The feature image above includes Donna Nagy, her granddaughter Teleah, and Brantford Paediatrician, Dr. Daisy Liu, Courtesy McMaster Public Relations Department.
The McMaster Paediatric Department has extended a local clinic partnering with the Lansdowne Children’s Centre on Mount Pleasant Road for children with complex medical care issues in Brantford .
The provincially funded program is administered through the McMaster Paediatric Department and has a satellite clinic in Niagara as well. Children referred to the program in each area have to meet predetermined criteria according to the severity of their complex needs.
The model brings together, at Lansdowne, a diverse care team including: Lansdowne Medical Director, Dr. Benjamin Klein; Dr. Daisy Liu a Brantford Paediatrician; McMaster Paediatric doctors, Dr. Lim and Dr. Madan Roy (formerly with Brantford Community Healthcare System: McMaster Nurse Practitioner, Anna Polanski; health professionals including dieticians, occupational therapists, speech therapists and physiotherapists from both Mac and Lansdowne. As a team they handle about 10 specific cases and meet locally every three months to examine the children, deliberate on effectiveness and discuss alternative strategies for the children as well as necessary but regular phone or electronic communications. It is significant to note this model differs from the Niagara one specifically as Dr. Liu is resident in Brantford and manages the consistent connection with her patients.
Donna Nagy, as the caregiver of her 23-month-old granddaughter Teleah, says the new clinic is a Godsend. Teleah has a heart condition and wears a monitor always. As well, she has a feeding tube, speech therapy and growth and development therapy. Teleah spent the first 18 months of her life in hospital at McMaster. When she was sent home, Donna would have to drive, arrange rides or other transportation for herself and Teleah from Eagle Place, and bring all the equipment that was needed for her granddaughter’s survival. Each Doctor was a separate appointment and the same journey as often as seven or eight times a month. When one doctor made a referral to another, the appointments would add up and always at different times. To Donna, there was never complaint,
“This is my full-time job…this is my princess.” By comparison, ‘It is a five-minute scoot now and there are 16 medical professionals in the room all together here at Lansdowne for us, once every three months.”
Another extended family in Brantford has similar needs but they are not designated as meeting the McMaster criteria for this program.
Lynn and Keith Rose are the caregivers for their granddaughter Erin.
“McMaster saved Erin’s life…Lansdowne is helping her live her life.”
Lansdowne is the primary service location for Erin’s needs but the McMaster team is not involved. They have weekly speech therapy, a dietitian for help with the feeding tubes, occupational therapists and of course under the care of Dr. Ben Klein. Lansdowne also uses discretionary funds to cover a support worker to help Erin at day care. It is local but doesn’t relieve the multiple medical appointments and yet again, Lynn and Keith are so grateful for the quality of care and caring from Lansdowne.
As the professionals are rightfully proud of this new initiative in Brantford, there is a common realization that eventually, these children will reach the age of 18 when provincial funding ceases and the program will no longer accept them. Dr. Klein expressed it from a positive perspective,
“We are working to educate and train the families, right along with us, so they understand their role in the future on behalf of their children.”
Brantford is blessed to have such diverse programs for such a vulnerable clientele and such a committed staff in all areas which identify the needs of the children as the priority.