Argyle Site:705-757-1717 • Britt Site:705-383-2375 • Moose Deer Point Site:705-375-9900
Rosseau Site:705-732-1095 • Pointe au Baril Site: 705-366-2376 • Whitestone Site: 705-389-1951
Changes to our services. COVID-19 Notice
Dear West Parry Sound Health Centre Rural Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic (WPSHC Rural NPLC) patients and valued external stakeholders,
In these challenging times, we would like to assure that your health and safety, as well as that of our healthcare providers and staff remain our top priority. WPSHC Rural NPLC management team are continuously monitoring and responding to Public Health and Ministry of Health directions related to COVID-19 pandemic.
Health and Safety
As part of our COVID-19 response plan, we are implementing the following measures at each of our NPLC Sites (Argyle, Whitestone, Rosseau, Moose Deer Point, Pointe au Baril, and Britt):
- Screening- all patients, guests, and support persons will be screened before entering the clinic. You won’t be able to enter if you’ve travelled outside Canada in the past 14 days or had exposure to anyone positive for COVID-19. If you have respiratory symptoms, and have not travelled or had exposure to COVID-19, when entering the clinic we will ask you to use hand sanitizer provided and then put on a mask.
- Booking for an appointment- At this time, all non-urgent appointments such as physicals, check-ups, and visits for non-urgent issues are to be deferred. Please connect to book these after the pandemic has resolved.
If you are sick or have an urgent request, please call your NPLC Site. As always, we are able to see patients who are not registered to our Nurse Practitioners for episodic care only. Each patient will receive phone screening before booking their appointment. Patients wishing to book an appointment will be asked to provide:
- Most Responsible Care Provider;
- Email address (if available);
- Telephone number;
- Internet and telephone connectivity in their place of residence; and
- Chief complaint for visit.
An NPLC Site staff member will call the patient with an appointment time (e.g., in-person, telephone, virtual care), be directed to a telephone consult line for COVID-19, or be directed to nearest COVID-19 assessment centre based on the Nurse Practitioner’s assessment of telephone screening, nature of chief complaint, and patient/clinic connectivity. Our aim is to contact patients between 48 and 72 business hrs after initial phone call to book appointment. If the patient deteriorates or becomes critically ill they are advised to seek emergency care or contact the NPLC Site again.
For staff and patient safety, we have very limited availability for walk-in appointments. We ask that if you are able to call ahead to complete screening and book an appointment please do so.
- Medication renewal: If you need a renewal of medication, please contact your pharmacy and your pharmacist will forward your request to us.
- Medication pick-up: Please call ahead before picking up medications (only available at some sites). You will be subject to telephone screening, and in-person screening. If you’ve travelled outside Canada in the past 14 days or had exposure to anyone positive for COVID-19, please DO NOT pick-up medication. Please arrange for somebody to pick it up.
- Cleaning: The WPSHC Rural NPLC has implemented more frequent and enhanced disinfectant cleaning. Everybody entering the building will be asked to use the hand sanitizers provided.
- Social distancing: We have arranged our clinic waiting rooms to enhance social distancing, including reducing the number of people in waiting area at one time. Please sit at least 1-2 metres from others. We will not be shaking hands and we will be keeping at least 1-2 meters distance other than necessary physical exams.
- Our clinic providers are ready to provide telephone and virtual consultations where effective as of Wednesday March 25th for your healthcare needs during COVID-19 pandemic.
- This service is also suited for those wishing for some social distancing and preferring to stay at home during current pandemic.
- If and only if your appointment type is suitable for telephone consultation, we will provide you the time and date that your provider is ready to call you.
- We recognize that connectivity is an issue for many in the areas we service and are working on solutions. In the meantime, please call us to book an appointment if needed and we will work to serve you.
- Social Worker, and Mental Health and Addictions Worker will be providing your booked appointments remotely until further notice.
- Physiotherapy appointments will postponed unless an essential service. Please contact us if you believe you have an urgent physiotherapy need.
Higher risk individuals include:
- People > 60 years of age
- People with cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, cerebrovascular disease (e.g. previous stroke), hypertension, diabetes, cancer, immunosuppression, current smoking
We are grateful for your patience and understanding of these precautions.
There are six Rural Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic Sites which are associated with the West Parry Sound Health Centre. They are located in:
West Parry Sound Health Centre
Rural Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic
Frequently Asked Questions
How are healthcare needs in our communities changing?
