QFHT Virtual Group Programs
Some of our group programs for patients are now being offered virtually. You will need access to a smart phone or computer and an email address for accessing these virtual programs:
Prenatal Breastfeeding and Bringing Baby Home: Third Wednesday of every month; 6:30-8:30 p.m. Visit our Kingston Breastfeeding Drop-in & All Things Baby Facebook page for login information and updates, or contact Liz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Introduction to Solids: Last Monday of every month; 2-3 p.m. Visit our Kingston Breastfeeding Drop-in & All Things Baby Facebook page for login information and updates, or contact Liz at email@example.com.
Understanding and Coping with Anxiety and Depression: This is a five-week virtual cognitive behavioural therapy program for adults struggling with anxiety and/or depression. Click here for details about our next session, running March 9 to April 6.
Best Health, Best Weight: This six-week program aims to help you make healthy changes in your eating behaviour to improve your health and find your best weight. Click Best Health, Best Weight April-May for all the details about our next session.
Sleep Therapy: This six-week program uses cognitive behavioural therapy to address insomia. Click Sleep Therapy May-June 2021 for all the details about this program.
Your Medications: We now offer an online workshop about how to talk to your health-care provider about your medications. Click Medication Workshop May 2021 for information about our first series of three workshops.
Living Well SE Ontario Program
Also, follow us on our brand new Facebook page: Queen's Family Medicine Patients
Queen’s Family Health Team is dedicated to providing excellent patient-centred primary care for all, without discrimination on the basis of ability, age, education, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation and socio-economic status.
The Queen’s Family Health Team offers a point-of-care anti-coagulation clinic for patients who are taking anti-coagulation medication (e.g. warfarin, often known as Coumadin). The clinic is co-ordinated by our pharmacist and is supported by specially trained registered nurses, nurse practitioners and / or resident family physicians.
The goal of the program is to ensure patients are optimized on their warfarin therapies, thereby reducing both clotting and bleeding events. The team works with patients to monitor their INRs via lab or point-of-care results (e.g. blood samples that are collected and processed on-site). These results are interpreted to adjust medications as needed, and to provide education to patients and family members.
For more information, please speak to your health-care provider.
This program provides education, hands-on assistance and support to women and their families regarding infant feeding and nutrition options, both before and after delivery. It is co-ordinated by an international board-certified lactation consultant, who is also a registered nurse with additional specialized training and skills in infant feeding. Her primary role is to provide education, hands-on assistance and support to women and their families regarding infant feeding and nutrition options. Our lactation consultant will meet with patients before they deliver (although she will meet with them any time) and can offer ongoing support after baby is born either in person or over the phone.
To arrange an appointment with our lactation consultant, please speak to your provider at your next appointment or contact our office.
Breastfeeding Drop-In: Our weekly breastfeeding drop-in program has returned to an in-person program. Click Breastfeeding Drop-In HH March-April 2021 for all the details.
NEW! QFHT is also excited to now offer a Virtual Prenatal Breastfeeding & Bringing Home Baby class, the third Wednesday of every month from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Click here for details, or visit our Kingston Breastfeeding Drop-in & All Things Baby Facebook page for login information and updates.
Read KFL&A Public Health's Breastmilk Sharing: Know the Risks
Queen’s Family Health Team patients with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD)* have the opportunity to receive an expanded health check through our Health Check Program.
Participating patients can obtain a comprehensive health review, including a physical exam with one of the QFHT family physicians or family medicine residents, after which a plan developed by the resident with the patient or the patient's family will be made for follow-up visits on any health issues.
Such periodic health checks are a recommendation of the Canadian Guidelines for Primary Care of Adults with Developmental Disabilities. To learn more about this program or to make an appointment for an IDD Health Check, please ask any of our staff or call us at 613-533-9303.
What is a “developmental disability”?
A "developmental disability" is a reduced intellectual ability and difficulty with everyday activities such as household tasks, socializing or managing money that affects someone for their entire life. It is sometimes associated with conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, among others.
