Update on H1N1 Activities – Community Flu Assessment Centres Open

Smiths Falls, ON –  There has been a marked increase in the numbers of persons attending the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital’s Emergency Departments over the past 10-14 days.  “We greatly appreciate the public’s understanding and patience during this current period of high activity in our emergency departments” said Linda Bisonette, Vice President, Patient Care and CNO.

These last number of days have seen a significant increase in the use of the Emergency Department in large part because of increased patients presenting with flu-like symptoms. The Emergency Departments in Perth and Smiths Falls want to ensure that they are in a position to serve the seriously ill patients who require emergency services.  “The Hospital has asked the Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Anne Carter to set up flu assessment centres at the North Lanark Community Health Centre and the Smiths Falls Community Health Centre (CHC)” said Ms. Bisonette.

The centres have been approved by Dr. Carter with the Smiths Falls Centre beginning operations on Friday, October 30, 2009.  The hours of operation at the Smiths Falls Site will be seven (7) days a week from 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.. The hours of operation at the North Lanark Site will be 9 a.m. to noon and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon on weekends. Changes to times will be determined by the Community Health Centres in consultation with the local hospital emergency directors and the Hospital’s influenza planning coordinator.  and the North Lanark Centre preparing to open on Monday

The Flu Assessment Centre at the North Lanark CHC will be open to all presenting with flu-like symptoms, primarily from Perth and North Lanark CHC catchment areas, representing the west and north portions of Lanark County while the Flu Assessment Centre in Smiths Falls will be open to all residents of Smiths Falls and surrounding area.  “The opening of the clinics is an effort to handle high volumes of patients who want to know if they have got H1N1 influenza as well as divert non-urgent cases away from our emergency departments” said Todd Stepanuik, President & CEO.

The Hospital pandemic planning team, physicians and staff have been planning for this event for a number of years and have been working in collaboration with community partners for a number of months.  This level of cooperation and mutual support have proven invaluable as we work together to ensure timely, quality care for our entire catchment area.

If you are concerned about your symptoms, please contact your family doctor’s office or call TeleHealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.  If you do not have a family doctor or if you are unable to access your family doctor due to high demand, proceed to the nearest community flu assessment clinic.

Outpatients and visitors to the hospital will notice magazines have been removed from waiting areas to help prevent the spread of infection.

For more information contact:
Linda Bisonette
VP Patient Care and CNO
Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital
613-283-2330 ext:1110

Great War Memorial Site
33 Drummond Street West
Perth, ON K7H 2K1
Tel: (613) 267-1500
Smiths Falls Site
60 Cornelia Street West
Smiths Falls, ON K7A 2H9
Tel: (613) 283-2330

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