Category: News

Government awards funding to scale LIPHA program into LTC homes, schools

The Ontario CLRI at Baycrest is excited to share the official announcement of funding from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities to help LTC homes and schools incorporate LIPHA into their training and orientation practices for PSWs, Nurses and students ( and soon to expand to other roles as well).

Read the press release below or find it on the Government’s website!

The Ontario government is investing $1.2 million through the Learning Inter-Professionally Healthcare Accelerator (LIPHA), a new program to support innovative and flexible training for current and future personal support workers (PSWs) and nurses. The program is being made available for free to over 80,000 nurses and PSWs currently employed in Ontario’s long-term care homes and will provide a virtual space with simulated cases for teams and individuals in the sector to practice caring for virtual residents.

“The new LIPHA program is an important investment in the education of current and future PSWs and nurses in our province,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “I encourage all long-term care homes and postsecondary education institutions in Ontario to consider adopting LIPHA, as it is a valuable training tool that can provide personalized, on-demand training for students and existing health care professionals.”

LIPHA is a virtual simulation- and game-based learning program that will be provided free to all of Ontario’s long-term care providers and students training to work in long-term care as PSWs or nurses. The Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation (CLRI) in Long-Term Care has been working in collaboration with the Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI), Baycrest’s Centre for Education and Knowledge Exchange in Aging and Rotman Research Institute (RRI) to further refine, evaluate, implement, spread, and scale the innovative training platform.

The LIPHA app, which can be accessed from any computer or mobile device 24/7, can be adopted by long-term care homes to enhance and accelerate their existing training and orientation processes for nurses and PSWs. LIPHA can help provide onboarding to new hires, refresh the skills of existing staff, and upskill redeployed staff.

LIPHA is also a valuable training tool for Ontario’s postsecondary education institutions, as it propels students to higher levels of competency, while enabling self-directed learning within a serious educational game. By offering multi-media, experiential learning that includes case-based simulations and educational resources, students can safely practice caring for virtual patients and get instant feedback on their progress.

“As a result of COVID-19, long-term care is facing staff shortages unlike any we’ve seen before. We urgently need more frontline staff working to directly care for these most vulnerable members of society,” said Dr. Allison Sekuler, Managing Director, CABHI and the Rotman Research Institute, and Sandra A. Rotman Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and Vice-President Research, Baycrest. “Moving forward through and beyond this pandemic requires new approaches to skill building, re-skilling, and up-skilling within the sector, including novel ways of attracting more students to consider careers in healthcare. We are thrilled that CABHI and the RRI have played such critical roles in the refinement, validation, and mobilization of LIPHA – supporting training for LTC teams to help all older Ontarians live their best possible lives.”

“The Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation at Baycrest and our partners are excited to offer long-term care team members and students an easy to access, high quality virtual training solution to ensure residents receive excellence in care,” said Dr. David Conn, Vice-President Education, Baycrest. “Closing the skills gap in long-term care requires an innovative approach to support rapid progress. LIPHA’s applicability with existing and next generation frontline healthcare providers, and its gamified and self-directed approach allows learners to become more engaged with their training yielding benefits like better retention, which leads to better care.”

“Our government is hiring a historic number of PSWs, RPNs and RNs to increase the hours of care and improve the quality residents receive, now and in the future,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of Long-Term Care. “By funding innovative learning tools like the one announced today, we are ensuring that we are able to recruit and train the tens of thousands of new staff that the long-term care sector needs.”

This investment is part of the government’s Long-Term Care Staffing Plan and is another example of how the province is working with key partners to improve the care and quality of life for people living in long-term care, while addressing the shortage of trained health care professionals.

Surge Learning to host Ontario CLRI eLearning resources

The Ontario CLRI and Surge Learning Inc. are excited to announce a partnership intended to facilitate and further enhance the ease of access to relevant and valuable educational content to team members in the long-term care (LTC) industry across the province. The content will focus on best practices, as well as priority topics such as clinical nursing leadership, end-of-life care, dementia care, acute deterioration, and much more.

