Eight years ago, Anne MacLeod (PT, ACPAC) joined my busy rheumatology practice and immediately had a positive impact. My practice serves a large area, and waiting lists are long. Anne has vast expertise in assessing rheumatologic disorders, and has increased the number of new consults seen by 50 percent since joining my practice. She is able to follow a stable patient load and has reduced my burden immensely. I have come to rely on her keen clinical insight and advice. In addition, Anne is gifted in system management. She implemented a consult intake system of paper and ACPAC program-trained practitioner triage for patients needing rheumatology services. Without the help of Anne and other ACPAC program-trained practitioners, Noel Heath (OT) and Shana Magee (PT), managing the demand for rheumatology services in Northwestern Ontario would be impossible.
Dr. Wes Fidler
Rheumatologist, Thunder Bay
The advanced practitioner role is an important and vital component of managing children with rheumatic diseases especially in the setting of patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. The ACPAC program serves to unify skills related to clinical and rehabilitation medicine fostering the development of independent and qualified advanced care practitioners. With current limited health care resources, advanced practitioners are necessary and complement rheumatologists in ensuring all children with rheumatic diseases are receiving excellent and timely clinical care translating to better long-term outcomes.
Shirley Tse MD FRCPC
Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
Program Director, Division of Rheumatology
The Hospital for Sick Children
The ACPAC program provides the experienced MSK therapist with an opportunity to build on, and expand their knowledge, skill set and confidence, and return to their Institution as a more valued member of the Arthritis/MSK Team. I emphatically endorse the process.
J. Carter Thorne MD FRCP FACP
Internal Medicine & Rheumatology
We have had the opportunity to send a Physical Therapist-APP (Tiffany Larsen) from the Headwaters Health Center (Orangeville) to the ACPAC programme. For over 2 years, this allowed us to extend our Brampton Practices to a rural setting where there was no existing rheumatology coverage. The APP triages all the referrals to this site and one of us runs an EIA (Early Inflammatory Arthritis) clinic once per week. The therapist works together with the rheumatologist and can also work in parallel to see stable patients and report to the rheumatologist. The training programme has escalated the advanced practitioner’s level of expertise in evaluating rheumatologic conditions along with doing accurate joint counts. In addition, she has been the coordinator for ERA clinical trials run through the programme. This has been an excellent opportunity to deliver arthritis care for patients in their local setting, which would not otherwise have been possible. We are in the process of educating [more] Physical Therapists through the ACPAC programme, who will be an additional asset for orthopedics and rheumatology.
Vandana Ahluwalia MD FRCPC
Raman Joshi MD FRCPC
Sangeeta Bajaj MD FRCPC
William Osler Health Centre
Leslie Soever (an ACPAC program trained APP-2008) has been a tremendous asset to the patients seen by the rheumatology group at Mt Sinai Hospital. She combines her ability to perform an exemplary history and physical examination with her advanced knowledge of rheumatologic disease, orthopaedic medicine and her initial training as a physiotherapist. This is done in a flawless manner and as such, she provides each patient with a multifaceted and detailed assessment. These assessments allow her to evaluate and plan treatment and she does this effectively. When needed, She is an outstanding advocate for her patients. She has been able to identify those individuals needing additional levels of care and facilitate their movement through the sometimes complex system in an expeditious manner. This has been particularly demonstrated with the linkages that Leslie has established with our orthopedic colleagues. Leslie is a trusted member of our group at the present time. Her contributions to the rheumatology division have allowed us to provide more timely care but perhaps more importantly, Her input has helped to improve the level of care which we can provide to our patient by adding her skills and perspectives.
Heather McDonald-Blumer MD MSc FRCPC
Program Director, Division of Rheumatology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
Program Director, Core Internal Medicine, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Toronto.