November 28, 2022 (Toronto, ON) – East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP), the Ontario Health Team (OHT) serving East Toronto, has launched a Cold, Flu and COVID-19 Clinic for Kids to help address the surge in demand for paediatric care resulting from an increase in cold, flu and respiratory cases across the health system.
The clinic opens today (November 28) at the Thorncliffe Park Community Hub (45 Overlea Blvd., inside East York Town Centre).
It provides care for children and youth aged three months to 17 years in East Toronto who are experiencing cold, flu and COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, cough, runny nose and sore throat, when their paediatrician, family doctor or other primary care provider is not available.
Its location in Thorncliffe Park helps improve access to paediatric care for families in this neighbourhood and surrounding areas, which local emergency department data indicates are disproportionately impacted by the current surge of respiratory viruses in children.
The Cold, Flu and COVID-19 Clinic for Kids offers the following services:
The clinic is staffed by physicians, nurses and other team members from Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) and East Toronto Family Practice Network with support from community partners, including TNO – The Neighbourhood Organization, Flemingdon Health Centre and Health Access Thorncliffe Park. All of these organizations are members of ETHP.
More information about ETHP’s Cold, Flu and COVID-19 Clinic for Kids, including hours and how to book an appointment, is available at tehn.ca/ColdFluClinic.
ETHP also offers other health and wellness services, including mental health counselling, by walk-in in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park for all ages. Learn more about these services.
Building on success of MGH’s Child and Youth Emergency Zone
The Cold, Flu and COVID-19 Clinic for Kids joins a number of other initiatives from ETHP member organizations designed to improve paediatric care in East Toronto.
This includes MGH's Child and Youth Emergency Zone, a family-friendly space beside the hospital’s Stavro Emergency Department that provides urgent, acute medical care for children and youth when their paediatrician or family doctor is not available.
Since opening in October 2021, the Child and Youth Emergency Zone has provided care for more than 20,000 families. It recently expanded its hours and staffing to support an increased demand for paediatric care in East Toronto communities.
Supporting health system during surge
To help address the immense pressures facing hospitals and other healthcare organizations across Ontario that are resulting in an increase in emergency department visits, hospital admissions and longer than usual wait times for patients, ETHP has expanded its other integrated care offerings in East Toronto.
- Opening Health Access Taylor-Massey, a healthcare, community and social services centre located in Crescent Town that offers connections to services and resources, including COVID-19 supports, to people who live in the Taylor-Massey neighbourhood and surrounding areas
- Introducing cold, flu and COVID-19 assessments and mental health counselling for all ages at the Community Outreach Centre in Flemingdon Park
- Supporting community pharmacies in priority neighbourhoods in East Toronto by ensuring they have reliable emergency access to infant and children formulations of over-the-counter liquid acetaminophen (Tylenol) where possible
- Operating mobile and pop-up vaccine clinics at local community centres, apartment buildings and other areas in priority neighbourhoods in East Toronto
Interdisciplinary teams from ETHP member organizations work together to lead these initiatives and/or provide services at these sites.
Community health ambassadors and advisors in neighbourhoods such as Thorncliffe Park, Flemingdon Park and Taylor-Massey support outreach and engagement to help ensure local residents are empowered with the information they need to help keep themselves and their loved ones safe and healthy.
These integrated care offerings help improve the health and well-being of local residents by making it easier for people to find the care they need in one place that is close to home. They also help address health inequities and ease volumes at hospital emergency departments.
“Data from Michael Garron Hospital indicates that many of the families we are seeing in the Emergency Department live in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park, two neighbourhoods in East Toronto that were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic – once again proving that the issues impacting our health system do not affect all individuals equally. To help address these inequities, we’re thrilled to continue our collaboration with partners by opening the Cold, Flu and COVID-19 Clinic for Kids, which aims to make it easier for local families to get the care they need in a place they can trust that’s closer to home.”
– Phillip Anthony, Manager, Community Outreach Services, Michael Garron Hospital
“With cold, flu and other respiratory viruses circulating and a nation-wide shortage of over-the-counter medications for children, we recognize this respiratory season has been particularly challenging for families. This is especially true for families who are unattached to primary care. By working with our hospital and community partners to open a dedicated Cold, Flu and COVID-19 Clinic for Kids in East Toronto, we hope to make care as low-barrier as possible for local residents, so children and youth can get the supports they need in a safe and timely manner.”
– Dr. Catherine Yu, Medical Director, Health Access Taylor-Massey and Health Access Thorncliffe Park, and member, East Toronto Family Practice Network
“Whether it’s language barriers or difficulty navigating the healthcare system, our staff and community health ambassadors have seen firsthand the challenges that some Thorncliffe Park residents face when it comes to accessing health, social and community services. We’re pleased to continue our work with partners in an effort to improve the way local residents find and get care. The community will greatly benefit from being able to access the services at the Cold, Flu and COVID-19 Clinic for Kids in their own backyard.”
– Ahmed Hussein, CEO, TNO – The Neighbourhood Organization
“Our team of emergency physicians and nurses are proud to partner with our primary care colleagues and community partners to launch the Cold, Flu and COVID-19 Clinic for Kids, which builds on the success of Michael Garron Hospital’s Child and Youth Emergency Zone and brings our commitment to high-quality, family- and patient-centered paediatric care to the heart of Thorncliffe Park. We encourage children with urgent but non-life threatening health issues related to cold, flu and COVID-19 to visit this clinic if their paediatrician or family doctor is not available. However, those with urgent, severe and potentially life-threatening health issues should go directly to our Emergency Department, which remains open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
– Dr. Kyle Vojdani, Chief and Medical Director of the Emergency Department, Michael Garron Hospital
About East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP)
East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP), the Ontario Health Team (OHT) serving East Toronto, is a group of more than 50 community, primary care, home care, hospital and social services organizations in East Toronto working together to create an integrated system of care across our communities. Collectively, ETHP is responsible for providing care and support to the 300,000 individuals who live in East Toronto communities, as well as an additional 75,000 clients who choose to receive health care in the local area. Clients, family members and caregivers are partners in every aspect of the development of ETHP, working together to improve the way East Toronto residents access and receive care. Visit ethp.ca to learn more.