Supervisors, administrators, and educators will be able to easily access and assign high-quality eLearning courses developed by the Ontario CLRI via Surge’s learning management system (LMS) portal, which many LTC homes already have access to. LTC Homes will be able to offer team members a collection of dynamic and interactive courses specific to their care environment.

A catalogue of Ontario CLRI learning opportunities will be available on the Surge platform in Summer 2021. New courses will be made available on a regular basis to continue to meet learners’ needs.

“This collaboration offers team members enjoyable learning opportunities in the platform they already know and use, with content that helps staff be better equipped for their roles and to provide quality care to residents in long-term care.” Sophie Orosz, Manager, Ontario CLRI at Bruyère

“We at Surge Learning are excited about this truly collaborative partnership. Staff in Ontario’s long-term care homes can now easily access a multitude of relevant and meaningful topics offered by our two organizations. These learning opportunities bolster essential skills and support staff in the delivery of quality care to the residents that call long-term care homes, their home.” Tulia Ferreira, President and CEO, Surge Learning Inc.

Current Ontario CLRI eLearning courses include the list below. We are grateful to partners and collaborators who have helped develop and guide these offerings and who are listed on each course page.

  • Communication at End-of-Life
  • Clinical Nursing Leadership
  • Infection Prevention and Control in LTC
  • Person-Centred Language for team members and for leaders
  • Adult Learning Principles for LTC
  • Caring for Persons Living with Dementia
  • Team Essentials for Engaging Families in Distress
  • Mealtime Assistance
  • Lifts and Transfers

You can find the full list on 

For more information, contact:
Noel Gruber,
Communications Manager,
Ontario CLRI

Show Some TLC for LTC

Show some TLC for LTC by watching and sharing these videos for LTC team members!

The Ontario CLRI at the RIA, Ontario Health (Central), OLTCA, AdvantAge Ontario, OARC and FCO have come together to spread awareness of LTC team members’ mental health in a series of videos from residents and families in LTC. The videos will be shared starting on  Bell Let’s Talk Day to leverage the focus on mental health and direct attention to the dedication and hard work of frontline team members in LTC, using the hashtag #TLCforLTC

LTC frontline team members are essential in effectively responding to the pandemic despite their personal and professional challenges related to stress, trauma, and health and wellness. “The mental and emotional stress they endure daily is indescribable,” says Julian Morelli, LTC resident family member featured in one of the videos created for the campaign.

Sharron Cooke, an LTC home resident describes team members as “…the heart and soul of my home.” LTC teams need mental health supports that help them cope during these difficult times and ensures they can be there for their residents.

Visit for mental health resources for LTC team members. You can find all the TLCforLTC videos on YouTube.

Resources for Long-Term Care During COVID-19

During this pandemic the Ontario CLRI is working remotely to continue supporting long-term care homes across the province to enhance the health and well-being of team members and residents. 

We are aware that COVID-19 presents a significant challenge to LTC homes. There are key stakeholders in the sector already mobilizing to support care homes (see list below) and we are working with them where opportunity arises to collaborate and support.

The Ontario CLRI is also organizing our activities to respond to the change in priorities for LTC homes to help fill gaps that may exist during the pandemic. We have already begun the development and sharing of new and existing resources to support the psychosocial needs of the LTC workforce:

COVID-19 Resources Page

Ontario CLRI continues to collaborate with digital health services that can help alleviate pressures on hospitals during COVID-19. For example, the Ontario CLRI is coordinating with the eConsult Centre of Excellence to promote the new COVID-19 specialty group available for LTC primary care providers to ask both patient-specific and population-based questions.

We recognize this is a developing situation and needs will evolve as the pandemic runs its course; Ontario CLRI is committed to remaining flexible to respond to the needs in the LTC sector as they arise.

Resources available through sectors stakeholders:

Please also refer to COVID-19 statements or news from our three host organizations: Baycrest Health Sciences, Bruyère, and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging.


The Ontario CLRI is mandated by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Long-Term Care to be a resource for the sector by providing education and sharing research and innovations to enhance the health and well-being of people who live and work in long-term care.