LHIN Sub-regions: Bringing Local Even Closer to Home

wwlhin subregion map 2017What is a sub-region?

Sub-regions are local geographies within Local Health Integration Networks.

Why are they needed?

Sub-regions allow LHINs to better plan, integrate, and improve the performance of local health services. They also have the potential to better identify and capture diverse population needs–be they linguistic, cultural or others–and to help our health care system better respond to these needs.

Will sub-regions create more bureaucracy?

No. Sub-regions are a planning tool - not additional bureaucracy. Some have been in place informally for many years. They were established based on existing care patterns to enable health planners and providers to better identify and respond to the health care needs of local communities, to ensure that patients are able to access the care they need, when and where they need it. A sub-region is not a boundary. They will not restrict Ontarians as they make their health care decisions.

Where are the sub-regions in Waterloo Wellington?

Currently, the Waterloo Wellington LHIN has four sub-regions: Wellington (including Centre and North Wellington, Guelph-Eramosa, and a small part of Grey County), Guelph (including Puslinch), Cambridge & North Dumfries, and KW4 (Kitchener, Waterloo, Wilmot, Woolwich, and Wellesley). The current geographies are shown in the map to the left.

How were they developed?

The sub-regions were developed based on consultation with local health service providers and primary care/hospital data when developing Health Links to better serve residents with complex care needs.

What’s happening now?

While a sub-region approach to health service planning and evaluation has been in place for several years, the Waterloo Wellington LHIN is refreshing and formalizing the geographies of the sub-regions to allow for more integrated planning at this local level. 

To do this, the Waterloo Wellington LHIN analyzed qualitative and quantitative data assessing access and utilization of health care services, current service locations, population health, and vulnerable populations, including French-speaking and Aboriginal populations.  

Learn more about each sub-region:

Based on the data analysis and anecdotal evidence, the Waterloo Wellington LHIN recommended the sub-region geographies remain the same as the current Health Links areas. Read more about the draft recommendation. The draft recommendation was shared broadly with stakeholders, along with an opportunity to provide additional input and feedback. Read the survey results.

The WWLHIN has considered this additional input, with almost 70 per cent of respondents supporting the draft recommendation. As a result, a recommendation is being submitted to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care that the sub-region geographies remain the same as the current Health Links areas. However, based on feedback received, the recommendation was modified to clearly articulate the need for specific focus on process design within the sub-regions to ensure planning reflects the needs of both urban and rural residents. Also based on feedback, the name of the Guelph sub-region was changed to Guelph-Puslinch to more clearly identify the geography. Read more about the final recommendation.


The WWLHIN submitted its recommendation to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for consideration and the four sub-regions were approved. There will be additional engagement opportunities to determine what integrated planning in the sub-regions will look like to ensure diversity within sub-regions is captured in the planning process.

Sub-Region Maps