First Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic Opens Doors in Sudbury



    TORONTO, Aug. 30 /CNW/ - Thousands of people across northeastern Ontario
will have better access to health care thanks to Canada's first nurse
practitioner-led clinic, which is marking its grand opening today in Sudbury.
    "Nurse practitioners and all nurses take pride today in this important
achievement," says Mary Ferguson-Pare, President of the Registered Nurses'
Association of Ontario (RNAO). "This clinic will allow NPs and their
interdisciplinary teams to work to their full potential and provide the people
of Sudbury with the kind of timely, high-quality health care they need and
deserve. The clinic's success will demonstrate to all Canadians the exemplary
knowledge, skills and compassion nurse practitioners bring to the public."
    Nurse practitioners (NPs) are RNs with advanced education and
decision-making skills in assessment, diagnosis and health-care management.
They have legislative authority to treat common illnesses and injuries, write
prescriptions, order lab tests, X-rays and other diagnostic tests.
    Funding for the Sudbury District Nurse Practitioner Clinics was announced
by the Ontario government last November. The clinic currently employs four
nurse practitioners, support staff and physician partners. Within the next
year, services will be expanded to include a dietician and a social worker.
The main clinic will operate out of Sudbury, with satellite locations in
Dowling and Chapleau. Patient care in Chapleau began in July, while the
Sudbury site opened its doors to patients earlier this month.
    "I want to congratulate everyone who worked so hard to make this historic
event possible. This is a great day for the people of Sudbury," says Ontario
Premier Dalton McGuinty. "For the past four years, our government has been
proud to work with the RNAO to improve our public health-care system, and this
is one more way that, working together, we're getting results for Ontario
families."
    In addition to vital government support, RNAO Executive Director Doris
Grinspun says the clinic could not have become a reality without the passion
and perseverance of RNAO members Marilyn Butcher and Roberta Heale, two nurse
practitioners from Sudbury. They were spurred into action after seeing so many
of their neighbours crowd into walk-in clinics and emergency rooms because of
a severe shortage of primary health-care practitioners in the area. Meanwhile,
their NP colleagues were leaving the area to find jobs, or they were
underemployed.
    "Marilyn and Roberta's efforts are a testament to the accomplishments
that can be achieved when nurses speak out for their communities," says
Grinspun. "Nurses all over the province see what their patients need to live
full, healthy lives. When they call out for change, the results mean
improvements for communities all across Ontario," she adds, also crediting the
McGuinty government for listening and responding to the community's needs.

    The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional
association representing registered nurses wherever they practise in Ontario.
Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in
nursing practice, increased nurses' contribution to shaping the health-care
system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.




For further information:

For further information: Jill Scarrow, Communications Officer, RNAO,
Phone: 1-800-268-7199 ext. 210; On Aug. 30, please call: (647) 504-4008


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