Essex County Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic

Town agrees to 10-year lease with nurse practitioner-led clinic

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Essex County Nurse Practitioner-led Clinic is one step closer to reality.

Town council agreed to a ten-year lease with the clinic with the motion to approve the lease coming after an in-camera meeting Jan. 14. Mayor Aldo DiCarlo said they had a plan in mind for the former St. Bernard School after the town purchased it and the clinic is part of it.

The former St. Bernard School building is located at 320 Richmond St.

There are a number of renovations that are required before the Essex County Nurse Practitioner-led Clinic can use their share of the building, but the mayor hopes it will be done in a few months.

The clinic is a reality in large part thanks to $650,000 in provincial funding.

“We hope to have them in there for residents to use by late-spring, early summer,” said DiCarlo. “Everybody wanted that clinic open as soon as possible. They have two options, – either they go somewhere else or they wait what most people would say is an unreasonable amount of time for health care. We’re trying to reduce that wait time and make sure that they don’t have to leave town.”

The Amherstburg clinic is expected to have three full-time nurse practitioners, a registered dietitian, a health promoter, physiotherapy services, a full-time registered practical nurse, an office administrator and a full-time receptionist. It could accommodate as many as 2,400 patients.

The mayor stated many towns like Amherstburg could use additional health care options.

“I don’t think I’ve talked to a community that said we’re flush with health care,” he said. “There’s a number of ways to provide health care and so what we’ve done is find an alternative model and these nurses and basically do just about anything a doctor can do.”

The former Catholic elementary school has been described as a potential “seniors hub,” but DiCarlo said it will be more of a community hub as there is the possibility for youth amenities as well.

“There’s a lot of room in that school. The (Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board) left it in really good shape,” he said.

The “general concept” of the site is health care, seniors care and seniors activities, he noted, but youth will be incorporated.

“It should be a great plan for young and old all in one convenient location in town,” said DiCarlo.

Essex County Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic AGM features CAO as guest speaker

By Jonathan Martin

 

The Essex County Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic presented its annual report June 20, where Amherstburg CAO John Miceli stepped up as the night’s guest speaker.

Miceli lauded the clinic’s “notable success,” but also provided a little bit more insight into Amherstburg’s own plans to adopt the clinic’s programming.

Miceli brought the listeners back to Aug. 21, 2017, when Amherstburg Councillor Diane Pouget put forward a unanimously supported motion that “administration should be directed to investigate the number of family physicians and the availability of current and future services to residents of Amherstburg.”

Miceli then brought a report before council on Oct. 23, 2017 outlining provincial funding to expand primary care services for $15.5 million.

He was given a resolution that “the CAO be directed to work with Pauline Gemmell, executive director of Essex County nurse practitioner-led clinic, to develop a business case and apply for grant funding for the expansion and enhancing of interprofessional primary care for the Town of Amherstburg.”

Amherstburg CAO John Miceli speaks at the Essex County Nurse
Practitioner-led Clinic AGM June 20 in Essex.

Council voted in favour.

It supported the initiative for two reasons, according to Miceli.  First, he says it was an opportunity to broaden the Amherstburg health care network and provide Amherstburg residents with access to additional front-line medical professionals.  Secondly, it allowed the town to partner with the Essex County Nurse Practitioner-led Clinic.  Miceli said the clinic has a “proven, success model” and that the program’s success is “known in (Amherstburg).”

Miceli said the clinic is doing an “exceptional job, which makes me grateful, because it makes my job easy.”

Miceli confirms that the new clinic will be located at the old St. Bernard School at 320 Richmond St., which he described as a “great location.”  He reiterated that the clinic will be part of the town’s planned seniors’ hub, but that it would be open to residents of any age.  In fact, he emphasized that the town’s new high school will be located just across the street at the southern 15 acres of Centennial Park.

“Acquiring St. Bernard’s was strategic,” he said.  “We knew we wanted to have programming with the new high school and knew that we wanted intergenerational programming.”

The CAO did recognize that Amherstburg’s senior population is growing quickly, though.  At present, seniors make up around 20 per cent of the town’s residents.  Within the next three to four years, that number is expected to leap up five percentage points.

Miceli said he expects the clinic to be open by the end of 2018 or in early 2019, which he expects will allow the town to meet the increased medical demand.