Smiles Prescribed at PRHC’s Paediatric Outpatient Clinic

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Children laughing, playing and running around are the first sounds and sights that greet you as you walk through the doors of Peterborough Regional Health Centre’s (PRHC) Paediatric Outpatient clinic. Upon arrival, you are welcomed by a warm, friendly smile (or hug if you are a regular visitor) from Nurse Practitioner Jodi Hazell and Register Nurse Shay Cannon that puts children and parents instantly at ease.

The Regional Centre’s Paediatric Outpatient (POP) clinic is creating new “express lanes” for our youngest patients and their families to receive access to high quality patient care. Nurse Practitioner Hazell leads the specialized inter-professional paediatric team that includes herself and RN Cannon with ready access to Pediatricians, Dietitians, Respiratory Therapists, Social Workers, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Paediatric Diabetes Educators, Fitness trainers, Psychology Associates, Pharmacists and a Lactation Consultant as required.

“We care for children as young as infants to 18 years old,” says Sheri Ferkl, Director of PRHC’s Women’s and Children’s program. “The Paediatric Outpatient clinic provides regional care and service to young people from Peterborough, Lindsay, Haliburton, Campbellford and Cobourg.”

“Since opening in April 2012, we’ve developed partnerships with Tertiary Paediatric Speciality teams at The Hospital for Sick Children, so we can offer some components of specialized care for children closer to home,” added Jodi Hazell, Nurse Practitioner, PRHC’s Paediatric Outpatient clinic.

For the Coultire-Matthews family, PRHC’s POP clinic provides peace of mind and helps reduce the family’s stress. “The care and attention from the POP team is amazing,” noted Natalie Coultire-Matthews, mother to Oliver Matthews who’s one of the clinic’s regular patients. “Prior to the clinic’s opening; we spent a year and half travelling to Toronto or Montreal for Oliver’s medical care for Brittle Bone disease. Now we can come to PRHC’s POP clinic and receive coordinated care for items such as x-rays that can be sent to Sick Kids in advance of our appointment.”

“Our goal is to make children smile and ease parents’ anxiety,” noted Hazell. “We make a child’s treatments and care as fun as possible, while growing our services in order to benefit children and their families in our local and surrounding communities.”

The services offered at POP include:

  • A Newborn Follow-up clinic allows families with newborns the option to return to the clinic to see a peadiatric Nurse Practitioner and Lactation Consultant who help address any new parents’ concerns.
  • Neonatal Follow Up Clinic provides support, consultation, assessment, care and treatment for families with high risk babies for (up to) 2 years, to ensure the infant/child is meeting developmental milestones. The team works in collaboration with Five Counties Children’s Centre to ensure that high quality care, focused on infant and child development, is delivered collaboratively and seamlessly for these high risk children and their families.
  • Retinopathy of Premature Infants (ROP) Clinic: Under the direction of Dr. McReelis and Dr. Yeung the ROP clinic provides healthcare to our smallest patients who are at high risk for retinopathy in the comfort of their home. The clinic reduces the need for families to travel to Sick Kids for eye exams, while providing high quality care close to home.
  • Chronic Infusion Clinic: PRHC’s POP clinic, in collaboration with The Hospital for Sick Children, and community partners, offers a core group of patients’ access to chemotherapy, blood products, iron infusions and provides ongoing follow up and timely intervention allowing families to seek specialized care locally.
  • Peadiatric Diabetes Clinic: For children 18 years old and under with Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes. The clinic operates 3.5 days/week.
  • Personal Health Improvement Team Clinic (PHIT): A 14-week program designed to provide peadiatric patients with a history of childhood obesity and cardiovascular disease access to a dedicated healthcare team that is committed to improving a patient and family’s lifestyle, health and personal fitness.

For nine year old Ethan Howcroft, the Paediatric Outpatient clinic feels like family. “Jodi and Shay are wonderful,” said Erin Howcroft, Ethan’s mother. “They have been so helpful at answering any questions we have about Ethan’s chemotherapy. Plus the team makes Ethan feel like the special boy he is – like celebrating his last chemotherapy treatment by decorating the room and bringing him a treat. Or making sure he gets to pick a toy from the ‘blood sucker bucket’ after doing blood work – it’s the small things that make a huge difference and leave a positive lasting memory.”

Since opening a year ago, PRHC’s POP clinic has provided access to high quality specialized paediatric care to more than 5000 patient/family visits. “Ensuring our youngest patients and their families receive high quality patient care at the right time and in the right location is what’s making PRHC’s POP clinic a shining success,” added Ferkl.