Patient C.A.R.E the focus at Lakeridge Health Whitby

Lakeridge Health Whitby (LHW) is a specialty hospital offering Complex Continuing Care, Geriatrics, Rehabilitation and Outpatient Dialysis to residents in Durham Region. “Durham Region’s senior population is growing at a rate that is nearly double the provincial average (20% vs. 10.3%). As our community ages it is more important than ever to provide services that will enhance their well-being and keep them healthy.” said Carol Anderson, Director of, Complex Continuing Care, Geriatrics and Rehabilitation for Lakeridge Health.

To meet these growing demands, Lakeridge Health Whitby (LHW) has developed a C.A.R.E Model. The C.A.R.E model is a collaborative practice model that involves 3 Acute Care Nurse Practitioners (ACNP), Michelle Acorn, Melodie Cannon and Sue Whyte, working with a physician lead, Dr. Jim Park. It was developed based on LHW’s unique patient needs and the 4 practice domains for ACNPs.

The C.A.R.E. Model is an acronym for:

C- Clinical practice, direct patient care

A- Administration and leadership

R- Research (participation, dissemination and publication)

E- Education

Lakeridge Health Whitby has ensured that all facets of clinical practice fall into the C.A.R.E model. Here are some examples.

Clinical Practice and Direct Patient Care

LHW opened a 16- bed Geriatric Rehabilitation Unit (GRU) in 1999, and expanded to 32 beds in 2004 to improve the strength and stamina of an older person who has experienced a loss of independence as a result of being hospitalized. “Our role is to help those who’ve had a setback,” said Shelly Santerre, Clinical Leader, GRU and Day Hospital, “Frail older persons are often unable to tolerate the high levels of intensive therapy that are provided in a regular stream rehabilitation program. We offer them low-intensity rehabilitation over a longer period of time. As a result, the length of stay on the unit can range from a couple of weeks to several months – it all depends on the individual.

LHW is the first hospital to embrace the “Eden Alternative” a philosophy of care that strives to create a homelike living environment for their residents by integrating plants, animals and children into a human habitat. LHW is a place where they can feel at home, said Stephanie Scotchburn, Therapeutic Recreation Therapist.

Administration and Leadership

“The leadership at Lakeridge Health Whitby have made it a priority to work with our staff in a way that will empower them to be leaders in the future,” said Shelly Santerre, Clinical Leader. “We encourage them to take additional training courses, leadership courses and patient education courses,” she elaborated.

Carol Anderson, Director of Complex Continuing Care, Geriatrics and Rehabilitation for Lakeridge Health, is Chair of the Regional Geriatric Interest Group of Durham (RGIG), The Geriatric Research Group and the Advocacy and Communications Working Group for the Frail Elderly Alliance of Durham Region. All three groups are committed to supporting older persons and promoting best practices in geriatric care in the Region.

Research participation, dissemination and publication

Staff are encouraged to participate in current research. Currently the program is involved as site participants in 3 research projects, and 2 proposals, working towards improving and implementing best practice in clinical care.


Nursing and allied health staff have volunteered their time and expertise to be mentors and preceptors for our Nursing, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech-Language Pathology, Therapeutic Recreation and Rehabilitation Assistant students, all from numerous colleges and universities.

Together with their partners, Lakeridge Health has developed a plan for the delivery of services to the frail elderly in Durham Region. “Our vision for Lakeridge Health Whitby is to make it a Regional Centre for Health and Aging” explained Ms. Anderson. “This vision includes the delivery of both inpatient and outpatient geriatric services in addition to the enhancement of both educational and research activities to improve the delivery of state-of-the-art geriatric care.”