Geriatric clinic reopens in Sydney

Nova Scotia Health Authority’s (NSHA) Geriatric Medicine and Memory Disability Clinic has reopened to full service in Sydney. NSHA has recruited Dr. Arlene Kelly-Wiggins BSc BEd MD CCFP (COE) and Dr. Andrew Xiao BMSc MD CCFP (COE) to provide geriatric services.

Dr. Kenneth Rockwood and colleagues from Halifax have been providing regular scheduled clinics since 2016 to ensure that family physicians and patients were supported with geriatric service while recruitment was underway. With the recruitment of new physicians, the clinic is now able to accept new referrals to expand its service.

“It is encouraging to welcome two physicians to our geriatric medicine service,” says Marie McPhee, director of seniors and restorative care for the NSHA Eastern Zone. This re-establishes the regular clinical service for the community.”

Family physicians were recently advised that two new local physicians are in place and can refer patients to the clinic for comprehensive geriatric assessments and evaluation of:
• Cognitive impairment
• Dementia and associated symptoms
• Functional decline
• Mobility and falls
• Polypharmacy or medication review

“During recruitment, we were fortunate to have Dr. Ken Rockwood and colleagues from Halifax provide clinical services to the seniors of Cape Breton. We are deeply grateful for that support and commitment. We are also pleased that he will continue to support the clinic to ensure a smooth transition to the new physicians. Dr. Rockwood deserves significant credit for the work he has done.” says McPhee.

Dr. Arlene Kelly-Wiggins is a graduate of the Dalhousie Faculty of Medicine (2015) and completed Family Medicine residency at Dalhousie’s Sydney site in 2017. She will maintain a full-time role in the clinic.
Dr. Andrew Xiao is a graduate of the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine (2015) and completed Family Medicine residency in the Dalhousie program in Halifax (2017), and will hold a part-time position within the clinic.

Both Drs. Kelly-Wiggins and Xiao completed a year of enhanced skills training in Care of the Elderly with Dalhousie University’s departments of Geriatric Medicine and Family Medicine in 2018. They have earned a Certificate of Added Competency in Care of the Elderly through the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

The clinic is located in HealthPark, adjacent to the Cape Breton Regional Hospital.


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