Resources used by Physicians
- Primary care of people with developmental disabilities (a one-page guide to the content of a Health Check)
- Providing care for patients with developmental disabilities - a team approach
“I have been a patient at the diabetes clinic of the Queen’s Family Health Team for several years now. In that time, I have had and continue to have expert care and attention to my diabetes. The members of the staff are very knowledgeable in every aspect of this disease, including dietary considerations, medications available for the disease type, and the administration of them. In addition, the staff members are very courteous and considerate, and are particularly sensitive to patients who have a psychological disposition to the disease.” Brian Rook
The diabetes team at QFHT provides support to adults with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes by:
- Helping patients understand diabetes
- Providing information about and promoting healthy eating, healthy lifestyles, and self-management of patients’ diabetes
- Suggesting medicines best suited to patients’ individual needs
What is Pre-Diabetes?
- This refers to a condition where a person’s blood-sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.
- It is important to know if you have pre-diabetes so we can discuss healthy habits that can help prevent or slow down the progression to type 2 diabetes.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
- Ninety per cent of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.
- The pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or the body does not use its insulin supply effectively.
- As a result, glucose builds up in your blood instead of being used for energy.
The Diabetes Team at the QFHT
Our team includes a nurse practitioner, dietitian, and pharmacist. We all have special training in the management of diabetes, and we work closely with our patients’ physician and resident physician to provide our patients with all the information and tools they need to live well with diabetes.
Community resources and websites
Living Well with Diabetes (Living Well South East Ontario online course; Wednesday afternooons)
Living Well with Diabetes (Living Well South East Ontario online course; Thursday evenings)
Our foot care program is co-ordinated by a registered practical nurse with specialized training in foot care. It’s designed to provide professional medical assessments with health teaching, as well as treatment for a variety of lower leg and foot pathologies such as corn, callus and verrucae treatments. The foot care nurse can also provide safe nail and skin care to patients with diabetes and other conditions that may hinder one’s ability to provide their own care.
Our program also offers education on daily diabetic foot inspections and diabetic high-risk factors, as well as footwear assessments and suggestions.
To make an appointment with our foot care nurse, please speak to your health-care provider.
Our annual flu shot clinics have been completed, and will resume in Fall 2021.
Read this QFHT article about the flu, and how to protect yourself and others. To learn more about influenza and the flu vaccine, please contact us or visit:
- Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care influenza information site
- Public Health Agency of Canada influenza information site
Fun Myth-Busting Video about Flu Shots
South Huron Hospital is the Little Hospital that Does ... Flu Shots. This short video was inspired by actor Christian Bale's performance in the movie Batman and the Bat Dad YouTube videos by Blake Wilson. It tries to dispel some myths about the flu shot.
Queen's Family Health Team offers immunizations from birth to end of life. What immunizations are needed and when? Visit this link for an easy-to-understand schedule.
The Immunization of School Pupils Act requires that parents of children attending primary or secondary school provide their local public health unit with proof of their child’s immunization against the following diseases: tetanus (sometimes called lock jaw), diphtheria, polio and mumps, meningococcal disease, pertussis (sometimes called whooping cough), and, for children born in 2010 or later, varicella (chickenpox).
For more information on these changes, please ask your physician or nurse in clinic or contact KFL&A Public Health at (613) 549-1232.
Whooping Cough Vaccine
Whooping cough is a very serious contagious illness. In recent years, it has made a comeback. It is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, sneezing or talking. Persons infected with whooping cough can spread the germ for 21 days after they begin to feel sick. Babies and pregnant women are most at risk. All children and adults should be immunized. Pregnant women should be immunized during each pregnancy to provide additional protection to their baby.
Herpes zoster, also known as shingles, is a painful disease that results from the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. Following chickenpox, the virus lies dormant for many years and, for unknown reasons, can become active again and present itself in the form of shingles, an often debilitating and blistering rash that typically affects a side of the body or face.
Some individuals may experience severe long-term pain after the shingles rash has disappeared, as well as other complications, including skin infections and scarring. Approximately 90 per cent of Canadians have had chickenpox and are at risk of developing shingles. Individuals 50 years of age and older are eligible for a vaccine against herpes zoster. (National Advisory Committee on Immunization).
There are currently two herpes zoster vaccines; Zostavax, which is provided at no charge at your doctor’s office if you are between 65 and 70 years old, and Shingrix, which can be obtained with a prescription from your pharmacy. Shingrix must be paid for by the patient.
FAQ about Vaccines
If you have questions about vaccines, you are not alone. This FAQ section is offered to help answer important vaccine questions you may have.
