U of A family medicine residents to receive part of their training at MacEwan University's new health centre

Ross Neitz - 15 September 2019

A newly opened health centre at MacEwan University that operates under a team-based medical home model will serve as a new training site for University of Alberta family medicine residents and other allied health learners.

"This is not the physician-centric model," explained Lee Green, chair of the U of A's Department of Family Medicine. "It is we-the doctors, nurses, medical office assistants, psychologists, social care workers, pharmacists and others-we take care of these patients together, all under the same roof. So it's a different mindset."

The MacEwan University Health Centre is at the forefront of an effort to strengthen primary care in Alberta by embracing the medical home model-an approach to care that is patient-centred, systematic and team-based.

The health centre opened in July 2018 and serves more than 5,000 patients. It is funded by Alberta Health and operated by a non-profit corporation called the Northern Alberta Primary Care Academic Clinics. Similar medical home models of care have been tested in other jurisdictions outside of Alberta with great success-which is now hoped to be replicated here.

"When you look at the data, it shows that patients who are cared for in this way-especially patients with complex chronic diseases-have fewer emergency visits, fewer hospital admissions and higher patient satisfaction," said Green. "They do better. Patients just do better."