Our Team

The members of the the Dufferin Area Family Health Team come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Along with physicians, the team includes a wide variety of health care practitioners.

  • Physician Assistants

    • Through the integration of the Physician Assistant (PA) into the Dufferin Area Family Health Team, we improve the quality of care through enhanced access to medical services in a timely manner (particularly through same-day or next-day appointments), decrease wait times to see the physician, and create more time for the physician to devote to patients with complex medical issues. The PA works with a group of multiple physicians and operates under their supervision. While working with the physician, and a team of multi-disciplinary providers, the PA role will include but not be limited to:

      • Providing primary care services to patients including acute and chronic disease management, preventative care, and well-woman and well child visits
      • Performing certain acts under medical directives, delegated by the physicians
      • Educating patients on health promotion and disease prevention
      • Assisting the physician with management of complex patients
      • Referring patients to allied health professionals, for services outside of the Physician Assistant’s scope of practice, and 
      • Performing other duties within the competencies of a Physician Assistant.
  • Nurse Practitioners

    • Our Nurse Practitioners are a vital part of Dufferin Area Family Health Team (DAFHT) and collaborate with the physicians and other interdisciplinary providers to achieve the vision and mission of the organization. Nurse Practitioners help the DAFHT to meet its strategic objectives by participating in the chronic disease management, health promotion and disease prevention programs. Our Nurse Practitioners provide primary care within the scope of practice of the Nurse Practitioner as outlined in the College of Nurses of Ontario Standards of Practice for Registered Nurses in Extended Class. The provision of primary care includes: assessments, diagnosis, counseling, screening, referral, education, treatment and follow-up. He/she also collaborates effectively with physicians to facilitate appropriate provision of primary care outside of scope of practice. 

  • Diabetes Educators

    • The diabetes team will provide information, education, tools and support to help patients with diabetes to better control their condition from diagnosis onward. The diabetes educators can order relevant blood work, refer to chiropodist and also start and/or adjust insulin for adults with Type 2 Diabetes.

  • Wound Care

    • A registered nurse is dedicated to providing wound assessment, dressing change with the appropriate choice of wound care product, and education on how to care for the wound(s).

  • Social Work

    • Social Workers provide short-term services to patients to support social and mental health complexities, including health links. Some examples of supports provided to patients include:  

      • Ongoing coordination and support for patients with complex needs
      • Assistance with Referrals to community services

      • Counselling/Therapy

      • Application assistance for ODSP, CPP-D, Trillium, etc.

      • Appeal support for rejected applications

      • Service navigation with Ontario Housing, Retirement Homes (note: not long-term care), transportation, basic needs, etc.

      • POA and Advanced Care planning

      • Arrange case conferences as required

  • Physiotherapy

    • Physiotherapy can be defined as a treatment method that focuses on the science of movement and helps people to restore, maintain and maximize their physical strength, function, motion and overall well-being by addressing the underlying physical issues.

      Physiotherapy is a registered profession in Canada. The Canadian Physiotherapy Association notes that physiotherapists:

      • Have met national entry-level education and practice standards
      • Have successfully passed a standardized physiotherapy competence examination; and
      • Are registered with the college of physiotherapists in their province/territory.
  • Mental Health Therapists

    • Mental Health Therapists provide individual and group counselling to enhance coping, increase problem-solving and improve daily functioning. Mental health therapy and psycho-education groups are also offered throughout the year with a focus on supporting the development of cognitive-behaviourial mindfulness, and stress reduction skills.

      Our Mental Health Therapists hold a master’s degree in Social Work or Psychology, including a minimum five years’ experience in individual, family and/or group counselling, and have membership in good standing with a regulated health college, such as the Ontario College of Social Workers or College of Registered Psychotherapists and Registered Mental Health Therapists of Ontario.

  • Nurse Educator

    • Nurse Educators are Registered Nurses who support patients and provide education in a group setting or individually. Nurse educators provide care for patients with Hypertension and Osteoporosis. The Nurse educators at the DAFHT have received extensive training on smoking cessation and assist patients with quitting smoking. Currently we are able to offer the STOP program which is 26 weeks free NRT to support patients wanting to quit smoking.

