Serving Patients in Northern Ontario

More than 60% of people with CF attending the Toronto Adult CF clinic live outside of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Some people have a 6 to 8 hour drive or a 1.5 hour flight to attend clinic. We recognize that these distances add financial and logistical difficulties to attend clinic.

To help reduce travel time for many patients, we have established two satellite clinics, one in Thunder Bay and one in Sudbury, Ontario.

If travel to Toronto is necessary, a Northern Travel Grant program can assist in reimbursement for travel expenses. Please speak to your CF team about accessing this form.

Thunder Bay

Approximately twice per year (typically in the spring and fall), Dr. Elizabeth Tullis or Dr. Anne Stephenson fly to Thunder Bay to see patients in the Thunder Bay region.

The clinic is located in the outpatient clinic area of Thunder Bay Regional Hospital. Colleen Morrow, a local nurse practitioner, sets up appointments, coordinates the clinic, and organizes tests for the CF clinic.  In addition to in-person satellite clinics, telemedicine clinic visits are scheduled as needed throughout the year. Although there is no formal local CF clinic in Thunder Bay, Dr. B. Biman, a local adult Respirologist, will often see our CF patients if needed in between satellite clinics to ensure they remain well. Adults with CF followed in Thunder Bay can get their medications shipped to them from the Toronto Adult CF Clinic.

Once a Thunder Bay clinic date is set, Colleen Morrow, the local nurse practitioner in Thunder Bay will contact patients by phone and schedule them for a clinic visit. Hence, it is very important to make sure that your address and telephone number is up-to-date so she will be able to reach you. Colleen arranges appointments according to infection control guidelines to avoid cross infection between CF patients.

Medications covered under the CF special drug program can only be obtained from a CF designated pharmacy without cost. This means that all patients in Thunder Bay will have to fill their prescriptions at St. Michael’s Hospital. Prescriptions for CF medications are taken back to Toronto and a 3 month supply of medication will be delivered to patients’ homes free of charge.

As there are only two in-person CF clinics in a year in Thunder Bay, you should contact the CF clinic in Toronto if you are feeling unwell.

More information on contacting the CF clinic when you are sick here.

Telemedicine clinics enable us to see our patients by a two way computer while patients stay in Thunder Bay and the CF team remains in Toronto. This allows us to speak to the patients and address health issues as if they were actually in the clinic. Telemedicine also provides an opportunity for team members to provide education to our patients in Thunder Bay.

Sudbury

Twice per year, two CF doctors from St. Michael’s Adult clinic travel to Sudbury to run a satellite CF clinic at the Laurentian site of the Sudbury Health Sciences Centre.

A pediatric CF clinic exists in Sudbury; however, there is no local adult CF clinic which is why the adult CF team from Toronto travels to Sudbury to provide care for adults with CF in the Sudbury area. A CF dietitian from the Toronto CF clinic attends the satellite clinic also, when possible. Sharri-Lynne Zinger is the nurse coordinator at the Sudbury clinic for both the pediatric and adult clinic and she books the appointments for the satellite clinic, is a contact between visits and arranges testing and Telemedicine visits. Adults with CF who are followed in Sudbury can get their medications from the pharmacy at Sudbury Health Sciences Centre or at St Michael’s Hospital.

Once a satellite clinic date is set, Ms. Sharri-Lynne Zinger, the nurse coordinator at the Sudbury clinic, will contact the patients and schedule a satellite clinic appointment. She arranges appointments according to infection control guidelines to avoid cross infection between CF patients.

Since Laurentian Hospital in Sudbury has a pediatric CF program, their outpatient pharmacy is a CF designated pharmacy. CF medications covered under the CF Special Drug Program can be obtained at this pharmacy without cost.

Ms. Sharri-Lynne Zinger follows the adults with CF in Sudbury closely. If medical problems arise between satellite clinics, please contact her at the local clinic number (705-523-7100 ex.3263) for assistance. Ms. Zinger stays in close contact with the CF physicians and nurses at St. Michael’s Hospital by phone and by e-mail regarding any medical issues. We encourage clinic visits at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto once a year for a more thorough yearly assessment.

We will continue to have satellite clinics taking place in Sudbury twice a year. We hope to use telemedicine to bridge the gap between clinic visits 1-2 times per year as needed. We also feel that is it very important to have a yearly clinic visit in Toronto, if at all possible. You will benefit from the direction and expertise of the entire multidisciplinary CF team at St. Michael’s Hospital, which is the gold standard of care. Please contact the Sudbury CF clinic for more information and to arrange to be seen using telemedicine.