The local population is expanding as retirees make the permanent move to cottage country, increasing the need for healthcare appointments. For example, a Nursing Station that saw 300 patients in their opening year now sees 300-400 patients a month.
Further, our aging population has an increased the need for expanded healthcare services to manage more complicated health issues. This increase resulted in the 6 Nursing Stations, who each have one nurse practitioner and one administrative assistant, collectively providing ongoing care for 22,000 patients. Finally, Nursing Station patients requiring expanded allied healthcare professional services had to travel long distances and pay out of pocket for this extra healthcare support.
What changes are happening with healthcare in the community?
West Parry Sound Health Centre (WPSHC) has been awarded funding to expand its 6 Nursing Stations into a Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic (NPLC). The level of care provided by each NPLC site nurse practitioner will continue unchanged, except valuable new extended health services will be available to the patients they serve!
What does our Rural NPLC look like and why is it special?
West Parry Sound Health Centre’s Rural NPLC Sites
• WPSHC Rural NPLC- Argyle, NP manager- Barb Sproul
• WPSHC Rural NPLC- Britt, NP manager- Ann Palamar: Carly Mauro, NP
• WPSHC Rural NPLC- Moose Deer Point, NP manager- Connie Foster
• WPSHC Rural NPLC- Pointe Au Baril, NP manager- Jared Bonis
• WPSHC Rural NPLC- Rosseau, NP manager- Brittany Labrecque
• WPSHC Rural NPLC- Whitestone, NP manager- Teresa Wetselaar
• WPSHC Rural NPLC – Traveling Coverage NP - Stephanie Bonis
The WPSHC Rural NPLC will continue to have managing nurse practitioners and their administrative staff with the addition of allied healthcare professionals that rotate to each NPLC site approximately once a week. Our allied healthcare professionals include a social worker, mental health and addictions worker, a physiotherapist and a nurse.
West Parry Sound Health Centre’s Rural NPLC Allied Healthcare Professionals
• Social Worker: Brett Barager
• Mental Health and Addictions Worker/Counsellor: Shelby Dunk
• Physiotherapist: Becky Heitman
Our NPLC is special because 75% of our service populations are rural community members, we have multiple sites and our service area is huge, spanning 190 kilometers from the southern Moose Deer Point site near Mactier to the northern Argyle site near Port Loring. Additionally, our NPLC kept its association with the WPSHC’s board of directors and senior leadership, which is the first ever partnership between a primary care and acute care facility to continue our rapid access to high level healthcare services.
What can Nurse Practitioners do?
Nurse practitioners assess, diagnose, treat and monitor a wide range of short and long-term health problems. While nurse practitioners see many episodic care patients, the focus is on health promotion, illness prevention and disease management. Further, nurse practitioners help patients navigate the healthcare system and collaborate with primary care or specialist physicians to care for patients with complicated health issues. Finally, nurse practitioners care for the whole local population by assessing needs, planning programs and evaluating patient outcomes in partnership with community members.
Who regulates Nurse Practitioner’s practice?
The College of Nurses of Ontario regulates nurse practitioners.
Who does the NPLC Serve?
The NPLC sites provide primary care to both year-round residents and seasonal residents, who do not have another healthcare provider and who are rostered to an NPLC. An additional goal is to provide episodic care to people rostered to the NPLC or people who do not have another healthcare provider. While we aim to serve all community members, the growing local population and full roster of patients requires care to be triaged.
People with another healthcare provider are expected to see these providers for ongoing care unless completely unable to do so. The care of these patients at the NPLC will be determined on a case by case basis. These patients can be seen for episodic care concerns, such as mild illnesses and injuries, by appointment.
How do I see the allied healthcare professionals?
NPLC primary care patients must see the nurse practitioner for a referral to the allied healthcare professionals. Again, while we aim to serve all community members, a limited capacity of services requires allied healthcare access to be triaged.
People with another healthcare provider are expected to access allied healthcare through these providers unless completely unable to do so. NPLC allied healthcare professional access will be determined on a case by case basis.
How can I contact each NPLC site?
Each NPLC site community has individual needs and therefore has slightly different operating arrangements. Please contact the NPLC sites via telephone for inquiries or to book an appointment. See the included site specific FAQ for contact information details.