      We are please to offer OTN Telederm which allows patients to have an internet dermatology consult without leaving Orangeville. The Nurse educators at the DAFHT are active members of the Primary Care Memory Clinic Team and provide assessments for patient with Cognitive changes.

  • Clinical Pharmacist

    • The Dufferin Area FHT's clinical pharmacist ensures our patients are getting the right medication, at the right dose, is able to take the medication properly, can afford it, and know why they are taking it, while minimizing drug side-effects and interactions, in order to improve quality of life.

      “Knowledge is the best medicine.”  Our clinincal pharmacistI can help you learn about your chronic conditions and how best to treat it.  Whether it is traditional western medicine or alternate health therapies.

  • Occupational Therapist

    • An Occupational Therapist holds a Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy, and often pursues further education to suit the needs of their patients. Occupational therapy (OT) is a regulated health profession designed to rehabilitate the body and mind from injury or illness by empowering you to overcome physical, cognitive or emotional barriers. An occupational therapist can help you overcome barriers faced in performing tasks that you need and want to do. They will work with you, your family/caregivers, employers, community partners and other health care professionals to reduce disability and improve overall health. 

  • Registered Nurse, Diabetes Program

    • The Diabetes Program offers self-management education to Adults diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes through group workshops and one on one visits with a Registered Nurse and Registered Dietician.

      The RN will provide education about Diabetes, diabetes management via medications, blood sugar monitoring, review blood work as it pertains to diabetes and heart health, take your blood pressure, examine your feet, discuss the Importance and procedure of screening for Diabetes complications.

      We work with you, as a team, to help you achieve your health care goals.

  • Respiratory Therapist

    • Respiratory Therapists help patients with their cardiovascular (heart and lung) health. We help to diagnose lung disease, provide education and self management advice to helps patient's manage their lung disease such as COPD, Asthma and Pulmonary Fibrosis. In addition we help people quit smoking and teach them how to properly use their respiratory medications; including inhalers.

  • Chiropodist

    • A Chiropodist is a primary care professional practicing in podiatric medicine that specializes in assessment, management and prevention of diseases and disorders of the foot. An essential member of the inter professional healthcare team, the Chiropodist is able to assess the needs of their patients and trained to manage both chronic and acute conditions affecting the foot and lower limb.

      The Chiropodists here at DAFHT treat patients who have diabetes and other high risk conditions in order to prevent any foot related complications.

  • Registered Dietitians

    • A Registered Dietitian is a regulated healthcare professional who is an expert in food and nutrition and a trusted source of evidence based nutrition. In order to practice they must complete; an undergraduate degree in food and nutrition, internship, pass a national registered exam to become a member of a provincial regulatory college.

      Our Registered Dietitian team will help you support your health and wellness goals through individual and group counseling sessions to prevent and manage disease. They will help you acquire a positive relationship with food and eat in a way that you can support for a lifetime.

      • Programs that our dietitians are involved in:
      • Chronic disease – pre diabetes, diabetes, cholesterol, osteoporosis
      • Digestive health problems- acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), celiac, inflammatory bowel (IBD) and diverticular disease
      • Iron deficiency
      • Malnutrition
      • Pediatrics – introduction to solid foods, raising a healthy happy eater
      • Healthy eating for all ages - pregnancy, vegetarian, seniors, food skills through hands on cooking, mindful eating, group weight management.

Board of Directors

  • Mr. Bob Borden, President
  • Dr. Jeff Ponke, Past President
  • Dr. Priya Akula, Board Chair
  • Dr. Charles Joyce, Treasurer
  • Dr. Marcella Palad
  • Dr. Mercedes Rodriguez
  • Dr. Dave Stenning
  • Dr. Tristan Sumabat

Physicians

View a complete list of of the physicians who are part of the Dufferin Area Family Health Team.