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Health care for vulnerable patients continues as VON nurse practitioner clinic gains independence

Thursday February 1, 2018, Peterborough, ON – A team of frontline health care providers are celebrating a move to independence as they continue to provide services to the city’s most vulnerable patients.

The Peterborough 360 Degree Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic officially transitioned to an autonomous, primary health care organization in 2018 with staff and board members promising to continue its impeccable level of care.

Formerly known as the VON 360 Degree Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic, the clinic was created through the collaborative efforts of community partners working with vulnerable people who faced barriers to obtaining health care within the mainstream health care system.

“We are excited to have transitioned to an autonomous governance model with a diverse community-based board of directors representing the community we work in,” said Beth Day, chair of the 360 Degree Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic. “We cherish the partnerships and working relationships we have fostered since 2011 and are eagerly anticipating making new connections.”

The 360 Degree Clinic features an interdisciplinary team of primary health care providers who help people with particular vulnerabilities, including poverty, homelessness, chronic food insecurity, experiences of violence and trauma, serious mental health issues and social isolation.

For the past six years, VON Canada has provided extensive set-up, operational and governance supports to the 360 Degree Clinic.

“We wish to express our sincere gratitude to VON Canada for their continued support over the years, up to and including this past transition year,” said Kathy Hardill, executive director and nurse practitioner lead at the 360 Degree Clinic.

She explained how clinic staff will continue to provide comprehensive primary care along the entire continuum of life including prenatal and child care, management of acute and chronic conditions, and end-of-life care.

“Our community partnerships have provided us with opportunities to collaborate and ensure we are all working to support the most vulnerable citizens in our community,” Hardill said.

“VON is proud to have contributed to incubating this important service in Peterborough” said Sharon Goodwin, executive vice president home and community care for VON, and past board member of the clinic.  “We have a long history of pioneering home and community care, and It’s great to now see the clinic established as a fully autonomous organization offering real value to the people in this community”.

The 360 Degree Clinic will continue to make unique contributions to primary health care in the community, including a particular focus on improving health equity and access to the social determinants of health.

We will remain connected and responsive to our community partners and continue to provide accessible care and services, such as laundry and showers, for our priority populations.


About 360 Degree Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic

The 360 Degree Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic opened in late 2011 following a grassroots community effort to create an accessible and welcoming primary care clinic. The organization serves anyone in the City of Peterborough and Peterborough County, who does not have a primary care provider, particularly focussing on those individuals experiencing barriers to health care.

Staff develop the skills necessary to provide welcoming, non-judgmental front-line interaction with all people, including those with eccentric behaviours and substance use issues. The team consists of four Nurse Practitioners, two Registered Nurses, two Registered Social Workers, a part-time Registered Dietitian, a part-time Pharmacist, a part-time collaborating physician and staff who provide administrative and reception support.

Staff at the 360 Degree Clinic are linked with numerous community partners and provide street outreach in order to connect with people who have difficulty accessing health care services. Laundry and shower programs assist with practical needs of low-income people and homeless individuals and also provide incentive for people who typically avoid health care services to come to the clinic.

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Accreditation Canada is an independent, not-for-profit organization that consults with experts to develop health care standards based on best practices. They accredit a wide range of health care and social services providers, including hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, clinics, and community health programs. Accreditation Canada has been helping providers improve health care quality and safety for more than 55 years.