Edmonton universities open ‘first of its kind’ clinical facility

MacEwan University health centre grand opening
WATCH ABOVE: MacEwan University and the University of Alberta have partnered to open a health centre that takes a team approach to healthcare. Kent Morrison reports.

MacEwan University and the University of Alberta’s family medicine department have partnered to open the first clinical-education facility of its kind in Alberta.

The two Edmonton institutions have collaborated to establish the MacEwan University Health Centre. The centre has been designed as a community clinic but will provide health-care services for MacEwan University students and staff as well.

“All the organizations involved worked together and shared resources to create a new, innovative model for health care for both the MacEwan University community and the neighbourhoods that surround us,” MacEwan University president Deborah Saucier said.

READ MORE: Alberta Budget 2017 promises new hospital for Edmonton, more Calgary long-term care, nothing for Red Deer hospital

MacEwan University said the project is based on a “medical home” model that provides patients one-stop access to various health-care professionals.

Story continues below advertisement

The facility takes a team-based approach to family health led by senior providers and supported by primary care nurses, medical assistants and mental health professionals. Additionally, the teams will be supported by dietitians, pharmacists and referral screening co-ordinators. It will allow patients to receive physical and mental health care, including disease prevention, health promotion, acute care and chronic care.

“This partnership will provide state-of-the-art advanced primary care to a wide range of patients, while also training nurses, doctors, medical assistants and other members of the health-care team for the future of primary care around the province,” University of Alberta Family Medicine Department chair Dr. Lee Green said.

It will feature mental health consultation rooms, a family consultation room and 21 exam rooms.

READ MORE: Health City aims to make Edmonton a leader in healthcare

The centre also provides a teaching opportunity between MacEwan and the University of Alberta, with units for resident doctors to have their interactions with patients recorded for teaching purposes.

“Not just to hear what they’re reporting to us, ‘The patient told me this,’ so much as, ‘This is what I actually saw the patient telling you,’ and a lot can be gleaned from that that isn’t present from day-to-day reporting,” medical director Dr. Peter Bell said.

“That’s very different from a lot of the ways in which we approach medical teaching or learning in other environments.”

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Alberta scientists may have discovered method to detect stillbirth

The teaching will be extended to MacEwan nursing students as well.

MacEwan University said care will be co-ordinated across all facets of the Alberta health-care system, including linkages to hospital emergency departments, social services agencies, research institutions and Indigenous health organizations.