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PRHC opens barrier-free downtown clinic, providing rapid access to treatment for addictions

Published: 4/12/2018 9:25 AM by  PRHC

Peterborough Regional Heath Centre (PRHC) is pleased to announce the recent opening of the area’s first Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) clinic, which provides expedited, barrier-free treatment for patients who are addicted to alcohol or opioids.

The clinic is staffed by PRHC physicians and registered nurses (RNs). No booked appointment or physician referral is necessary, although referrals from doctors, nurses, social workers, addiction counselors and community providers are welcome.

“Our Rapid Access Addiction Medicine clinic provides immediate access to lifesaving treatment by offering same-day counselling and addiction medication, and prescription therapies,” said Dr. Jim McGorman, an Emergency Department physician with PRHC who is now also treating patients at the new clinic. “This care model has been shown to help save lives by engaging patients with both short- and long-term therapies as soon as they are ready to pursue those treatments.”

The Rapid Access Addiction Medicine model is designed to initiate therapy for opioid or alcohol addiction and then triage clients to the most appropriate ongoing care provider. It is not intended to replace or duplicate the care provided by a family physician or a treatment clinic. The Peterborough RAAM clinic is working closely with other healthcare providers and resources in the community to ensure patients have access to additional supports following their initial treatment, as they move through the continuum of care.

PRHC’s RAAM clinic has been made possible through a $200,000 commitment from the Ministry of Health and the Central East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). The RAAM clinic model has been implemented in cities across Ontario, where it is helping to prevent opiate overdoses and reduce ED visits and inpatient stays for people with addictions.

“The Central East LHIN, together with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and our health service provider partners, is committed to improving access to comphrehensive care for people living with substance abuse disorders,” said Deborah Hammons, CEO of the Central East LHIN. “We look forward to seeing how the opening of the Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) clinic at Peterborough Regional Health Centre will have a positive impact on our ability to support individuals dealing with an opiate addiction by providing them with timely treatment, counselling and other supports. The development and implementation of RAAM clinics in Oshawa, Scarborough and now in Peterborough is an important part of the recently released Central East LHIN Opioid Strategy as we collectively respond in an integrated and coordinated way to addressing the opioid crisis in each of our sub-regions.”

The RAAM clinic has been operating in its downtown location at 159 King St. Suite 302 (co-located with PARN) since March 5. It is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 11 a.m.


For further information, please contact:

Michelene Ough
Director, Communications
Peterborough Regional Health Centre
705-743-2121 x. 4259



As a close knit community the Humboldt tragedy struck a cord with us.  We wanted to show our support by wearing our Jerseys to work on April 12, 2018.  We are all one team…..our thoughts and prayers go out to those involved, those still in hospital, those who passed, their families and friends. #HumboldtStrong #putyoursticksout #JerseysforHumboldt


Notice to Patients of Dr. Barbara Varty

Notice to Patients of Dr. Barbara Varty

We are sad to announce the retirement of Dr. Barbara Varty from the Haliburton Family Medical Centre, effective November 22, 2017.  However, as a patient of Dr. Varty’s, you will be transferred to a new physician who is moving to Haliburton this winter.  Her name is Dr. Devon Tilbrook.  Dr. Tilbrook plans to start in the clinic in January 2018.  For the month of December the physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistant, along with a number of other allied health professionals, will continue to provide you with ongoing health care.

At this time we are not accepting any requests from Dr. Varty’s patients to transfer to another physician on our team.

As rostered patients of Dr. Varty’s, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care will reassign you to Dr. Tilbrook automatically.  You do not need to sign the patient enrolment form or consent again.  If you have any questions or concerns aroung this process please call Kim Robinson at 705-457-1212, ext. 368 to discuss.

We wish Dr. Varty all the best in her retirement.  She will be missed.


ROMP Week 2017

ROMP Week 2017
Comments Off on ROMP Week 2017

ROMP Week 2017!

“ROMP Week is a one week elective experience offered to pre-clerkship medical students during their summer break. The goal of ROMP Week is to offer medical students “hands-on” clinical experiences by exposing them to medical practices outside the academic centre and to highlight the unique lifestyle offered by the community in which they are staying. The week is coordinated by the Rural Ontario Medical Program (ROMP), who enlists volunteer communities to host between two and ten medical students during one of the designated weeks. The clinical experiences offered during ROMP Week range from talks given by health professionals, clinics to gain experience with skills such
as casting and suturing, and half or full day rotations with different physicians in the community. By organizing events that encourage the medical students to socialize with the physicians and health care providers, the learners are able to gain an understanding of practicing medicine in a smaller community.” A Snapshot of: Rural Medicine Week 2015
Retrieved from:

The Haliburton Family Medical Centre, Haliburton Highlands Family Health Team, and the Haliburton Highlands Health Services hosted two first year medical students from May 29 to June 2, 2017. They were scheduled in the Emergency Department and the Medical Clinic, and had the opportunity to participate in some well organized community events, including visits to Haliburton Forest, Abbey Gardens, Skyline Park, Haliburton School of Art and Design, Minden Hills Cultural Centre, Minden Whitewater Preserve, and Earth and Fire Pottery, to name a few. We thank Barrie Martin, Amanda Virtanen, Emily Stonehouse, Darlene Armstrong, and Dr. Greg Karaguesian for their support and planning.


Walk-In Clinic Review for 2017

With the help and support of two physician locums, we were able to see 509 patients from July 3, 2017 to September 1, 2017, in our walk-in clinics.  Of the total number of patients seen, less than 6% were rostered patients of our physicians.  We hope to be able to continue the walk-in clinics next summer, but we will only be able to with additional physician support.




Prescription Renewals

As of April 1st, 2017, we will no longer be renewing prescriptions by faxed request from your pharmacy.  We will instead be returning to the practice of requiring appointments for prescription renewals.

We do this for a number of reasons.  We feel that, at a minimum, an annual review of your medication is required.  It is an opportunity to re-evaluate whether your medications are still indicated and what changes, if any, should be made to your prescriptions.  This is best accomplished at an office appointment.  In addition, this process will allow you to be more engaged in and responsible for your own medical care and to have a better understanding of your medications.

We recognize that we can and should make some exceptions to this practice in certain circumstances e.g. house bound patients, palliative patients and those with transportation issues.  We also realize that unforeseen circumstances might arise from time to time making an office visit impractical.  In general, however, we anticipate that this practice will apply to the majority of our patients most of the time.

In order to facilitate this change, we plan to have our office schedules available several months in advance and will make every effort to accommodate urgent appointments.  During the transition period between now and April 1st, we anticipate that we may still need to respond to some faxed requests for prescription renewals.  Some physicians may chose to charge for this service.  We will inform you if that is the case in your circumstance.

For your part, it would be very helpful and most appreciated if you come bring all your medications with you to every appointment, not just the medications needing refills.  Please bring the actual pill bottles or blister packs, inhalers etc.  not just a written list or a list provided by your pharmacy.

Please speak to your physician or nurse practitioner if you have any questions.

Thank you for your cooperation,

The Haliburton Highlands Family Health Team