St. Michael’s Hospital to open family health team clinic in Regent Park
Toronto, July 8, 2015
By Leslie Shepherd
St. Michael’s Hospital announced today the opening of a new family health team clinic in Regent Park.
The Sumac Creek Health Centre is a key part of the revitalization of the Regent Park community housing project in downtown Toronto, Canada’s oldest and largest social housing project.
The new clinic will start seeing patients on July 13. It will be staffed by a multidisciplinary team of physicians, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, registered dietitians, pharmacists, social workers and others.
In addition to core family health services, the clinic will offer services tailored to the specific needs of the Regent Park, Moss Park and St. James Town communities, including intensive support for people with complex mental health, addictions and physical health issues who have traditionally experienced significant challenges accessing the services they need.
A new community engagement specialist will foster links with local residents and community groups and work with them to better understand the needs of the community.
The clinic will have on- site services available to its patients that are either scarce or non- existent in the local community, such as laboratories for blood and urine tests, diagnostic imaging, physiotherapy and chiropody. The clinic will have a full-time psychologist to focus on youths and adolescents.
“St. Michael’s has been the local hospital for the people of these communities for more than 100 years and we are delighted the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is expanding primary care services to be able to bring health care support closer to their homes,” said hospital president Dr. Robert Howard. “High-quality accessible health care is a key building block for a healthy community.”
An estimated 10,000 adults in Regent Park, Moss Park and St. James Town do not have access to primary health care. The Sumac Creek Health Centre has already registered 1,200 new patients in addition to the 35,000 patients registered with St. Michael’s existing five family health team locations.
As part of the Toronto Central LHIN and Mid East Toronto Health Link’s priorities to serve people with complex mental health needs, the Sumac Creek Health Centre will also be home to a team offering intensive mental health outreach support.
The new FOCUS Team will provide service coordination and individualized, multidisciplinary care to 190 clients with complex physical and mental health conditions and addictions. FOCUS is a partnership program between St. Michael’s Mental Health and Addictions Service and Cota, a community-based organization that supports adults with mental health and cognitive challenges to live well within their communities.
The FOCUS Team includes psychiatrists, mental health nurses, a clinical psychologist with expertise in serious mental illness, vocational and occupational therapists, social workers, mental health case managers, addictions specialists, peer support and personal support workers. It will operate seven days a week with on-call support 24-hours a day.
Clients may receive support with medications, symptom monitoring and management, physical health needs, substance abuse issues, finances, housing or shelter, access to basic needs such as food and clothing, activities of daily living, educational issues, work or meaningful activity, legal issues, social activities, family issues and support networks.
“This new family health team is going to allow us to serve a group of patients and a community that has been lacking in services close to home,” said Dr. Karen Weyman, interim chief of Family and Community Medicine at St. Michael’s. “We are going to be engaged not just with our patients but with the community in providing seamless health care from home, to clinic to hospital and home again.”
St. Michael’s has the largest academic family health team in Ontario. Its other Family Health Team sites are the Health Centre at 80 Bond (Street), the Family Practice Unit at 61 Queen (Street), the Health Centre at 410 (Sherbourne Street), St. Jamestown Health Centre and St. Lawrence Health Centre.
About St. Michael's Hospital
St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael's Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.
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