Network-wide teams: a win-win for staff and healthcare users

From left: Anita Cugliandro from CLSC Côte-des-Neiges, Linda Shames from CLSC Benny Farm and Jeremy Wexler, Herzl Clinic Opioid Use Disorders Clinic.
From left: Anita Cugliandro from CLSC Côte-des-Neiges, Linda Shames from CLSC Benny Farm and Jeremy Wexler, Herzl Clinic Opioid Use Disorders Clinic.

As our CIUSSS continues to mature, professionals from different facilities have been searching for ways to strengthen bonds through intra-network teamwork and cooperation. With the number of sites steadily growing in the two years since CIUSSS West-Central Montreal came into existence, some members of staff may not be fully aware of everyone across the network who shares their expertise or interest in a particular field.

To improve the situation in their own area, three resourceful allied health professionals who specialize in addiction decided to forge a tighter connection with one another. Although each was familiar with the others’ work, they’re all based at different sites and they felt the need for closer contact.

“We formed a small but mighty group,” says Jeremy Wexler, a Social Worker at the JGH Herzl Opioid Use Disorders Clinic. He was joined for the group’s inaugural, face-to-face meeting on June 7 by colleagues Anita Cugliandro, a Criminologist at CLSC Côte-des-Neiges and Social Worker Linda Shames of CLSC Benny Farm.

“There are any number of established substance-abuse programs throughout our network, but as yet they have no central—even if virtual—address,” notes Mr. Wexler. “Our group is working together to get a better sense of the addiction landscape in our CIUSSS. A comprehensive list of resources is crucial not only in helping practitioners with referrals, but as a means of identifying unmet patient needs and gaps in service.”

The group is looking to recruit other allied health colleagues from the CIUSSS who work in or are drawn to the field of addiction, to share their knowledge and promote best practices. “Our longer-term plan is to also engage healthcare practitioners,” says Mr. Wexler. “We can provide family doctors and nurses with the tools to more easily identify clients with substance-use disorders and the skills to engage with that person. Then comes the referral—how do we motivate patients to seek treatments that work for them?”

If you are an allied health professional working in the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal and would like to be involved, contact Mr. Wexler at jwexler@jgh.mcgill.ca.
 

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