New Calgary sports clinic reduces wait times for injury diagnosis

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WATCH ABOVE: A new Calgary clinic provides diagnoses and injury rehab all under one roof and allows patients to skip the referral process. As Kevin Smith reports, three doctors with decades of experience have started the quick access clinic – Jan 23, 2018

A new sport injury clinic in southwest Calgary allows anyone with an injury within the past six weeks to get a diagnosis quickly by skipping the referral process.

The Rapid Access Sport Injury Clinic was formed by three doctors with decades of experience in sport medicine, including the treatment of NHL players.

Kelly Brett was a doctor with the Calgary Flames for 15 years and says his colleagues and he want to leave a legacy of care for Calgarians.

“As our legacy, we try and provide that level of care to really the weekend warriors — which we all are here at the clinic, we’re all weekend warriors ourselves — and feel the need to get our bruises and scrapes and bangs looked after,” Brett said.

Andy Josephs is a recreational hockey player who injured his shoulder back in November. He heard about the new clinic and went to the website.

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“I took the 10 minutes, filled out the form and the next day, I got a call and the next day I was in here getting looked at, which was great. So it was a very fast, rapid way that got me in and through,” said Josephs.

READ MORE: What kind of warm-ups reduce sports injuries? Calgary research says neuromuscular 

Willem Meeuwisse has 28 years of experience with referral-based sport medicine practice. He’s proud of the quick care he was able to give Josephs.

“He thought he dislocated his shoulder. He came to see us [and it] turns out it was separated, not dislocated — a different kind of injury [and] different kind of treatment.

“We were able to get x-rays done next door and he was able to come back and get that sorted out and get on a treatment plan right from the beginning,” Meeuwisse said.

“One of the things we wanted to do after being part of this community so long was give back by opening the doors, if you will, and getting some of the barriers to access out of the way.”

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Wendy Coombs is the CEO of the clinic and says Calgarians deserve quicker access to injury care.

“We’ve had good health care in the city, the challenge is that patients tend to be like a pinball in a pinball machine — bouncing around where time is spent travelling between different appointments and trying to communicate between the different disciplines. Having everything under one roof really allows that seamless care,” Coombs said.

Physiotherapists, athletic therapists, chiropractors and massage therapists all work under the same roof but patients can choose to do their rehab wherever it suits them.

It took Josephs six weeks after his injury to recovery and now he’s back playing rec hockey.

The Innovative Sport Medicine clinic is public and all doctor visits are covered by Alberta Health.