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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


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



Updating your Immunizations

It is always important to make sure you are up to date with immunizations.  Please be sure to discuss this with your family physician or nurse practitioner.  If you travel to other parts of the world, please also make sure you visit the government website for updates and information of immunizations you may need far enough ahead of time, to be safe before you go.