Christine Schroeder-Laundrie | Feb 10, 2011
Lakelands Family Health Team held an open house at the Denbigh Hall on February 6. The hall was packed with Denbigh and area residents eager to find out about services the Health Team would have available, both presently and in the future. Two Denbigh councilors, Adam Snider and Tony Fritsch, were also present at the meeting. Janice Powell, from Lakelands Family Health Team, headed the discussion and introduced the health care professionals who would be peopling the team.
Lakelands Family Health Team (Denbigh site) will consist of Dr. Bernard Tobia; Janice Powell, ED; Susan Peters, Nurse Practitioner; Sue Tobia, Program Manager; Marg Schwager, Counsellor; Tammy Keller, Chiropodist; Brenda Madigan, receptionist/clerical staff; and a dietitian, (not yet hired). Ms. Powell informed the attentive crowd that Dr. Tobia will be in Denbigh at the same time he has been in the past, but that Nurse Practitioner Susan Peters will be in Denbigh five days a week. As nurse practitioner, she can perform any duty a doctor can, except to give out narcotics. Other services the team offers are educational and working programs on illnesses and issues such as Diabetes, chronic pain, mental health, etc. These programs are currently under development, and once this process has been completed, they will be offered to all patients rostered to the Family Health Team.
In 2008, a Community Health Committee was formed to look at health care in our community and what could be done to ensure services for the future. The committee concluded that an application for a Family Health Team would be submitted when the Ministry of Health invited same. This was done in July of 2009 and approved in December the same year. Addington Highlands Township secured the abandoned public school in Denbigh for this project, and will look at the upgrades and renovations needed to upgrade the building to house the Health Team. Although many of the renovations are still in the planning, the first part of the health centre is now resident in one wing. The health team hopes to be able to offer more medical services in the near and far future, including the addition of a second doctor, who will come to the area in July 2012. To access the programs, one must be rostered to the Health Team. For after hours and weekend emergencies, a phone number will be available for people to call.
Lakelands Family Health Team will be an invaluable service to Denbigh and area, as it hosts a growing population of aging and retired residents. Except for services provided now by Dr. Tobia, residents must travel at least an hour to see a doctor and other services. Lakelands Family Health Team will make complete health care available in the immediate area.
Janice Powell opened the floor to questions and the Health Team answered them to everyone’s satisfaction. Several residents at the meeting thanked the Health Team, expressing their gratitude for the health services that are much needed and appreciated, both now and in future.
Finally, everyone enjoyed a light luncheon, consisting of some very tasty and healthy snacks, and had time to visit one on one with the health professionals present.
A similar open house will be presented in Northbrook on Sunday 13 February from 2 – 4 pm, as the Lakelands Family Health Team will provide services for both communities.