The new addition to the Thorndale Lions Medical Centre ' which includes a new lab area, two examining rooms and a staff room ' should be more than enough to accommodate the medical centre's other recent addition: Dr. Claudia Niesner, a family physician who will begin practicing at the centre on Monday, Jan. 3."Now we've got two lab areas, and one of our new exam rooms is bigger, about 30 per cent bigger than the other rooms," said Dr. Henry Chapeskie, commenting on the improvements being made to the centre that he has practiced at since 1988."In the larger exam room, there will be an exam table in the middle of the room as opposed to against a wall. The table will be fully adjustable, to be moved up and down for procedures. It will give a lot more access to go around all sides of the patient, which will be of great use to Claudia ' who has a special interest in women's healthcare."Chapeskie's wife Chrys, office administrator at the centre, also mentioned how the placement of the exam table will improve the ability of medical students doing their residency in Thorndale to observe procedures."That's how we first met Claudia, through residency. She came out for two months in the spring of 2010," Chrys said. "We had been trying to get another physician for years."Most young graduates are interested in joining large groups, so it can be hard to get someone to join us. But Claudia really enjoyed working in the office, and the proximity to London."Dr. Niesner is currently on holiday in her native Romania, visiting family."She's been in Canada for 10 years, and has a young family with her husband Erwin and young son Hendrick," Dr. Chapeskie said. "Patients really liked her and we really enjoyed having her out here. So we told her that the Lions Club and community would certainly be behind supporting her to come here, and that's exactly what the club has done."In September, they put together a big fundraiser barbecue, they put the addition on the building and they'll be supplying equipment as well. She'll basically be ready to walk right in and get going in January."Dr. Chapeskie believes that, by inviting Dr. Niesner to the centre, they will not only address a high demand for medical services, but provide more diversity in the practice."We have about 3,000 patients right now; quite a large practice. There's been a demand from a lot of people in the area that would like to receive medical services in Thorndale, but for a number of years we have been unable to take new patients on because of the volume," he said."With Claudia, that will be a big help in being able to provide those services to the local population. She will be looking at something up to 1,500 or 2,000 patients that she will take on."It will also be good to have a female physician with a particular interest in women's health. That will provide good diversity in the practice."Dr. Chapeskie has also done his part to provide diversity at the practice, having recently had his research on "a definitive treatment for ingrown toenails" published in the Canadian Journal of Surgery."This year I've done over 200 patients so far, from as far away as Sudbury and Ottawa. Most of the referrals are local ' from London and Stratford," he said."It's an innovative kind of surgery that doesn't take the nail off, but the skin. I've done over 800 patients in 23 years and have had no known recurrence. So that's a little specialty that I have. We also have a lot of doctors come from out of town, as far away as Saskatchewan, to learn how to do it."Aside from the construction of the new addition, complete renovations have also been made to the centre. "Everything is being done ' from whole new carpets throughout, as well as fixtures, cabinetry, lighting and everything like that. We'll have 13 work stations in the office, so we can access a patient's record using our electronic medical record system from just about anywhere you sit."Also, this past month in November, the Canadian Back Institute opened a satellite physiotherapy centre in the basement. That's going to be a big addition. They should have a fairly successful operation there," Dr. Chapeskie said.An open house to show off the new addition is not yet scheduled but is expected to take place sometime in the spring.Beginning in January, the hours at the clinic will be Mondays to Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon."With the Family Health Organization, we'll probably have a walk-in clinic every third Saturday morning, which is part of the FHO responsibilities," Dr. Chapeskie added.Dr. Niesner begins at the centre in January. Anyone currently in need of a family doctor is encouraged to call the Thorndale Lions Medical Centre at 519-461-0776.
Partly cloudy 15° C | Weather Forecast