| Dec 17, 2009


Back to HomeFeature Article - December 17, 2009 Northbrook Medical Centre gets family health team designationBy Jeff Green

“It is good news, very good news,” said Dr. Tobia of the announcement last Friday that his Northbrook medical clinic will be one of 19 new Family Health Teams (FHT) in Ontario. “It’s going to ensure medical services in this region for generations to come.”

When the announcement came it did not include any detail about services that will be offered at the Lakeland Family Health Team, which is what the clinic will be called, but Doctor Tobia said the application that was made by the clinic in conjunction with a dedicated community healthcare committee, included building, and staffing with a nurse practitioner, and satellite clinics in Denbigh and Plevna.

“But we really won’t know for up to six months what will be included in the funding,” he said.

According to the media release that accompanied the announcement, “The new Family Health Teams will include family physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, social workers and dieticians.

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“Family Health Teams deliver comprehensive health care services and offer additional programs tailored to the needs of their communities, including seeing patients who do not have a family doctor. They will support increasing chronic disease management and prevention including Ontario's Diabetes Strategy.”

The Sharbot Lake Family Health Team, which was one of the first wave of FHTs that were established by the province, offers a basket of services and includes a Registered Nurse, a Nurse Practitioner, a Diabetes Nurse, a Dietitian, and ancillary mental health, social work and psychiatric services at their Sharbot Lake location.

For the village of Northbrook, the FHT will make recruiting new health care professionals to work out of Northbrook an easier task, because it will make it a more attractive place to work.

“We have been trying to recruit another doctor for 13 years without success,” said Doctor Tobia, “this will make it that much easier to find one.”

As part of the process, Addington Highlands Township will be purchasing the medical clinic and then working out a long-term arrangement with the Ministry of Health.

“We knew that purchasing the building would be necessary in the long run anyway but now we will have support,” said Addington Highlands Reeve Henry Hogg.

“I was almost surprised when I heard that the Family Health Team application had come through,” he added,” because many communities have had to apply two or three times before being successful and this was our first try.”

Hogg said that credit for the success of the application should go to the two people who did all the work preparing the application, “Dr. Tobia and Janice Powell from Denbigh.”

Henry Hogg said that Janice Powell is a retired nurse who recently moved back to Denbigh, where she came from originally, and came forward to help out with the committee.

“I was thrilled to hear that it had come through,” said Fred Perry, the North Frontenac Council representative to the Committee. “A lot of people helped to prepare the application for this, and they deserve credit for all the work they did. Our own council has made a commitment to find a suitable location for a clinic in Plevna, and we will be glad to be held to that. If it comes through it will bring medical services to North Frontenac for the first time. This is a really good thing for the entire region.” 

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