Chronic disease management targeted

Further to a collaboration between the Fort Frances Community Clinic and Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc., the Chronic Disease Management Program has been developed.
It is a program aimed at encouraging patients and their families to become active partners in the management of their chronic illness.
The program itself will develop educational and health promotional materials and programs for chronic disease management in Rainy River District.
“It’s part of a primary health care strategy to improve the health status of people living in Northwestern Ontario through better chronic disease management,” said Patti Jo LeDrew, an RN recently hired by the Fort Frances Community Clinic/Family Health Team to oversee the program.
The program will support the management of chronic diseases including heart disease/hypertension, diabetes, and asthma/COPD.
A team of health professionals will be used to support patient care. The team includes nurse practitioners, dietitians, nurses, physiotherapists, and health educators.
“We’re pleased to be partnering with the Fort Frances Community Clinic, as part of a Family Health Team to address the needs of our patients who are managing chronic illnesses,” said Riverside president and CEO Wayne Woods.
Marlis Bruyere, administrator of the newly-formed Fort Frances Community Clinic, also is pleased with the initiative.
“It’s one way to help address the gap in health care service caused by a shortage of primary care physicians and long waiting times for health care services,” she noted.
“This type of collaborative effort is what a Family Health Team is all about,” she added.
In order to start taking control of managing your illness, the first step is education, LeDrew stressed.
“It’s important to find out as much as possible about the illness before you can take an active role in managing it,” she said. “It may mean a lifestyle change or it may mean a review of your medications.”
The Chronic Disease Management Program is hosting a health symposium on Saturday, March 29 at the Memorial Sports Centre auditorium to assist with the educational process.
The symposium will be of interest and benefit for those with chronic diseases—and those at risk of acquiring them.
A variety of exhibitors and presenters will be addressing some of the important issues in chronic disease management, including healthy eating, smoking cessation, exercise, and medication safety.
Watch the newspaper for more details.