Do vaccines really make a difference?
Absolutely. Some diseases like polio are no longer seen in Canada because of vaccinations. The last polio outbreak happened in 1959 and, at that time, 2,000 people were infected. Before vaccine programs were in place, whooping cough infected 30,000 to 50,000 Canadians, resulting in 50 to100 deaths. Since the vaccine, we now see about 1,000 cases of whooping cough, with one to five deaths. Canada reported approximately 30,000 cases of mumps before vaccination programs. We now see 90. Many of the diseases for which we have vaccines have few effective treatments (KFL&A Public Heatlh). As the old adage says, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Now that most people are no longer affected by these diseases, why do we have to keep vaccinating people?
Vaccines protect the majority of people by preventing infection and the spread of disease. When a substantial number of people are vaccinated, effective protection is provided to the whole population. Here is an example of what we mean: In Sweden, the whooping cough vaccine was discontinued in 1979. By 1981, they had 700 cases of whooping cough, and by 1985, they had diagnosed 3,200 cases. In Italy, the vaccine for whooping cough became optional in 1992. It had been mandatory before that date. Since that time, less than 40 per cent of children under the age of five years are vaccinated. Twenty-five per cent of all Italian children under the age of five now get the disease. It is important to keep our guard up. (KFL&A Public Health)
If vaccines are so helpful, why are some people opposed to them?
There are many reasons why people may be opposed to receiving vaccines. For example:
- The high success of vaccines has almost eliminated many diseases from view. Years ago, people could understand the importance of vaccination if they saw a person suffering from polio. Now that many diseases are rarely seen, people forget about the importance of vaccination.
- Some people fear needles.
- Some mass media campaigns have used questionable facts in order to promote anti-immunization campaigns. There is a great deal of misinformation in the media, and this deception confuses many people.
- Some believe that giving their child a vaccine will make them sick or give them autism. Well-conducted medical studies have found no link between the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine and autism. There has been much misinformation on the internet based on a poorly conducted study, leading people to believe there was a link. The study has been retracted due to its false information, but the concerns continue to appear on social media. Often, the onset of the symptoms of autism coincides with the age at which children are given vaccines. Your health-care provider is the best person with whom to discuss your child’s vaccination needs. (AP)
Why does my baby have to get more than one needle at a time?
The Immunization Schedule in Ontario recommends vaccinations for infants at specific times to provide early protection against many diseases. This does mean that your baby may need to receive more than one needle per visit. Getting more than one needle at a time is considered a small exposure to viruses in comparison to the germs your baby will come across on any given day. Babies are often more likely than adults to suffer severe complications from diseases. The vaccines provide a short-term discomfort in exchange for a healthier future. (AP)
Can you overwhelm the immune system of the baby if you give many injections?
Vaccines don’t hurt the immune system. Instead, they prepare it to respond when the child is exposed to the disease he/she has been vaccinated against. Even when a child receives multiple vaccines, only a small portion of the immune system is actually being used, leaving the rest of the system to do what it normally does. (AP)
Natural infection is better than a vaccine, isn’t it?
The immune response of the body to vaccines is similar to the immunity that the body gets after having the disease without facing the risks of the disease. Many vaccine-preventable diseases are serious illnesses that can cause significant symptoms, and sometimes death. (AP)
I have never had the flu. Why do I need a flu shot?
It is fortunate that you have not had the flu. Perhaps enough people around you were vaccinated so that you were not exposed to it, or you were lucky enough not to encounter it. Each year, Public Health, the Queen's Family Health Team and others (family health teams, doctors' offices, pharmacies) conduct flu clinics in an attempt to decrease the number of people who get the flu, and therefore lower the number of people who can pass it on to others. "The flu" is a virus. When someone sick with the flu sneezes or coughs, they release the virus into the air, which is then breathed in by others. The virus can also enter your body if you touch contaminated surfaces, then touch your eyes, mouth or nose. It spreads throughout the body, making you feel sick. Getting sick from the flu can be much worse than having a cold. The flu can lead to severe health complications like pneumonia. Even mild cases of the flu can make you feel sick for days. It’s always a good year to get the flu shot! (Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care)
I got the flu shot and it gave me the flu.
