Doctor lauded for enhancing care for dementia patients

News Dec 30, 2014 Kitchener Post

Local doctor, Linda Lee, awarded the Minister’s Medal Honouring Excellence in Health

By Laurie Snell

Kitchener Post staff

After years of working to enhance the care for dementia patients, Waterloo Region doctor, Linda Lee, was awarded the Minister’s Medal Honouring Excellence in Health.

“It was a real privilege to see our work recognized by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care,” Dr. Lee said. She is also excited her treatment model, which allows inter-professional health care workers to treat geriatric problems at the primary care level, is homegrown.

The Minister’s Medal is part of a competitive recognition program that occurs each year, to acknowledge collaborative efforts of Ontario’s heath care providers, who are improving care for residents.

“The award was presented by the Minister of Health, Eric Hoskins, and I think it was just an acknowledgement of the great work (of) the team I’ve had the great privilege of working with — a very highly skilled team of health care professionals.”

Lee’s work began at a small family practice in the area, where there were a lot of geriatric concerns.

“I recognized that there was a gap in care for persons with memory problems. There was a real need to improve the system of care for persons with dementia and family members … I thought to myself, if there was ever an opportunity to improve care, that I would want to do that,” Lee said.

And in 2006, the opportunity arose, when the practice became a family health team.

“That was the opportunity to develop a new system of care for persons with memory problems and their caregivers. Their needs are complex. There are physical, psychological and social needs and I recognize they are best handled by a multi-disciplinary team, where the strengths of each discipline, working together, in partnership and collaboratively, could really, really help.”

The traditional model for dementia care is reliant on specialists; however, Lee said there simply aren’t enough. As a result, there are lengthy wait times to receive early diagnosis and proper care.

When the new model was designed, in partnership with local geriatricians and organizations, the primary care medical clinics then allowed the family practices to retain the majority of care internally, using the specialists in a more effective way.

Lee began training the first set of teams in 2008, and she is now in Ottawa, training the 58th team — a number that will jump to 63 by the end of January.

“It starts with an early, accurate diagnosis, and then the provision of supports that are needed in a timely way … It’s about providing that support in a proactive way, rather than reactive, which is often the case now,” Lee said.

lsnell@kitchenerpost.ca

Doctor lauded for enhancing care for dementia patients

News Dec 30, 2014 Kitchener Post

Local doctor, Linda Lee, awarded the Minister’s Medal Honouring Excellence in Health

By Laurie Snell

Kitchener Post staff

After years of working to enhance the care for dementia patients, Waterloo Region doctor, Linda Lee, was awarded the Minister’s Medal Honouring Excellence in Health.

“It was a real privilege to see our work recognized by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care,” Dr. Lee said. She is also excited her treatment model, which allows inter-professional health care workers to treat geriatric problems at the primary care level, is homegrown.

The Minister’s Medal is part of a competitive recognition program that occurs each year, to acknowledge collaborative efforts of Ontario’s heath care providers, who are improving care for residents.

“The award was presented by the Minister of Health, Eric Hoskins, and I think it was just an acknowledgement of the great work (of) the team I’ve had the great privilege of working with — a very highly skilled team of health care professionals.”

Lee’s work began at a small family practice in the area, where there were a lot of geriatric concerns.

“I recognized that there was a gap in care for persons with memory problems. There was a real need to improve the system of care for persons with dementia and family members … I thought to myself, if there was ever an opportunity to improve care, that I would want to do that,” Lee said.

And in 2006, the opportunity arose, when the practice became a family health team.

“That was the opportunity to develop a new system of care for persons with memory problems and their caregivers. Their needs are complex. There are physical, psychological and social needs and I recognize they are best handled by a multi-disciplinary team, where the strengths of each discipline, working together, in partnership and collaboratively, could really, really help.”

The traditional model for dementia care is reliant on specialists; however, Lee said there simply aren’t enough. As a result, there are lengthy wait times to receive early diagnosis and proper care.

When the new model was designed, in partnership with local geriatricians and organizations, the primary care medical clinics then allowed the family practices to retain the majority of care internally, using the specialists in a more effective way.

Lee began training the first set of teams in 2008, and she is now in Ottawa, training the 58th team — a number that will jump to 63 by the end of January.

“It starts with an early, accurate diagnosis, and then the provision of supports that are needed in a timely way … It’s about providing that support in a proactive way, rather than reactive, which is often the case now,” Lee said.

lsnell@kitchenerpost.ca

Doctor lauded for enhancing care for dementia patients

News Dec 30, 2014 Kitchener Post

Local doctor, Linda Lee, awarded the Minister’s Medal Honouring Excellence in Health

By Laurie Snell

Kitchener Post staff

After years of working to enhance the care for dementia patients, Waterloo Region doctor, Linda Lee, was awarded the Minister’s Medal Honouring Excellence in Health.

“It was a real privilege to see our work recognized by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care,” Dr. Lee said. She is also excited her treatment model, which allows inter-professional health care workers to treat geriatric problems at the primary care level, is homegrown.

The Minister’s Medal is part of a competitive recognition program that occurs each year, to acknowledge collaborative efforts of Ontario’s heath care providers, who are improving care for residents.

“The award was presented by the Minister of Health, Eric Hoskins, and I think it was just an acknowledgement of the great work (of) the team I’ve had the great privilege of working with — a very highly skilled team of health care professionals.”

Lee’s work began at a small family practice in the area, where there were a lot of geriatric concerns.

“I recognized that there was a gap in care for persons with memory problems. There was a real need to improve the system of care for persons with dementia and family members … I thought to myself, if there was ever an opportunity to improve care, that I would want to do that,” Lee said.

And in 2006, the opportunity arose, when the practice became a family health team.

“That was the opportunity to develop a new system of care for persons with memory problems and their caregivers. Their needs are complex. There are physical, psychological and social needs and I recognize they are best handled by a multi-disciplinary team, where the strengths of each discipline, working together, in partnership and collaboratively, could really, really help.”

The traditional model for dementia care is reliant on specialists; however, Lee said there simply aren’t enough. As a result, there are lengthy wait times to receive early diagnosis and proper care.

When the new model was designed, in partnership with local geriatricians and organizations, the primary care medical clinics then allowed the family practices to retain the majority of care internally, using the specialists in a more effective way.

Lee began training the first set of teams in 2008, and she is now in Ottawa, training the 58th team — a number that will jump to 63 by the end of January.

“It starts with an early, accurate diagnosis, and then the provision of supports that are needed in a timely way … It’s about providing that support in a proactive way, rather than reactive, which is often the case now,” Lee said.

lsnell@kitchenerpost.ca