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Digital Health Week 2023

In recognition of Digital Health Week (Nov 13-19, 2023), we are putting the spotlight on a very important member of our Telemedicine Team, our OTN Machine!  

Our incredible OTN Machine has helped our staff deliver accessible, high-quality care through our Telemedicine program for more than 10 years. To demonstrate how this innovative Machine is supporting our community, our Telemedicine team interviewed our OTN Machine: 

What is your inspiration or advice for others? 

It makes me feel good to be able to find you a service or a specialist. I might even be able to get you that appointment faster by videoconference than by seeing them in person. You might come in to meet a doctor for the first time on screen but by the end of the session, you may have the answers you were looking for or be referred to the support services you need.
Sometimes I can find the services you need and sometimes I might refer you somewhere else but don’t give up looking for services. They are out there! 

CMHA's OTN Machine

What has been your favourite moment or accomplishment at CMHA? 

For a few years, I’ve hosted a Mindfulness for Chronic Pain management course led by a Neurologist who came to the Aurora office. I connected her and a boardroom full of clients with CMHA Peel and CMHA Toronto participants who wanted to join. I was skillfully able to share my screen and display client artwork in all three locations so everyone felt like they were in the same room. I was happy to facilitate a course that connected sister CMHA organizations together so they could offer their clients a service they normally don’t have.

If you don’t mind me adding one more: once there was a young girl who needed to connect with SickKids. Her mother was trying to keep her busy during the appointment, but it was a real challenge because we had no toys in the office. Thankfully my coworkers were able to find her a stuffed animal to play with and since then, that stuffed animal is still in our office just in case! 

What do you like about working with CMHA’s Telemedicine team? 

  • I love the exposure to so many disciplines, not just mental health. I’ve hosted sessions with so many specialists – cardiologists, neurologists, gastroenterologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists…etc. I’m still learning more about what’s out there so if you’re not sure what’s available, just email and we can investigate! 
  • I don’t have to commute! I work out of the Aurora office and my coworkers cover CMHA-YRSS’ offices in Markham, Vaughan and Alliston. 
  • My team is small. My coworkers, Charyce and Nadine, are great to work with and they find unique ways to keep our program busy. 
  • I love visitors, so come on by! The office I’m in is very comfortable, welcoming and has sofas and lots of windows to make my guests feel welcome here. 

How do you support our community? 

I’m not limited by borders. CMHA clients who want to come to the office or connect from home can see consultants from across Ontario by videoconferencing. My program also shares with CMHA Staff free educational events offered by hospitals. Staff love the variety of topics and they stay up to date with current health conditions. Not everyone has the technology or privacy to see a doctor by video from home, so I am happy to offer services in a safe place with reliable staff and consultants. 

Learn more about CMHA's free Telemedicine Program
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