Monday, March 30, 2020

Rapid Access to Addiction Medicine clinic launches

Pictured from left to right: Dr. Rizwan Rafiq, Chief of Psychiatry and Medical Director of Mental Health & Addictions Program, CKHA, Lori Marshall, President and CEO, CKHA, Danielle Bowes, Clinical Manager, Psychiatry, CKHA and Rick Nicholls, MPP, Chatham-Kent – Leamington.

Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) celebrated the official launch of its Rapid Access to Addiction Medicine (RAAM) clinic with a ribbon cutting at its Chatham Site. As part of the Mental Health & Addictions Program, CKHA’s RAAM clinic provides immediate access to evidence-based addiction care and offers accessible treatment to patients without the need for appointments or formal medical referrals. RAAM clinics offer both medication and psychosocial interventions from the first visit, ensuring a holistic approach to addressing substance use.

“CKHA’s RAAM clinic will help fill the gap in harm reduction resources and ensures we can effectively address the issue of addiction within our community,” said Lori Marshall, President and CEO, CKHA. “Our Mental Health & Addictions team have already solidified us as a leader in mental health care; operating a RAAM clinic out of our Chatham Site gives us the appropriate tools to provide patient-centred addiction care.”

Located at 47 Emma Street on the Main Floor in Suite 205, CKHA’s RAAM clinic welcomes individuals 16 years of age and older who self-identify as struggling with addiction. Services include:

* Brief counseling and support
* Trauma informed care
* Medications for opioid and alcohol use
* Naloxone kits
* Referrals and connections to community services
* Physical health assessment
* Referrals to residential treatment, if appropriate

The goal of the RAAM clinic is to work with patients to create a care plan that fits with their goals. The clinic model is very flexible, it is intended to be (a) low-barrier, (b) walk-in, and (c) patient-centred. At discharge from the RAAM clinic, patients are referred back to primary care for long-term follow-up and receive continued support from the RAAM clinician who communicates with primary care providers for patient re-assessments, consultations, and advice about addiction management.

“The model of addiction care we see in a RAAM clinic is proving to have a significant impact on addressing addiction-related conditions for patients by providing evidence-based treatment quickly and following patients closely along the care pathway,” said Dr. Rizwan Rafiq, Chief of Psychiatry and Program Medical Director of Mental Health and Addictions Program, CKHA. “Working closely with our community partners and providers will be key in the success of our RAAM clinic. I am delighted that CKHA will be adopting this effective model of care for our patients.”

The RAAM clinic is located at 47 Emma Street, Suite 205 (next to the Diabetes Education Centre) at CKHA’s Chatham Site. The patient entrance can be found on the west side of the building. As a walk-in service, wait times may vary. Patients are asked to bring a valid health card and a list of current medications. Hours of operation are:

Monday: 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Friday: 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

For more information, patients can call: 519.352.6400 x 6740

To learn more about CKHA’s RAAM clinic, visit:

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