Martensville Collective Health & Wellness (MCHW) has now been a big part of the community since November of 2014. Since opening, Allison and Trevor Adamus have been working hard to ensure their dream of operating a collaborative health system under one roof within the community continues to grow. This dream has provided local residents with the opportunity to receive both their healthcare and physiotherapy needs within MCHW, with plans to continue providing new opportunities in the future.
Initially, MCHW had one doctor available – Dr. Allison Adamus – however, the demand for more doctors was clear, proven by an ever-growing waiting list, so the work began to bring more doctors to the community of 10,000. Although the need was there, Adamus did not have an easy road ahead when it came to recruiting new doctors to Martensville, with one of the hurdles being the proximity of the community to Saskatoon. A policy was in effect through the Ministry of Health that prohibited new family doctors that finished their degrees out of the country from practicing medicine in Saskatoon, Regina, or communities within a certain proximity to the major cities, which included Martensville. Additionally, with Saskatoon offering more convenience when it came to health services such as labs, X-ray, etc. and Martensville being excluded from the Rural Physician Incentive Program, which provides doctors with up to $120,000 over the course of five years in communities of 10,000 or less, Adamus decided it was time to work to make changes.
Adamus sent numerous requests to the Ministry of Health to have modifications made to the current system that would allow and encourage doctors to practice medicine within “bedroom communities”. Initial requests were denied; however, that did not stop Adamus from pursuing her goal. After contacting the Saskatoon Health Region and the Ministry of Health and pleading their case, Adamus asked that they look at the sheer need for doctors within the growing community. The constant flow of patients and the mounting waiting list was proof that although geographically close to Saskatoon, the residents of Martensville were looking for a more convenient option within their community. The hard work paid off and now MCHW currently offers four doctors, and are currently accepting new patients. With a new contract provided through Saskatoon Health Region, Adamus is excited as this is the first year that Martensville has been eligible as a community.
Since then, MCHW now has along with Dr. Adamus, Dr. Amanda Walker practicing medicine within the clinic. Walker, who currently has a full patient load, completed her undergraduate training and graduate studies in Animal Science, made the transition to the medical profession and received her medical degree from the University of Saskatchewan, and specialty training in Family Medicine at the University of British Columbia.
In April of this year, it was announced that there would be two new doctors coming to MCHW; Dr. Asiwa Obishai and Dr. Matthew Wong. “The addition of two new doctors is just amazing and it means great things for our community and for our clinic and the services that we are able to provide,” Dr. Adamus said.
Prior to the two new doctors joining MCHW, they met with representatives from the City of Martensville to discuss incentive support due to their individual circumstances. At the May 1st City Council meeting, Dillon Shewchuk, City of Martensville Community Economic Development Manager explained that one doctor was relocating from overseas, the other was a new graduate and both had expenses. Negotiations had taken place to help each of the doctors in their move to MCHW. The agreement included an incentive of $10,000 for the first doctor, which was based on a two year commitment, and for the second doctor, a $10,000 package consisting of $2,500 cash and a $7,500 interest free loan with an additional $2,500 forgivable if a four year commitment was fulfilled, was provided.
Dr. Obishai visited MCHW in October of 2017 and worked there for a week as he toured various locations for possible employment. Obishai, who grew up in Lagos – Nigeria’s commercial capitol, decided to pursue medicine in order to make a positive difference in the lives of people. After obtaining his primary medical degree from the College of Medicine at the University of Lagos, as well as his pre-registration year as a houseman, he then worked in government and private health sectors as a medical officer. “I had a keen interest in reproductive health and worked for an international non-government organization for a number of years helping to integrate reproductive health care, HIV prevention and patient informed choice,” Obishai explained.
In 2003, Obishai moved to the UK where he completed his postgraduate training in family medicine in 2007.
The decision to come to Martensville was based on the fact that Obishai was looking to practice medicine in a location that was similar to his experience in the UK, and Martensville Collective Health and Wellness offered that. Obishai noted that thus far, his experience in Martensville has been quite interesting, considering he has been working within a different health system for many years. “Patients are warm and friendly and want to work in partnership with the physician. I have had genuine interest from patients wanting me and my family to settle within the community with ease. It has been a welcoming place for us,” Obishai added.
The other recent addition to MCHW, Dr. Wong, who is from Mississauga, ON originally, completed his undergraduate degree at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, where he completed a double major in Biology and Psychology. From there, Wong moved to Dublin, Ireland to study medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons for four years. “I really enjoyed my time there, but decided I wanted to come back to Canada to work and practice,” Wong explained. He then completed my family medicine training with the University of Saskatchewan and began working at MCHW. The decision to become a doctor came mainly from watching his father, who was also a family physician. “I saw the positive impact he had on his patient’s lives and when it became time to choose my career path, it’s all I wanted to do,” said Wong.
Coming to MCHW was largely in part due to the efforts that Dr. Adamus put in recruiting and promoting Martensville. “I had done some electives during my family medicine training at Martensville Collective Health and Wellness and loved my time there. I found the environment a great place to work and the community extremely welcoming. It was an easy choice.”
With the addition of Dr. Obishai and Dr. Wong, not only is the clinic able to accept new patients but they have also made recent announcements to further convenient their patients. Beginning this month, the walk-in clinic is now open Monday to Thursday evenings and Friday during the day. Near the end of August, MCHW announced the changes and stated that, “We hope these extended hours will better serve our community. We are still under powered to offer weekends at this time, but it is on our radar as a needed service.”
In addition to the extended hours, MCHW also launched an online check-in service this past July. This feature is available to reserve the next available same day appointment in the clinic, or for walk-in services. Patients are able to go online, view the current wait time, enter their information, reason for visit, etc. then check in, and wait in the comfort of their own homes until their time. As the first clinic in Saskatchewan to offer this service, Adamus is ecstatic to be able to provide this option to the residents of Martensville and surrounding areas.
For information about Martensville Collective Health and Wellness, visit www.martensvillecollectivehealthandwellness.ca, call (306) 933-4110 or follow them on Facebook at ‘Martensville Collective Health and Wellness’ for updates on walk in waiting times and announcements.