Integated Healthcare Practitioners Magazine – July 2010
An Integrated Healthcare Model for thefuture.
By Dani Ng-See-Quan
Photography By Katie Huisman
In keeping with one of the main philosophies of naturopathic medicine, “treat the whole person”, comes the vision for Cross Roads Clinic, a collective of various health practices to serve and care for the community.
The spectrum of health care available at Cross Roads includes: naturopathic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, and family medical practice including a community walk-in clinic, registered counselling practice, pediatrics, physiotherapy, massage therapy and a registered dietician. The adjoining clinic includes an obstetrics and gynecology practice, a midwifery practice and a dental group. In total, Cross Roads Clinic has over 80 practitioners and support staff dedicated to providing health care to approximately 1,000 patients each week. As one of the first clinics of its kind in British Columbia, the dream and mission for Cross Roads Clinic was to provide a full spectrum of health services in one facility. After years of vision, planning and preparation, Cross Roads Clinic opened its doors to the community in April of 2009.
We were so excited and passionate about being able to collaborate with other health care professionals and create strong professional relationships, an environment which would support us all learning from each other on how to best care for our patients. To work in collaboration with the other physicians and health care providers in the clinic is such a gift” says Dr. Kristen Brown, ND, Crossroads Clinic Director of Naturopathic Medicine.
The beautiful integrated 8,800 square foot clinic space is located in the heart of Vancouver on the northwest corner of Cambie Street and West Broadway Avenue. The site of the clinic was carefully chosen based on its accessibility for the local community and its proximity to public transit. With the opening of the new Canada Line and on many major bus routes, this area, known as Cambie Village, has become one of the city’s most desirable places to live, work, shop, dine and visit. With the health of the community and the larger environment in mind, practitioners at Cross Roads have chosen to adopt a more efficient and ecologically sustainable paperless system of charting, significantly reducing the amount of waste and paper used for the daily clinical tasks, and reducing the environmental impact on the larger community.
The spectrum of health care available at Cross Roads includes: naturopathic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, and family medical practice including a community walk-in clinic, registered counselling practice, pediatrics, physiotherapy, massage therapy and a registered dietician.
Naturopathic medicine at Cross Roads is unique in that each patient has the choice of one of four Naturopathic physicians. While each abide by the general naturopathic philosophies; “seeking the root cause of illness, treating the whole person, prevention as medicine, teaching and empowering each patient to take charge of their health,” each practitioner has a focus of practice of which they are passionate about and as a result, Cross Roads naturopathic medicine is able to offer a broad range of treatment modalities and care plans for each patient.
Individualized treatment plans may include instructions on nutrition and lifestyle changes, exercise prescription, and the addition of herbal or homeopathic medicines, detoxification programs, IV therapies and chelation, acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, physical medicine and soft tissue work, neural therapy, clinical nutrient support, well-child and well-women’s care including pap tests and full physical exams for families.
In order to support the health plan of each patient, Cross Roads naturopathic medicine has a complete natural dispensary which includes vitamin and mineral formulations, herbal medicines, homeopathic blends and IV nutrients on-site. For convenience and benefit of the patient, the naturopathic practice offers in-house lab testing for general blood work, as well as laboratory testing for food sensitivities and environmental allergens, hormones, and heavy metals.
Dr. Rida Wang, a naturopathic doctor with the Crossroads team states “Because we are finding that many of our patients do not have general family doctors, we are able to provide many valuable services such as laboratory testing and general physical exams. One of the goals of our clinical space was to make the treatment rooms efficient but also welcoming at the same time… A space where patient’s are able to feel comfortable and supported during their time with us.”
Because of the proximity to the medical walk-in and family practice, the naturopathic physicians are finding that they frequently see acute care concerns such as: Cold’s and flu’s, Headaches, Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia, Urinary tract infections, Digestive concerns, PMS.
“Patients appreciate being given the option to choose a more natural treatment in addition to other forms of health care they are receiving at Cross Roads” says Dr. Brown. “There are often so many efficient, safe and effective methods of naturopathic treatments, and as such, we also commonly see patients with: Heart disease, High cholesterol, Diabetes, Thyroid imbalance, Allergies, Weight gain/obesity, High blood pressure, Joint and muscle pain, Infertility, Menopausal symptoms, Fatigue, Acne, Eczema.”
A new addition to the Cross Roads Family is the registered counselling practice which helps to complete the model of whole person health care and adds to the depth of services that are available at the clinic. Patients are able to access our counsellor or participate in one of our counselling workshops held at Cross Roads Clinic.
Dr. Brown adds “The ability to refer our patients to other practitioners in the clinic for adjunctive therapies such as massage and counselling allows us to really offer our patients comprehensive care-all under one roof! We hope to see an increasing number of clinical models offer integrated healthcare for patients in the future for the health of our communities!”
Looking forward, the mission of CR+ Cross Roads Clinics Vancouver is to continue to provide quality health care that embraces this integrated healthcare model in order to best support and nurture the wellness of each individual and the health of the greater community.