Glen Sather Clinic physicians, physios offer support to primary care, emergency staff across Edmonton

UAlberta clinic is taking referrals for acute musculoskeletal injuries and concussions to free up space at emergency and family clinics amid COVID-19

Amanda Anderson - 30 March 2020

The University of Alberta's Glen Sather Sports Medicine Clinic is helping to decrease the number of the emergency visits for physicians across Edmonton by offering to virtually assess and support patients with urgent musculoskeletal injuries and concussions.

The patient referrals come at a time when clinics are seeing a rise in visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the directive from the Government of Alberta for all physiotherapy clinics to be closed for non-essential services, the Glen Sather Clinic currently has one physiotherapist and one sports medicine physician on site daily for urgent, essential cases only.

"We have great relationships with clinics in Edmonton and have been receiving acute injury referrals, mainly for knees, for years now," says Jason Sheehy, executive director of the Glen Sather Clinic. "Given the climate, we decided to open up the referral criteria to include other urgent musculoskeletal injuries to help decrease the number of patients currently seeking assistance from these sites."

If determined by the consulting clinician to be urgent and necessary, patients will be seen in person at the clinic, following all guidelines and processes outlined by the Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services.

Dr. Terry DeFreitas, director of sports medicine at the Glen Sather Clinic and assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry who spearheaded the initiative, says that it's important to make sure those who are in need of rehabilitation are still able to access these services, even during physical distancing measures.

Patients who have acute and minor (non-essential) injuries are able to access appointments via remote technology by calling the clinic at 780-407-5160.

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GSSMC COVID-19 Updates Webpage