The flu shot does not contain any live viruses so you cannot get the flu from the vaccine. It is possible that you were already exposed to a cold or the flu and would have been sick regardless of the shot. (KFL&A Public Health)
The internet contains so much conflicting information about vaccines. I don’t know where to turn. Where can I go to get reliable information?
Your health-care provider is a valuable resource. He/she can answer your questions or point you in the right direction. Call us at (613) 533-9303 to make an appointment
KFL&A Public Health is also available to assist with school vaccines, and runs ongoing vaccination clinics. They can be reached at (613) 549-1232.
At the Queen’s Family Health Team, we have a commitment to medication safety. Our medication safety program is designed to ensure that we always have the best possible record of your medications. Patients are encouraged to bring all of their medications (including over-the-counter medications and those prescribed by a specialist or other provider) to each appointment so that we can update our records, including medications and doses, as necessary. At the end of your visit, we may print off a copy of the updated list to take with you so you can share it with other health-care providers.
This is also a great time to chat with us about any questions you might have about your medications. We encourage patients to ask the five questions below about your medications as developed by ISMP Canada, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, Patients for Patient Safety Canada, the Canadian Pharmacists Association and the Canadian Society for Hospital Pharmacists.
Please contact us to make an appointment with your physician or our pharmacist. We can talk to you about why you need to take your medications, their potential side effects and interactions, and the best way(s) to get the most out of your medications safely.
NEW! We now offer an online workshop about how to talk to your health-care provider about your medications. Click Medication Workshop May 2021 for information about our first series of three workshops.
For more information about medication safety, please check out the following resources:
Social workers offer time-limited, supportive counselling in response to the psychosocial and mental-health needs of patients. Working within a collaborative team model of care, they address a variety of mental-health challenges such as anxiety and depression, grief and loss, stress management, and navigation of local supports and services. Urgent appointments are available each week.
Group programs include Understanding and Coping with Anxiety and Depression, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia, and Baby Blues and Beyond.
Baby Blues and Beyond: This program has returned to an in-person program. Click Baby Blues March-April 2021E for all the details.
Understanding and Coping with Anxiety and Depression: This program is now being offered virtually. Click here for all the details.
Based on a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy model, this five-week program aims to introduce patients to a number of tools that will help them build up a “tool bag” of skills to manage their mood. Each session is focused on learning new skills, and patients will be given "homework assignments" to utilize these strategies in their daily life.
Cognitive-behavioural interventions covered in this program include, but are not limited to, education, self-monitoring, behavioural activation, program-solving, cognitive restructuring, relaxation, and planning ahead in case of relapse.
Patients who have completed the Understanding and Coping with Anxiety and Depression program are invited to attend a booster session. These booster sessions focus on enhancing and maintaining skills practised during the original group series, and introduce new concepts and techniques such as assertiveness, self-esteem, stress management, perfectionism, and self-compassion.
*Our booster group program has been discontinued due to Coronavirus COVID-19 and will resume in future. However, patients who participated in our in-person Coping with Anxiety and Depression program prior to the pandemic are welcome to join our new Coping with Anxiety and Depression virtual program. (See above.)
Read a QFHT article, Mental Health: Nurturing your own Personal Needs, here.
Our registered dietitian, Allison, provides individual nutrition counselling and education in a variety of life stages and disease states including:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and food allergies and intolerance
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Pregnancy, infancy, and children
At your appointment, Allison will:
- Review your health and eating pattern
- Review your medications and vitamin/mineral supplements
- Review and explain any related blood work results
- Provide information about your eating pattern, appropriate use of supplements, and how to manage your chronic disease or life stage with nutrition-healthy behaviours
- Work with you to set nutrition- and healthy behaviour-related goals to help you achieve your best health
To arrange an appointment with Allison, please speak to your doctor, resident physician, nurse or social worker at your next appointment or contact our office.
GROUP NUTRITION PROGRAMS
Introducing Solid Foods to your Baby
Join our registered dietitian and lactation consultant for an information session for parents with babies four to six months old. Topics discussed include:
- Signs when your baby is ready to start solids
- What, how much, and when to feed your baby
- Food safety and choking prevention
- All about food allergies
- Feeding relationship
*Introducing Solid Foods to your Baby is being offered virtually, on the last Monday of each month from 2-3 p.m. You will need access to a smart phone or computer and an email address for accessing this virtual program.
