and community care, long-term care home placement and help finding services and local doctors. 


Our name has changed but local services and contact information remain the same, including home and community care and long-term care home placement. Health system planning and funding functions are now part of Ontario Health.