OHT-N set to open Rural Outreach Clinic in collaboration with Cramahe Township

Northumberland County – Thursday, March 11, 2021–Health care providers affiliated with the Ontario Health Team of Northumberland (OHT-N) are preparing to open the region’s first Rural Outreach Clinic on Tuesday, April 6 at 34 Victoria Street, Colborne, thanks to a unique collaboration with Cramahe Township.

“One of three priority projects undertaken by our partnership of local providers, patients and caregivers, the aim of the OHT-N’s Rural Outreach Clinic (ROC) effort is to bring services to rural community locations in Northumberland, and help reduce barriers to care experienced by patients in small, rural areas, such as access, transportation and outreach challenges,” said Linda Davis, spokesperson for the OHT-N.

When the Colborne Rural Outreach Clinic opens next month, Cramahe Township residents will gain access to a suite of services which, today, often require a 20- to 30-minute trip, by car, to access. Available by appointment only, these services include:

  • Mental health counselling (adult and youth);
  • Primary care for patients not currently rostered with a local primary care provider or those who may need a specific temporary support closer to home;
  • Diabetes education;
  • Foot care/chiropody;
  • Smoking cessation; and
  • Seniors wellness supports.

When public health restrictions permit, small group programs will also be considered at the site. Walk-in support will not be available at the clinic at this time.

“This is a very exciting project to be a part of,” said Carol Beauchamp, Executive Director, Rebound Child and Youth Services, and a member of the OHT-N working group responsible for coordinating the launch. “We are very grateful to Cramahe Township for answering the OHT-N’s call for available space, and their readiness to assist with some of the critical logistics.”

Services planned for the April launch reflect input on the priority needs identified by community residents through a recent OHT-N/Cramahe Township survey. Other key factors that helped drive planning around which services would be available at launch were the availability of local health care resources to support the clinic and the appropriateness of those services for the physical location of the ROC site.

“This is the realization of a dream for Cramahe Township – extended health services right here to serve our residents,” said Cramahe Township Mayor Mandy Martin. “Our council, our dedicated municipal staff and our citizens appreciate the cooperation and collaborative opportunity this project represents. When we work together as partners, much can be—and is—achieved. Thank you to all involved. It’s an exciting day!”

“To begin, we will be scheduling appointments for specific services on set days—for example, we are planning to rotate the youth mental health clinic day with adult mental health services so each can be offered one day per week,” explained Beauchamp. “The Rural Outreach Clinic is essentially a rural extension of services each of the OHT-N partners provide already at different locations. We plan to remain as flexible as possible as we learn more about community needs and provider availability. We have the opportunity to expand in the future but we are looking forward to starting with these priority clinics, on a rotating basis, and growing and adjusting together, as a team, with the community, as we move forward, here in Colborne and in other areas throughout Northumberland.”

“In December 2019, the Government of Ontario announced Northumberland as one of the first 24 Ontario Health Teams in the province,” said Member of Provincial Parliament for Northumberland-Peterborough South David Piccini. “In less than a year, the Ontario Health Team-Northumberland (OHT-N) is delivering on a priority year-one initiative to establish a Rural Outreach Clinic. This clinic proves what good things can happen when we mobilize community resources to create accessible health and community care for our rural communities.  The opening of this clinic is a testament to the strong existing collaborative partnerships that exist in Northumberland and is part of our Government’s commitment to ending hallway healthcare. The Rural Outreach Clinic will help provide a more equitable and seamless continuum of care to the residents of Northumberland, improving population health as well as individual patient, caregiver and provider experience. I would like to thank all the health care providers and organizations that helped plan the clinic with the OHT-N. You have helped transform the health care landscape in Northumberland-Peterborough South.”

How to access care at the Colborne Rural Outreach Clinic

Beginning Tuesday, April 6, residents of the Colborne area are invited to call the clinic directly at 289-265-0505 if they, or someone they care for, requires the services listed above. Services are available by appointment (no walk-in option is available) on a first-come, first-served basis. The clinic is located at 34 Victoria Street in Colborne. Construction is now being completed on accessibility enhancements, including a ramped entry. Parking is available.