New collaborative-care clinic opens in downtown Courtenay

A new wellness centre in Courtenay offers an innovative and unique approach to healthcare, allowing Valley residents the opportunity to better manage their well-being.

The Grove Health & Wellness opened its doors at its new location at the corner of Third Street and Duncan Avenue earlier this year. Chiropractors and managing partners Dr. Debbie Wright, Dr. Liza Grant and Dr. Alicia Steele are excited to launch the Valley’s only clinic exclusively dedicated to an integrated and collaborative model of healthcare.

“My partners and I wanted to practice in the most patient-centred and evidence-based way possible,” says Wright, former owner of Bayview Chiropractic Clinic. “It’s pretty clear when you look at the research behind patient care that collaborative approaches work best. By offering patients the chance to work with a multi-disciplinary team of professionals all under one roof who take a shared ‘whole-patient’ approach, we hope to provide more efficient and effective health outcomes.”

With numerous government pilot projects based on multi-care centres launching across the country, Wright says that an integrated approach to healthcare is where things are headed in the medical community, and that she’s excited to be leading the charge locally.

“Often there are various health professionals working in the same building, but that isn’t the equivalent of what we offer,” she explains. “Unless you actually build a team environment and have specific processes and systems through which you collaborate, it’s not true integrated healthcare.

“Our practitioners are dedicated to a team approach and the expectation of sharing and working as a collective. We meet to discuss difficult cases, have shared access to our patients’ EMR (electronic medical record) files and support each other and our patients to get the best results possible. Of course, patients are free to agree to the approach or not and are consulted throughout the process.”

In the short time they’ve been open, she adds, the word is growing and reaction from patients has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Everyone is extremely supportive; they think it’s an excellent idea that really just makes sense. For patients, it’s a way to be proactive about their own healthcare, plus it’s convenient to have access to so many services in one location. And as practitioners, it’s nice to work in a cooperative, supportive environment.”

In fact, Wright says that finding other healthcare providers to join the team was the easiest part of the whole process.

“Everyone who’s here says this is exactly what they were looking for.”

In addition to the three managing partners, The Grove team comprises another chiropractor, Dr. Ernie von Schilling; Dr. Andrea Rayburn, naturopathic doctor; Barb Cook, traditional Chinese medicine practitioner; registered acupuncturist Peter Day; and registered massage therapists Denise Koroll and Darrell Dye. They even have an artist in residence, Shelley Vanderbyl, whose artistic interests include art’s role in the healing process.

“Our plan is to just keep growing and evolving. It’s a great concept that truly works well for everyone involved.”

Referrals are not required to see any of the centre’s healthcare professionals, and clients are free to decide if they want to see one or more of the practitioners.

To find out more about the clinic and/or to book appointments, visit grovewellness.ca or call 250-334-4844. The Grove is located in Courtenay’s historic downtown core at 332 Third Street.

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