About our LHIN

The South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) is a crown agency responsible for the planning, integration and funding of nearly 200 health service providers including hospitals, long-term care homes, mental health and addictions agencies, community support services, and community health centres. The South West covers an area from Lake Erie to the Bruce Peninsula and is home to almost one million people.


  • Compassion – “We appreciate that our actions have real implications for people and communities”
  • Courage – “We will make difficult decisions and challenge the status quo when required”
  • Evidence-informed – “Our decisions will be guided by the best available information”
  • Innovation – “We will encourage and support new thinking and the sharing of new knowledge”
  • Integrity – “We will act  in a fair, consistent and unbiased manner”
  • Trust and Respect – “We believe in  mutual trust and respect”
  • Culture and Diversity – "We will respect the unique context, experiences, and needs of diverse populations and communities

What is a Local Health Integration Network?

LHINs are a fundamental component of the government’s plan to build a stronger health care system in Ontario. Passed in March 2006, the Local Health System Integration Act is intended to create a health care system that keeps people healthy, cares for them when they are sick and will be there for their children and grandchildren.

The provincial plan for making that vision a reality has three priorities: Healthier Ontarians, reduced wait times, and better access to doctors and nurses. These priorities will be supported by initiatives to improve the planning, management and coordination of services through the 14 LHINS that were established in 2005. LHINs determine the health care priorities and services required in their local communities, reflecting the reality that a community’s health needs and priorities are best understood by those familiar with the community.

Our name says it all

The South West LHIN ensures that LOCAL people -- health care providers and consumers -- help to identify health care priorities and solutions, based on local needs, wants, circumstances and expectations.

The LHIN is responsible for ensuring the HEALTH of the population within its geographic area, by providing high quality health promotion, prevention, diagnosis and treatment. LHINs will, for the first time, involve Ontarians in the health care conversation.

Another key word is INTEGRATION. The LHIN brings together organizations across the health continuum, from health centres and community care to hospitals and long-term care, to ensure that consumers get the care they need, when and where they need it. Ultimately, integration means a more efficient and effective system – and that’s important at a time when health care costs are increasing and our population is aging.

By functioning as a NETWORK – a group or organizations and individuals linked by shared goals – the LHIN ensures that the health care system is not a frustrating labyrinth for consumers, but rather a clear path to improved health for all.

Our role and responsibilities

The South West LHIN is responsible for engaging health care providers, consumers, volunteers and the public in the work that lies ahead.

By bringing together publicly funded health agencies and organizations in our area, the South West LHIN will help to ensure a seamless continuum of high quality care for health care consumers and their families. The South West LHIN will be responsible for the accountability arrangements and funding of:

  • Public and private hospitals
  • Community support service agencies
  • Community mental health and addictions agencies
  • Community health centres
  • Long-term care homes

The LHIN works closely with-- but is not directly responsible for-- the funding of physicians, public health, ambulance services, laboratories, and provincial drug programs.