Women’s clinic designed to ease stress associated with medical visits

Erin Haluschak

Record staff

By women, for women.

That’s the intent behind a clinic opened by Comox Valley obstetrician Tracy Rodgers, who said her passion for primary care – particularly for women – has led her to open her office on Fourth Street in Courtenay.

Open since August 2014, The Women’s Clinic began as a specialist-only clinic.

“Women need a referral in order to have an appointment with a specialist, and this can sometimes present an obstacle.”

In the last several months, Rodgers has partnered with family physician Dr. Janis McCallum, who recently moved to the Valley. McCallum provides the opportunity for self-referral, which improves access to care for women.

“There are many women in the Comox Valley who do not have a primary care provider, and there are many women who prefer to have a female care provider for the well-woman exams. These women can now self-refer to The Women’s Clinic for that care.”

She added as a result, wait times are reduced, and because Rodgers is on-site, she can be accessed if necessary.

The cost to make an appointment at The Women’s Clinic is covered under the province’s Medical Services Plan – similar to a walk-in clinic.

The clinic is designed as a comfortable, vibrant space – with exam rooms painted brilliant red and pink, local art on the walls (even some created by Rodgers) and a play room for children.

“Women can feel stressed going for a pelvic exam. I wanted to create a relaxed, comfortable space to help women feel at ease.”

Rodgers also provides emotional support for women who have experienced pregnancy loss or stillbirth along with Amanda McNeill, founder of the Grace Baby Loss Support Group. The support group meets at The Women’s Clinic the second Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. Interested patients can find the group on Facebook, call the clinic for information, or simply show up at the meeting.

Rodgers added although women who already have a primary care provider are welcome to come for care, the intent is not to duplicate existing services.

“For varied reasons, many women feel more comfortable with female care providers, and if they do not have that option, they may choose to avoid well-woman exams.”

Rodgers is hoping to provide these patients with another option that is easily accessible – with a phone call.

Passionate about the education and empowerment of women, Rodgers is hosting a workshop April 11 at the Stan Hagen Theatre at North Island College from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $20 and are available through the clinic, Secret Drawers Lingerie or at The Broken Spoke coffee shop in Courtenay.

For more information on The Women’s Clinic, call 250-871-7373 or visit their Facebook page.

 

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