New program at Headwaters hospital aids those with hip, knee problems

February 22, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Baker

Headwaters Health Care Centre (HHCC) has unveiled a new musculoskeletal central intake, assessment and management program to assist local patients suffering with hip and knee osteoarthritis.

The new initiative rolled out in early January and is part of a province-wide approach to make it easier for patients to get an assessment, referral and, eventually, access to orthopedic surgery. The hospital is estimating it will assess approximately 400 patients through its Rapid Access Clinic (RAC) this year.

Mary Wheelwright, Director of Health System Integration at HHCC is pleased that this program brings care options for people in the area, closer to home. 

“Our goal is to use this clinic and the specialized skills brought to us by the advanced practice physiotherapist to do even more. We are consistently looking for new ways to partner with others and to expand services,” Ms. Wheelwright said. 

The program is being offered in collaboration with the Central West Local Health Integration Network and William Osler Health System. Scott McLeod, CEO of the Central West LHIN said he was pleased to partner up with HHCC on an initiative that provides a greater level of service to local residents.

“This new musculoskeletal central intake assessment and management pathway has been designed to provide an enhanced patient experience that enables improved access to appropriate levels of care closer to home,” Mr. McLeod said. “It will also help to educate and inform patients about their conditions and treatment options in a timely way.” 

Under the new process, primary care physicians will send their referrals for hip and knee osteoarthritis through the central intake program for RAC assessment. Patients will then be contacted with an appointment date and time within two weeks of the hospital receiving a doctor’s referral.

It is expected the program will bring shorter wait times for patients awaiting hip and knee surgery, while enhancing support for patients who are not surgical candidates to help them manage their condition.

The first patient to access the clinic, described simply as Ann, noted “I was pleased not to have to drive to Brampton to be assessed. (My physiotherapist) was warm and welcoming. She explained the x-rays in detail. She laid out my options and was very thorough. It was a great visit.”

For more information on the program, visit

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