Nurse Practitioner Clinic fills primary care gaps for Kenora and surrounding area
Kenora, ON – Monday, November 12, 2018
Kenora’s Sunset Country Family Health team is pleased to announce that a Nurse Practitioner Clinic will be opening in early 2019. Three Nurse Practitioners will provide full-time primary care services, helping to address the long wait times many residents have experienced in acquiring a primary care provider.
The announcement comes during National Nurse Practitioner week, November 11 to 17, which is an opportunity to recognize the Nurse Practitioner role and increase awareness of the exceptional care that Nurse Practitioners provide.
Colleen Neil, Executive Director, Sunset Country Family Health Team, said, “At its core, the Nurse Practitioner Clinic will be focused on increasing access to primary care services within Kenora and surrounding area.”
To ensure the process is fair, the Clinic will be contacting eligible patients who are registered with Health Care Connect. Health Care Connect is a program launched by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to help Ontarians without a family health care provider find one. More information is available at www.ontario.ca/page/find-family-doctor-or-nurse-practitioner or by calling 1-800-445-1822.
“For those residents that have been registered with Health Care Connect, this is a new and innovative approach to connect them with primary care providers,” Neil says.
Why a Nurse Practitioner?
Nurse Practitioners are Registered Nurses with post-graduate education that enables them to practice independently as well as in collaboration with other healthcare providers, which includes referrals to specialists if necessary. “The Nurse Practitioner is fully qualified to provide diagnosis and treatment of illnesses and injuries, order and interpret medical testing, and prescribe medications. Our approach is generally more holistic and includes health promotion and disease prevention strategies,” says Kristen Patrick, one of the Nurse Practitioners at the new Clinic. “We assess and help patients understand how their unique life circumstances impact health.”
Neil says that the goal is to accept patients of all ages who meet the eligibility criteria: Are registered with Health Care Connect and for now, are permanent residents without a primary care provider. They also cannot be deemed “medically complex”, meaning they require 10 or more prescriptions, require care by many different types of healthcare providers, and are frequently hospitalized due to ongoing health problems.
She emphasizes that the Clinic provides another option for primary care services and that it is not a “stepping stone” while clients continue to wait to be rostered with a family physician. Once patients are accepted to the Nurse Practitioner Clinic, they will be removed from Health Care Connect.
“Choosing a Nurse Practitioner instead of a family physician doesn’t mean you are electing for less care,” she says. “It means that, based on your circumstances and as a result of a thorough Intake Assessment, you and the Nurse Practitioner have determined that this is the right path for your care.”
Neil again emphasizes that the first step is to become registered with Health Care Connect. “Once you’re registered with Health Care Connect, they will ask for your consent to provide your information to the Nurse Practitioner Clinic. A Nurse Practitioner will then be calling you to set up an Intake Assessment.”
The Nurse Practitioner Clinic will be co-located with the Sunset Country Family Health Team at the Paterson Medical Centre, in Kenora.
Media enquiries please contact:
Colleen Neil, Executive Director
Sunset Country Family Health Team