Best Health, Best Weight: This six-week virtual program aims to help you make healthy changes in your eating behaviour to improve your health and find your best weight. Click Best Health, Best Weight April-May for all the details.
It is good practice to ensure you have all the prescriptions you need when you leave your physician’s office, but we understand this doesn’t always happen. If you run out of refills before your next appointment, please have your pharmacy fax us a refill request.
For patients taking prescription narcotics (controlled substances), please note that these will NOT be refilled without an appointment, so it is very important that you book these appointments in advance.
Please click here for a list of QFHT physician fax numbers. If you are unsure of the physician to contact, please fax to the main Department of Family Medicine fax number at 613-544-9899.
For more on the Primary Care Asthma Program, click here.
Open exclusively to patients of the Queen's Family Health Team, the Sleep Therapy group program is a six-week program for adults with chronic insomnia who wish to learn strategies to restore good sleep. It is based on a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) approach, which is the first line of treatment for chronic insomnia in medical guidelines in North America and Europe. It involves learning an effective set of techniques that include scheduling time in bed, and learning strategies to deal with thoughts that interfere with sleep.
Our sleep therapy program is now being offered virtually. Click Sleep Therapy May-June 2021 for all the details.
The Queen’s Family Health Team (QFHT) Smoking Cessation Program helps people who want to quit or reduce their tobacco use. Research from the Ottawa Health Institute shows that people who try to quit with the help of best-practice counselling and cessation medications experienced double or triple the success rate with quitting long term.
The goal of the QFHT Smoking Cessation Program is to provide accessible, non-judgmental care and support. We provide a systematic approach to assessment, consultation and counselling to help quit/reduce smoking. This program provides service to all registered patients of the QFHT. Once a patient has enrolled, involvement with the program is flexible – there is no specific end date. If someone is not sure about wanting to quit/reduce the amount they are smoking, they may still be seen by a smoking-cessation counsellor to discuss their situation and approach to quitting/reducing.
In September 2011 the QFHT adopted the Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation and partnered with the Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients (STOP) program in order to provide free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to patients. In our implementation of this program, we drew on a variety of skill sets and approaches that reflect the range of multidisciplinary staff involved.
Smoking is a chronic problem and is the single-most preventable cause of death and disability. Approaches to cessation or reduction require long-term management, particularly in primary care settings. We have found that effective treatment has required modifications and more intensive interventions as our program continues to evolve. Collaborating with various care providers has been instrumental in the promotion of smoking cessation/reduction and in the processes of treatment and relapse prevention, and requires further development. Engaging others in a circle of support reflects individual patient’s needs.
You do not need to have a firm quit date before meeting with one of our counsellors. Many patients meet with a counsellor simply to investigate their options and determine when they might be ready to quit.
For more information, visit:
Your child’s 18-month mark is an important milestone because he or she is now developing so rapidly, exploring the environment, developing speech and behaviour patterns and, most importantly, building social skills that will last a lifetime. As such, we have implemented an expanded 18-Month Well-Baby Program that focuses on more in-depth developmental and physical assessments, as well as the regular vaccines.
In particular, this slightly longer visit gives you the opportunity to self-assess your child and learn about his or her progress, and a chance to talk to your provider about things like behavioural issues, communication or motor skills, and community resources that might be helpful. The goal of this program is to ensure that parents and children are supported, and that children are progressing well as they approach school age.
Parents and caregivers will be asked to complete the Toddler NutriSTEP questionnaire as part of their Enhanced 18-Month Well-Baby Visit. The toddler NutriSTEP questionnaire is a fast and simple way to find out if your child is a healthy eater.
What is NutriSTEP?
The NutriSTEP® questionnaire asks 17 questions about a child’s typical food choices, eating behaviours, and physical activity and growth patterns.
Why Is It Important?
Healthy habits at a young age build:
- life-long healthy habits
- school readiness
NutriSTEP helps you find out:
- what is going well for your child
- what to work on to improve eating and activity habits
Learn more about NutriSTEP here. For more information, speak to your health care team.
Help with Picky Eaters
Is your child a picky eater? Trust Me. Trust my Tummy can help provide solutions to common feeding challenges to make mealtime more enjoyable.