The Family Health Team has moved – mostly – to new facilities on Zuke Rd this week. But some of the professional staff with the health team will remain at the Clinic.
“We’re going to have two sites,” said director Jennifer Learning. “We will still be at the Clinic for programs like INR, healthy babies, COPD… programs that need [access] to a physician. At the Outreach site [on Zuke Rd.] we’ll have the diabetes, exercise, hypertension, and mental health programs.”
The change is going to mean a new telephone number. To contact any the Family Health Team’s professionals – RNs, RPNs, mental health worker, dietitian – call 597-8781. To reach the physicians, call 597-2721. (The new number won’t be operational until December 7. Use 597-2721 until then.)
It will also mean any appointments with Family Health Team professionals will include a location as well as a time. Some of them will still be based upstairs at the Clinic.
Learning will be based at the Clinic two days a week, and at the Outreach site the rest of the week.
“We expect it will be a little rough on everyone at the start – this is a big change. But we will get it all worked out,” said Learning.
“The move is a good thing,” said FHT board chair Marlene Davidson. “We just couldn’t survive down here any longer; we had to move.”
“We’ve been growing so much,” said Learning, referring to the increased number of programs, and the increase in participation in nearly all of them over the past two years. “We’ve just outgrown this space. We’re maxed out right now… bursting at the seams.”
“It hasn’t been an easy decision… the board has been looking at this since 2009,” continued Learning. The board, with the Town’s support, looked into building a new clinic, but there seemed little chance of getting funding for that anytime soon.
“This building [formerly Tramin’s headquarters] was the best option,” said Learning. “Tramin has done just an amazing job helping us facilitate this move.”
The Family Health Team’s partnership with the ANFC has really helped boost participation in a number of programs, with the exercise sessions leading the way. Pole walking filled up immediately; and the resistance bands workouts have been so successful the FHT plans to continue them all winter. They will move from the mall to the new Outreach site this week.
Learning and Davidson said they expect finding transportation to the new Outreach site will be an issue for some clients.
“We’re still thinking about what this means for transportation, and are working on coming up with some alternatives [for clients],” said Learning.
- The Family Health Team has reached an agreement with the CCAC (Community Care Access Centre) and will have its nurse practitioner, Nikita Matichuk, working with Family Health Team clients one day a week (Thursdays) through the end of March.
- Learning emphasized that one of the primary roles of the Family Health Team remains the same: helping people navigate the complexities of the health care system.
“This is where to come when you can’t figure out what to do or where you’re supposed to go. Come here and we’ll help figure it out.