For Nurse Practitioner Kristen Patrick, Kenora doesn’t feel quite as isolated as it did a few weeks ago, thanks to CAMH’s new ECHO Ontario Trans and Gender Diverse Healthcare.
Using video conferencing, Kristen is learning from experts in Toronto as well as 30 other primary care providers at 16 sites across Ontario as she builds a better understanding of how to deliver trans and gender diverse health care.
“I live and work in a community that is fairly remote, hours from Winnipeg, but I still need to be relevant in terms of providing sensitive, compassionate appropriate care to the people that pass through our doors,” explains Kristen, a member of the Sunset Country Family Health Team in Kenora. “ECHO offers such a great opportunity to share knowledge and let that excellence of care trickle into places that normally wouldn’t have those resources.”
Using video conferencing and a collaborative hub-and-spoke model, ECHO connects experts in Toronto — the hub — with primary care providers in remote areas across the province to discuss complex issues around trans and gender diverse health care, including assessment and referral to OHIP-funded transition-related surgeries. Launched May 2 by CAMH’s Adult Gender Clinic, the ECHO’s eight sessions are aimed at improving knowledge and skills while reducing disparities in the overall quality of care for rural and underserved areas.