Although things have changed over the course of 2020, one thing that has not is the dedication that Dr. Allison Adamus and everyone at Martensville Collective Health and Wellness (MCHW) have for this community.
Currently MCHW has four doctors working within their walls; Dr. Adamus, Dr. Wong, Dr. Strasser and Dr. Okunola, with Dr. Walker returning from her leave near the end of October or beginning of November.
The clinic is still running normal hours, with walk-ins being accepted from 5:00pm to 8:30pm Monday to Thursday and 8:30am to 2:00pm on Friday. “We have the same hours, but now instead of actually physically walking in, we are doing appointments over the phone and if the physician feels that an in-person exam is needed after the initial phone call, they will incite them into the clinic,” Dr. Adamus explained.
COVID-19 precautions have forced many places to modify their operations; however, Dr. Adamus noted that some of these changes have been for the better. “The ability to do phone visits was something that was never covered through medical services at the provincial level and instead was always a private service. Now that this is covered by the health card, if is quite exciting. I am looking forward to the day when we go back to the majority of visits being in-person, with the minority being over the phone though. I believe we are going to get there, but right now, with all of the enhanced cleaning requirements when someone comes in-person, it is very difficult to keep up with as many in-person visits as we used to have, so anything that can be done over the phone will be done that way for now to minimize those in-person visits,” Dr. Adamus said.
Having been a big part of the community since November of 2014, MCHW has been able to support more patients throughout the years; however, Dr. Adamus said that there is still much need within the area and they are continually working to bring in more services.
Prior to COVID-19, MCHW was offering mental health services within the clinic, which Adamus stated was a start, but still only a drop in the bucket to what the community needs. “We have great private services in our community and wonderful partners that way, but there are many patients that are unable to afford private mental health services, or cannot access services offered in Saskatoon. This is something that we are still fighting passionately for,” she stated. Now that there are more doctors working out of MCHW, they no longer have the room to continue with mental health services, but they are working with Family Services Saskatoon to find an alternate location within Martensville, as well as with Saskatchewan Health Authority to bring in more publicly funded services.
This past March, Dr. Adamus took on the position of Area Division Lead for Pandemic Planning in Family Medicine for the Saskatoon North Division with Saskatchewan Health Authority. Since then, the role has evolved, and Adamus noted that it will continue to evolve as time progresses. She stated that much of the work has had to do with pandemic planning and making sure that everyone is safe within personal care homes.
For now, Dr. Adamus said that is it most important for people to remember general health and safety right now and that everyone does their best to keep the COVID numbers in our community low. Additionally, there is much talk being done both locally and provincially about how the flu vaccinations will be done this year, as mass gatherings are not possible due to COVID. “There is a lot of talking and creative thinking on how that’s going to happen taking place and we are still hopeful as a clinic in this community that we can provide this service for Martensville and area. We are working to get final details on how we can do that within the parameters of the COVID precautions.”
“We really want people to know that we are still here and we will continue to be here to serve the community. We are not closed. Things are just being done differently, so please do give us a call and if there is anything that we can help with, we are certainly still here.”