In recent years, Fort Frances has faced the same challenges as other communities when trying to recruit and retain physicians.
The local Doctor Recruitment and Retention Committee, in consultation with the physicians, identified the need to affect a change to the model at the Fort Frances Clinic.
It was determined that prospective doctors were more likely to come to a clinic where they could concentrate on delivering health care and not be burdened with the additional pressures of running a business.
It was further recommended that the development of a Family Health Team with the utilization of allied health professionals was an effective alternative to the current model.
After two years of research, consultation, and planning, the Family Health Team model of health care delivery has been implemented at the medical clinic in Fort Frances.
A community-based, not-for-profit group known as Fort Frances Community Clinic has purchased the shares of the Fort Frances Clinic Corp.
Financing for the purchase was provided by the Town of Fort Frances, with assistance from Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc.
This crucial initiative was successful through the diligent efforts and support of the town, the hospital, the local doctors, clinic administration, and the board of the Fort Frances Community Clinic.
“After many months of groundwork and preparation, the Fort Frances Community Clinic has taken possession of the Fort Frances Clinic,” noted John McTaggart, chair of the Fort Frances Community Clinic.
“This community-based, not-for-profit group will manage this central location of front-line health care delivery and be the home to the Fort Frances Health Team.
“At this time, it is important to recognize the significant contributions made to complete this transaction.
“On behalf of the board of directors of Fort Frances Community Clinic, I thank the mayor, council and administration of the Town of Fort Frances for their determined commitment to the completion of this significant project.
“It is important to also recognize the invaluable support shown by the board of directors and administration of Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc.
“A thank you is in order to the physicians of this community for their long-term service to the area residents and for their patience in seeing this transaction completed.
“Finally, to the volunteer board of directors of the Fort Frances Community Clinic, a thank you for your undying support of this project and for your vision of where we need to go with health care in our Town,” added McTaggart.
“Riverside . . . is extremely pleased to be an integral part in the development of the new Family Health Team in Fort Frances,” said Wayne Woods, president and CEO of Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc.
“Our services revolve around a team approach including physicians and other
allied health providers,” he noted.
“We realize that in order to attract and retain competent providers, we must change our model of delivery and we feel that a Family Health Team is the best option.
“We are proud of our accomplishments over the past years and we are excited about the future of health care delivery in our community,” Woods added.
“Mayor and council have determined that the implementation of the Family Health Team concept and community-based management of the clinic is the best long-term plan for the delivery of health care to our residents,” said Fort Frances Mayor Roy Avis.
“A team approach is always a better alternative to individual efforts,” added Mayor Avis.
“The collaborative efforts of the physicians, clinic board, the hospital, and the town has resulted in a true community-based response to our health care challenges.”