One of Sarnia-Lambton's newest health carte providers is on a growth spurt.
The Rapids Family Health Team says it hired 13 new health care professionals in 2011 for a support system of many allied health professionals designed to work with the patient’s family physician.
“It’s important that each health team identifies the needs in their own community and then partners with local physicians and allied health care professionals to meet those needs,” says Lynn Laidler, Executive Director, Rapids Family Health Team.
Rapids has incorporated several strategies to help its patients, including focusing on diabetes, high cholesterol and weight control.
""We have hired two dietitians and added two additional nurse educators (now four on staff) so that we are now able to provide more educational programs on Living Well with COPD, smoking cessation and Self-management of chronic pain,” said Laidler.
This year programming was expanded to include two social workers to help patients manage depression, anxiety and stress. Also added to the list of services is a chiropodist who helps with foot ailments and a health promoter to provide general health information to our patients and the community.
Laidler says the Rapids team is growing even into the new year. "We have two psychologists and an additional Nurse Practitioner who will be joining us early in 2012.”
The increase in services has resulted in an expansion of the group's current location at 1150 Pontiac Drive and the opening of a new centre in the London Rd. Diagnostic Clinic.
Patients of the Rapids Family Health Team are referred by physicians that belong to a Family Health Organization. The Rapids Family Health Team serves over 80% of the Physicians in Sarnia and Corunna as well as one in Forest and Thedford. Patients can be referred by their family doctor or for many programs they can self refer. Nine of the 36 referring physicians are accepting new patients. A full list of referring physicians can be found at www.rapidsfhteam.ca .