OTTAWA, Ontario, March 6, 2015 — The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) is slashing wait times and improving care for kids with chronic pain thanks to $881,517 in yearly funding announced today by Health Minister Eric Hoskins. This funding will help CHEO ensure that more children and youth with chronic pain receive the help they need.
“More children and youth suffering from chronic pain will now have faster access to the care they need through the Paediatric Chronic Pain Network,” says Dr. Eric Hoskins, Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. “This integrated approach also ensures that more children and their families will have all of their needs met – from physical to psychological and pharmacological – by their dedicated health care team.”
“We are delighted with this support through the Ontario Pediatric Chronic Pain Network which makes CHEO one of the provincial centres of excellence in the delivery of patient care,” says Dr Christine Lamontagne, medical director of CHEO’s chronic pain program. “The Network will facilitate collaboration at the provincial level in research, education and training in the area of pediatric chronic pain management.”
Chronic pain is defined as pain that persists beyond normal tissue healing time. It is usually severe and debilitating for children and teens — negatively affecting their functioning at school, as well as their physical, emotional and mental well-being.
“Five percent of children and youth suffer from debilitating chronic pain,” notes CHEO CEO Alex Munter. “As part of our CHEOnext strategy, we are committed to ensuring that they receive the treatment they need, and I’m very happy that this important investment will help more children and youth be their healthiest.”
A year ago, CHEO’s outpatient chronic pain program had an eight to nine month waiting time for assessment and an additional wait time for psychology and physiotherapy services, which has now been reduced to 2 or 3 months. The new funding supports an interdisciplinary team that includes a pain physician, psychiatrist, psychologists, pharmacist, physiotherapists, nurse practitioner, occupational therapist, social worker and coordinator.
“Wait times were unacceptable,” says Carol Theoret-Douglas, CHEO’s Director of Rehabilitation Program and Chronic Pain Service. “We’ve been able to treat 70 new patients, and we are hoping to add 106 new patients during the coming year.”
The pain clinic uses an approach that combines physiotherapy, pharmacology and psychology (3P). The clinic’s inter-professional evidence-based approach helps patients and their families develop healthy pain coping skills, improve their quality of life, and get back into school and everyday activities.
CHEO and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto have been leaders in developing treatment protocols and best practices for pediatric patients with chronic pain. CHEO also does research on pediatric pain such as the Be Sweet to Babies project.
CHEO is the second largest hospital in the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and one of only a few stand-alone pediatric hospitals in Canada. CHEO has more than 2,500 doctors, nurses and staff whose care and expertise help improve the lives of over 500,000 children and youth each year in Eastern Ontario, Western Quebec, Nunavut and parts of Northern Ontario.
CHEO works closely with the University of Ottawa as a teaching hospital and fosters groundbreaking research through the CHEO Research Institute. CHEO’s vision is to change young lives in our community, while our innovation changes young lives around the world.
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