VON’s NP Clinics Bring Primary Care to 8,500 Ontarians
VON’s nurse practitioner clinics provide primary health care to 8,500 Ontarians. Our 12 clinics provide care to people of all ages, meeting some of the needs for additional comprehensive primary health care in the province.
Staffed by Nurse Practitioners (NPs)—advanced practice registered nurses with additional education and skills–the clinics focus on health promotion and prevention. NPs diagnose and treat acute and chronic illnesses, order and interpret tests, prescribe medications and perform medical procedures.
“Our nurse practitioner clinics have very complex, at times challenging clients,” says Shari Comerford, National Director, Nurse Practitioner Professional Practice. “At the same time, the demands on primary health care providers across the board are very high. As a result, clinical conditions you used to refer to a specialist, primary care providers may now need to manage.”
VON’s NP clinics frequently treat people who might otherwise be underserved, including clients in rural areas, people with opioid addictions, newcomers to Canada and Francophones. In the Windsor area, VON has three clinics, funded by Ontario Health, which focus on immigrant health, French-speaking individuals and chronic non-cancer pain (including opioid misuse), respectively.
VON also has a unique NP clinic that serves children through a partnership with the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) in North Bay. On February 24th, dignitaries will cut the ribbon on a newly renovated clinic space that is co-located with CAS programs and services.
The clinic serves children (and their families) who do not have other primary care providers. Staff also provide the complete physical assessments that are required by CAS for children who newly enter care.
NPs provide comprehensive care that promotes physical, psychological and social wellness. They can also refer patients and their families to other providers and services that are important in the management of their health conditions, including VON’s home and community care services.
Shari says the NP clinic model is working well for clients and staff. “Our client satisfaction is about 98 per cent, which is huge,” she says. “Our recruitment and retention is excellent. We have some really skilled, long-term nurse practitioners with us.”
Electronic medical records are shared among VON NP clinics across the province, so that NPs can cover each other’s clients remotely and medical secretaries can handle other clinics’ phone calls when needed.
Read more about nurse practitioners and the care they provide at this link: https://www.cna-aiic.ca/en/nursing/advanced-nursing-practice/nurse-practitioners
Find out more about VON nurse practitioner clinics by visiting this page: https://von.ca/en/von-care/nurse-practitioner-clinics