ARH expands clinical services to improve the community’s timely access to care

ARH expands clinical services to improve the community’s timely access to care

This winter, the Arnprior and area community now has access to some new and expanded clinical services closer to home. Arnprior Regional Health (ARH) has introduced two new specialist clinics and is adding one day per week of endoscopy procedures to better meet patients’ needs.

Meet Dr. Marc Monsour, physiatrist

Dr. Marc Monsour, physiatrist

Dr. Monsour has begun his weekly physiatry clinic at ARH every Tuesday. He specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation and his aim is to work with patients to improve their function. Through his ARH clinic, he focuses on sports medicine, peripheral and axial joint injections, and nerve blocks by providing interventional pain management using ultrasound guidance.

The typical wait to see a physiatrist in Ottawa is eight to 10 months.

“My hope through the ARH clinic is to provide evidence-based pain and musculoskeletal medicine, and to help prevent long waits to see a specialist in Ottawa,” he explained.

Dr. Monsour graduated medical school from Trinity College Dublin and completed a specialty training in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Ottawa, followed by a fellowship in interventional physiatry at the University of Toronto.

He currently practices at the Rehabilitation Centre in Ottawa for interventional physiatry, as well as in sports medicine in Kanata, and works as a pain specialist for the Ontario Workers Network.

Meet Dr. Hafsah Al-Azem, rheumatologist

Dr. Al-Azem is currently holding a monthly general rheumatology clinic at ARH to provide initial assessments to Arnprior and area patients. The rheumatology specialty focuses on auto-immune diseases and conditions that often affect joints, causing arthritis, but can also affect other organs too.

“Often, that first visit is very telling and can help determine if there is a chronic condition that will require long-term follow up or not,” said Dr. Al-Azem.

In Ottawa, it can take up to six months to see a rheumatologist.

“My hope is that I can help family doctors provide continued specialty care for patients who need a rheumatologist by offering diagnostic insight and continued support to help manage more complex patients,” explained Dr. Al-Azem. “If more care can be provided locally, it can reduce the burden of travel for patients but still allow them to receive the care they need.”

Dr. Al-Azem completed her rheumatology training in Ottawa in 2017 and began working in a wide range of Ottawa clinics since that time.

Endoscopy expansion

Through a collaboration with The Ottawa Hospital (TOH), ARH is also adding one day per week of operating room time for endoscopy procedures that investigate a person’s digestive tract.

“Our partnership with The Ottawa Hospital to expand our endoscopy services allows us to  build capacity regionally and improve the health of our communities through timely diagnostics,” said Susan Leach, VP, Patient Care and Chief Nursing Executive, ARH.

The additional day of endoscopy procedures begins in March 2021.

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