Centre for Family Medicine, Memory Clinic Model

In an attempt to meet the needs of the patients, caregivers, and her colleagues at the Centre for Medicine Family Health Team, Dr. Linda Lee developed a primary care model that focused on early diagnostic assessment, treatment and follow up for those living with MCI and dementia. The model was designed to help her colleagues by addressing major barriers to optimal dementia care in primary care practice. The first Memory Clinic began seeing patients in 2006 and to-date 64 primary care memory clinics have been implemented in Ontario. In 2013 the Champlain LHIN led the way in committing to the implementation of 15 Memory Clinics in Family Health Teams and Community Health Centres throughout the region.

The aim of the clinic is to increase capacity within the primary care practice to assess and manage persons and their family members dealing with cognitive impairment. The memory clinic is run by family physicians and allied health care professionals who dedicate 1 to 2 days/month to work in memory clinics servicing their primary care practice patients. Each clinic is supported by a specialist for e-mail or telephone support.  This support helps to avert unnecessary referrals, improve the skills of the physicians and develops the specialist's comfort with the skill level of the team.  The model builds capacity for care by increasing the ability of family practice to manage the majority of patients while appropriately referring the most complex of cases to specialists.

The following practices have developed memory clinics in their primary care practice for their patients.

  • Arnprior FHT
  • Clarence Rockland FHT
  • Connexion FHT
  • East Ottawa FHT
  • Family First FHT
  • Montfort Academic FHT
  • Ottawa Academic FHT
  • Southeast Ottawa CHC

Related Articles and Other Documents

  • Lee L, Hillier LM, Stolee P, Heckman G, Gagnon M, McAiney CA, Harvey D. Enhancing dementia care: A Primary care based memory clinic. Journal of the American Geriatric Society. 2010;58 (11): 2197-2204.
  • Lee L, Kasperski MJ, Weston WW. Building capacity for dementia care: A training program to develop Primary Care Memory Clinics. Canadian Family Physician. 2011; 57(7):e249-e252
  • Lee L, Weston W. Disclosing a diagnosis of dementia: Helping learners to break bad news. