Clinic serves military families

Elgin Avenue centre offers primary care

Staff members of the Northern Medical Services Centre
Staff members of the Northern Medical Services Centre, from front to back: Dr. Ken Hahlweg, Corrine Orr and Kelli Kochie

Winnipeg Health Region
Wave, March / April 2011

The families of Winnipeg-based soldiers now have a new way to efficiently access primary care.

Effective last month, families of Canadian soldiers who do not have a family doctor will be able to access care through the Northern Connection Medical Centre at 425 Elgin Avenue.

Currently, military personnel are entitled to receive medical service on the base at 17 Wing, but family members, including their partners and children, are not. Providing access to the centre, which is jointly operated by the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Medicine, Health Sciences Centre and the Winnipeg Health Region, solves the problem.

"The military personnel were very excited to hear of a place where we could take care of their families," says Kelly Lukaszewki, Project Manager with the Northern/Remote Residency Stream, Department of Family Medicine, University of Manitoba. "I understand that it's a huge problem for soldiers' families to link into primary care in the communities where military personnel are posted."

Major Tom McCormack, a doctor who works with military personnel, agrees. "It's definitely filling a need that was identified at the highest level," says McCormack. "We're happy this support is available for military families."

The Northern Connection Medical Centre was officially opened last month to support residents of Northern Manitoba. It provides primary care and other medical services for northern and remote residents who are temporarily in Winnipeg, while at the same time helping train medical residents to become family physicians who will work in northern and remote locations. In addition, the centre will serve as the home base for some physicians who fly into northern communities to provide care.

Although located at NCMC now, the long-term plan is to house the military medical service at ACCESS St. James, which is scheduled to open at the Grace Hospital in 2012.

About Wave

Wave is published six times a year by the Winnipeg Health Region in cooperation with the Winnipeg Free Press. It is available at newsstands, hospitals and clinics throughout Winnipeg, as well as McNally Robinson Books.

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