Beyond Silos: Integrating Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists into Primary Care Teams

Canadians address their health care needs with their family physician in primary care settings. With record high population growth, a growing understanding of the importance of early childhood intervention, and an increasingly elderly population there is a recognized need for primary healthcare reform. This reform is happening globally, endorsed by the World Health Organization and UNICEF, and is focused on changing health systems from siloed care towards integrated interprofessional primary care. In November 2022, the Government of Canada’s Sectorial Workforce Solutions Program approved a $45.3 million project to better prepare professionals to work together to provide more person-centred, accessible healthcare throughout the lifespan that is comprehensive and delivered as close as possible to where people live and work.

This is the first of three presentations at the SAC conference on comprehensive interprofessional primary care (CIPC). This presentation introduces important foundational concepts including the patient’s medical home and neighbourhood, shared principles of primary care, and interprofessional collaborative practice core competencies. We will provide an overview of our Team Primary Care project focused on the importance of audiologists and SLPs within primary care teams to reduce disparities in healthcare for people with communication disorders.