May 9, 2023

As partners in the Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Ontario Health Team, Queen’s School of Nursing, Kingston Community Health Centres (KCHC) and KFL&A Public Health, are opening a newborn and early childhood clinic to provide well baby health care to infants who do not have a primary care provider. The Partnership for Well Baby Care Clinic will offer interprofessional educational experiences for undergraduate nursing, nurse practitioner (NP), medical students, and post-graduate medical trainees in family medicine and pediatrics.

“Newborns and young children are extremely vulnerable and ongoing health care is essential for good health outcomes. We are very pleased to offer this service to babies and young children in our region and provide our learners with exceptional interprofessional and team-based opportunities to advance their knowledge,” says Dr. Roger Pilon, Associate Professor, School of Nursing and licensed Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner (PHC-NP) who is helping lead this initiative. 

Newborn infants and their parent(s) or caregiver(s) in the Kingston area who are unattached to a primary care provider will be referred to this clinic. It will operate two half days per week staffed by three primary care nurse practitioners (NP) from the School of Nursing and supported by nurses from KFL&A Public Health. The focus of the clinic is in providing wellness care, monitoring growth and development, milestone screening and delivering immunizations critical to early childhood health. If a child needs specialized care, the NP will make a referral to a pediatrician or other specialists. Acute care will continue through the Children’s Outpatient Clinic (COPC) at Hotel Dieu Hospital and local emergency departments.  

KCHC and KFL&A Public Health are providing administrative and immunization support, and clinical space (221 Portsmouth Ave.). The Queen’s Chair in Pediatric Education and Research and Department of Pediatrics has also provided $50,000 in start-up funding to support this clinic. 

“It is important to KCHC to work with our community partners to ensure the health of everyone in our communities, particularly priority populations,” says Dr. Rupa Patel, Family Physician, KCHC and Assistant Professor, Queen’s Department of Family Medicine. “This clinic is vital to the health and well-being of babies so they get a healthy start in their growth and development.” For the past eight months, the MD/NP providers at KCHC have been providing well baby care for infants without a primary care provider. Dr. Patel and the team at Weller Clinic identified this community health care need and brought the partners together to help design the clinic.

“We are thrilled to partner with KCHC and Queen’s School of Nursing to provide much-needed space and knowledgeable healthcare professionals to make a real difference in the lives of families in our community who may not have access to primary health care providers,” says Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health, KFL&A Public Health.

It is estimated that 20 babies a month are born in the Kingston area who are not attached to a primary care provider. This initiative also benefits the larger health care system by providing essential wellness health care to infants and young children, resulting in fewer visits to COPC and emergency departments.

Queen’s Health Sciences and School of Nursing, KCHC and KFL&A Public Health are partners in the Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Ontario Health Team (FLA OHT) network which is focused on the critical health needs of people in the region and finding opportunities for stronger, more connected care.

This initiative aligns with two of the priorities identified in Queen’s Health Sciences’ strategic plan: integrated health sciences education and clinical impact in the community.