Toronto Western Hospital

Family Health Centre focuses on local community connections

A strong link to the local community, a destination for patients who need a family physician, a hub of interdisciplinary care and education — the Family Health Centre (FHC) at Toronto Western Hospital might be described in all these ways.

The FHC is a team of health professionals dedicated to providing primary care — from check-ups to chronic disease management — within the hospital. The team includes family doctors, primary care nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, a social worker, and a chiropodist. Family medicine residents and students in other health-care disciplines also form a significant contingent in the centre.

Unlike many other specialties at UHN, which may treat patients from across the Greater Toronto Area and beyond, the FHC focuses its efforts on providing ongoing care for patients in the surrounding community. The centre's catchment has recently been redefined to the following area: As far east as Yonge Street, and as far west as Keele (Parkdale); as far north as St. Clair Avenue and as far south as the waterfront.

“Redefining this catchment area allows us to focus our efforts on specific patient populations, and enables us to build stronger links with other community health and social services provider that are also nearby,” explained Corry Thomas, the centre's program manager. “Sometimes patients in our catchment area without a family physician will come to the Emergency Department with non-urgent needs. We can often help those patients find more consistent, ongoing care by registering with a family physician.”

Because of its interdisciplinary team and its focus on the surrounding community, the FHC was recently awarded a Family Health Team designation by the Ontario Ministry of Health. The interdisciplinary teams with this designation are designed around the needs of each community, and will provide comprehensive care around the clock, seven days a week.

The Family Health Centre is part of the Family & Community Health program.

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