Winchester District Memorial Hospital

by Jane Adams

Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH) is proud to be involved in a research study that will support primary care providers in talking to their patients about the COVID-19 vaccine.

The project – entitled “A tailored automated COVID vaccine communication strategy to build primary care providers’ capacity to address vaccine hesitancy among their patients” – is being led by the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Ottawa (DFN).

The Public Health Agency of Canada has provided $450,000 in funding for the project.
“WDMH’s research program focuses on always asking ‘why’, and ‘how we can do this better’ for rural populations,” notes Cholly Boland, WDMH CEO. “Supporting our local communities during COVID-19 is a top priority.”

As part of the study, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) will work with up to 300 family physicians and nurse practitioners across Canada to build their capacity to deliver evidence-based messaging to support COVID-19 vaccine uptake among their patients. This includes developing tailored messaging to send electronically to specific segments of their patient population who are less likely to have received the vaccine.

Factors for not receiving the vaccine may include vaccine hesitancy, age, language, education level, rurality, gender, and ethnicity. The EOHU is collaborating with the Canadian Primary Care Information Network (CPIN), the Institut du Savoir at Hôpital Montfort, and WDMH.

“This pan-Canadian trial helps family physicians identify which of their patients have not yet been vaccinated and then provides a tailored digital intervention by e-mail and text messages to provide them with appropriate information,” explains Dr. Mohamed Gazarin, WDMH’s Chief Research Officer and one of the investigators of the study.

Primary care providers interested in helping their patients while demonstrating the value of family medicine in the COVID-19 pandemic should contact stephaniechenail@montfort.on.ca.

If you would like to provide comments or suggestions about hospital services, please contact Cholly Boland, President and CEO, WDMH at 613-774-1049, or by email at cboland@wdmh.on.ca.

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