By Joseph Mathieu
The Sports Medicine Clinic at Carleton University officially kicked off its expansive new space on June 10 with an open house.
“We were very happy to celebrate our amazing athletes, patients, clinic staff, therapists and physicians,” said Taryn Taylor, medical director of the clinic and one of five co-owners. “We never cut a ribbon, but I was thrilled with the turnout.”
The grand opening saw patients mingling with physiotherapists, staff with orthopaedic surgeons, and friends with family as they chatted around massage tables and exercise equipment, refreshments in hand.
The private clinic at Carleton provides therapy and treatment for injuries, from sprained ankles to concussions. The clinic, which has operated for almost four decades, was in the Athletics building. Now its health professionals operate out of a 6,500 square foot centre in the Ice House facilities.
In January, the physiotherapy clinic and the sports medicine clinic moved out of their separate areas and amalgamated beside the gymnasium. Finally housed together, the professionals can better serve 500 varsity athletes and another 500 club athletes. Physiotherapists and doctors no longer have to leave their examination areas to consult each other about a certain patient’s care.
According to Bruce Marshall, manager of the clinic’s wellness programs, services will only improve from the combination.
“We’ve always offered fantastic access to sports medicine for athletes,” said Marshall. “Someone injured in the morning will be treated that afternoon.”
Taylor estimates that a third of the clinic’s patients are Carleton students, while two-thirds are from the surrounding community. Treatments range from acupuncture and exercise therapy to manual therapy to rehabilitate joints and muscles. A Carleton student from Ontario and under the age of 19 has his medical and physiotherapy covered by OHIP. Any other treatment can be covered by private health insurance.
Another co-owner is physiotherapist Dave Foley, who used to be a professional soccer player with the Winnipeg Fury until 1991. Earlier this month, the Saint John native was the first-ever soccer athlete inducted into New Brunswick’s Sports Hall of Fame.
“This project has been five years in the making,” said Foley about the clinic’s move. “Thankfully we have great a working relationship with the university. Being this close to the rink and gym, we can add to the student experience of our athletes.”
The clinic’s recent addition of a chiropractor and a sports psychiatrist has boosted the team that already contains nine physiotherapists, eight sport medicine doctors, five orthopaedic surgeons, and two massage therapists. Taylor said they are growing at such a pace that they plan to add another massage therapist before long.
Taylor has a particular interest in collision sports, and she serves as team physician for the Ottawa 67s hockey team. To become a sports medicine physician, she completed a fellowship in sports medicine and joined the Carleton clinic 12 years ago. In 2014 she became a co-owner.
Alongside Foley and Taylor as co-owners are two physiotherapists Wendi Smith and Todd Taylor, both of whom quit their jobs and sold their house in London, Ontario, to join the Carleton Sports Medicine Clinic in Ottawa. The fifth co-owner is Andy Marshall, the head orthopaedic surgeon for the Redblacks and the Carleton men’s football team. Marshall, who operates out of the Monfort hospital, will also be the chief medical officer of the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro this summer.
“None of the owners are from a business background,” said Taylor. “We just make sure that patient care is a priority.”