Strengthening Primary Care in North Simcoe MuskokaHealth care staff sitting and standing together

The North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN is committed to an integrated health system, inclusive of primary care. Primary care is the foundation of a strong, reliable and high quality health care system.

Improving access to primary care is also a focus for the 2016-19 Integrated Health Service Plan (IHSP).  Through engagement of users of local health care services, health service provider leaders and governors and 8 community engagement sessions and 1 telephone town hall, the LHIN received feedback on the future direction of local health care to help inform our priorities.

Sub-Region Clinical Leads

Under the guidance of Dr. Rebecca Van Iersel, the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN’s Vice-President Clinical, the LHIN is pleased to work with the Clinical Leads who will support the design and implementation of the LHIN’s primary care strategy.

They will work closely with primary care providers, inter-professional teams, and health care administrators to assist in developing a more integrated network of care at the sub-region level, including primary care, public health, home and community care, mental health and addictions, long-term care, and acute care. All five leads continue to maintain their current practice within their respective communities.


Clinician: Dr. Monica Wolnik

Sub-Region: Barrie and Area

After completing a Bachelor of Science at the University of Guelph, Dr. Wolnik attended McMaster University for Medical school. She completed a Family Medicine Residency through Queen’s University including a third year Special Competency training in Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Wolnik moved to Barrie in 1996 and practiced full time Emergency Medicine for six years before starting a family. Since 2002 she has continued to practice Emergency Medicine part-time at Royal Victoria Regional Heath Centre, Barrie. Dr. Wolnik is one of the founding partners of the Huronia Urgent Care Clinic (HUCC) and has been the Medical Director of the HUCC since 2006. She was involved with introducing telemedicine to the region and has experience working as a supervising physician at the Georgian College Nurse Practitioner led clinic.

Clinician: Dr. Kim McIntosh

Sub-Region: Couchiching

Dr. McIntosh has worked as a family physician in Orillia since her second year of residency in 2001. She enjoys being a board member and a physician with the Couchiching Family Health Team (CFHT), and has a busy clinical practice providing comprehensive care both in the hospital and the community. She has served six years as the Department Chief of Family Medicine at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) and is currently completing a three-year term as Program Medical Director for acute care medicine and patient flow.

Dr. McIntosh has faculty appointments with the department of medicine at the University of Toronto, McMaster University and Queen’s University and enjoys teaching medical students and residents from any university through the Rural Ontario Medical Program.

Clinician: Dr. David Mathies

Sub-Region: Muskoka

Dr. Mathies has lived in Huntsville for the past 36 years, arriving straight out of a residency in Family Medicine at Western University. His scope of practice has included Obstetrics, Emergency Department, Hospitalist, Nursing Home, as well as a large office practice.

Dr. Mathies served a term as President of the Ontario College of Family Physicians and continues to serve on the Finance Committee of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Through his work with Ministry of Health, he saw the initiation of Family Practice group funding through rostering, and Family Health Teams. He was a founder of the Family Health Team in Huntsville as part of the first provincial rollout of these teams, and serves on its Board of Directors.

Dr. Mathies served for 17 years as the Chief of Staff of Algonquin Health Services, and then after hospital amalgamation, of Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare.

He is the lead of the Huntsville Family Health Organization.

Clinician: Dr. Herman Jilesen

Sub-Region: North Simcoe

Born in Holland, Dr. Jilesen completed his undergraduate degree at Trent University and obtained his medical degree from Queen’s University. During medical school, Dr. Jilesen played rugby for the Queen’s Golden Gaels.

After completing his internship at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton, Dr. Jilesen moved to Victoria and set up a practice. After 28 years on the West Coast, he moved to Midland, where he, within a short time, joined the inaugural group with the North Simcoe Family Health Team with involvement as a physician lead.

Dr. Jilesen has had active hospital privileges since starting his career in Midland and has served on many hospital committees. He was chief of staff for some 20 years and was involved in the amalgamation of the two local hospitals during that time. He has had the privilege of mentoring medical students and residents over the years through the Rural Ontario Medical Program.

Presently, Dr. Jilesen continues to be involved with North Simcoe Family Health Team.


Clinician: Dr. Harry O’Halloran

Sub-Region: South Georgian Bay

Dr. O’Halloran has been in General/Family Practice in Collingwood since 1986, and on staff at the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital throughout that time.

He has had multiple leadership roles in Primary care including Co-Chief of Family Practice at Collingwood General and Marine Hospital, Lead Physician of the Georgian Bay Family Health Organization, and as the inaugural Primary Care Physician Lead for the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN from 2012-2015.

Dr. O’Halloran has been very involved with the South Georgian Bay Health Link, and looks forward to continuing his involvement in supporting the area’s ongoing efforts to enhance care through innovative and collaborative initiatives.



Primary Care Access - 2015/16 Holiday Season

As flu season did not hit as expected during the holiday, North Simcoe Muskoka was in the unique position of having local data that reflects the impact of primary care access on the system.  Based on information collected in a survey of family physicians and Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics, the NSM LHIN was able to compile information on primary care availability in NSM over the 2015/16 holiday season.  

 Below is an analysis of the data collected during December 2015 and January 2016: