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July 27, 2020 Supporting seniors during COVID-19 with outreach and community care packages

As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, social workers Holly Richardson and Loralee Smith, who work with collaborative family practice teams in Annapolis County, thought that making check-in phone calls to support community members, particularly seniors, would be helpful.

Richardson’s collaborative family practice team members were ready to start making these calls after hearing about her idea. 

A plan had been developed previously by the practice’s physicians and nurses about contacting patients in the event of a large storm, so it was easily adapted for this purpose. 

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June 30, 2020 Health care providers and patients adopt technology during pandemic

By Lauren MacDougall


This spring, Dr. Raed Azer, a family physician with the collaborative family practice team in New Waterford, Cape Breton, adopted an innovative approach to continue to safely provide care to his patients during the worldwide pandemic.

In response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the provincial Public Health directives (e.g. social distancing),  Nova Scotia Health Authority’s (NSHA) Virtual Care team set health care providers up with Zoom for Healthcare, a secure virtual care platform

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April 22, 2020 Nurse Practitioner in Caledonia embraces virtual care for patients

By Deidre Taylor


Susan Savage joined the collaborative family practice team at North Queens Medical Centre in Caledonia two years ago as a nurse practitioner.  

The collaborative practice’s two nurse practitioners and family doctor provide primary care for residents of the small, close-knit community, along with those living in the surrounding areas.

At the end of March, Savage began providing virtual appointments for patients using Zoom for Healthcare, like many others, once it became available for health care providers in Nova Scotia.

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February 14, 2020 Patient family advisors and collaborative family practice teams create more welcoming experience for patients

By Margaret Angus


“Not all patients feel comfortable in a doctor’s office,” shared Heather Burton, member of the Kings and Annapolis Network of Patient and Family Advisors. 

“We know in order to have good patient experience, it starts with the first phone call and the first time you walk in.” 

That’s why this group of volunteer patient and family advisors (PFA) decided to host a workshop for office staff from local collaborative family practice teams and chronic disease teams in the summer of 2019. 

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January 24, 2020 Digby General Hospital hosts high school students to explore health care careers

By Fraser Mooney


By mid-December, most high school students are looking forward to Christmas break. 

But at Digby General Hospital an enthusiastic group of students were looking forward to learning about health care careers.

On Dec. 12 a health care panel and discussion took place at Digby General Hospital to introduce local high school students to different professionals and job opportunities in health care.  

The goal was to encourage students to explore–and hopefully pursue–a health care career.   

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December 19, 2019 Multi-province primary care research project puts patients first

By Melanie Jollymore


Any time his stage-four COPD flares up, Sheldon Williams can end up spending several breathless hours in the emergency room, waiting to be assessed and given the medication he needs to clear the obstructive secretions from his compromised lungs.

The Shelburne-area resident is eager to see if his participation in a health services study through the Shelburne Collaborative Family Practice will improve his access to timely care when he has a flare.

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December 18, 2019 Avon Medical Clinic: Collaboration between health care providers allows for ‘much more comprehensive visits’ for patients

By Deidre Taylor


The Avon Medical Clinic in Windsor was established just over a year ago, when two family physicians, a family practice nurse, a nurse practitioner and clerical staff came together to form a collaborative family practice team.

When a variety of health professionals work together as part of a collaborative family practice team, it creates capacity within the team to be able to efficiently see patients, especially when patients see the most appropriate provider for their health care needs. 

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September 4, 2019 Our People in Profile: Nurse practitioner Heidi Fairbanks-Smith committed to ‘meeting the community needs’ in River Hebert

By Nayo Upshaw


Nurse practitioner Heidi Fairbanks-Smith values the community connections she’s been able to establish.

“I like the social aspect and personal connections; I know a lot of people and they know me,” said Fairbanks-Smith, who works out of the River Hebert Primary Health Care clinic.

Every day is different for Fairbanks-Smith, an important member of her clinic’s collaborative health care team.

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August 8, 2019 ‘It was great to get the call’: Nova Scotia patients pleased with Need A Family Practice registry, collaborative care experiences

By Deidre Taylor


When Wendy Brenton moved back to Truro after 25 years, first living in Ontario and then the United States, she called her previous family doctor to see if he would be willing to accept her as a patient again.

“Understandably, he couldn’t take me back, since he was planning to retire soon.”

She called a number of family practices, and her sister told her to add her name to the Need a Family Practice registry.

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July 10, 2019 Community Conversations about Collaborative Family Practice Teams

(Published in Nova Scotia Health's Healthier Together 2016 - 2019 Measuring Our Progress Report p. 49-50)


In 2018, we hosted 25 community conversations about collaborative family practice teams.

A collaborative family practice team includes family doctors, nurse practitioners, family practice nurses, and other health professionals working together to provide comprehensive care for patients.

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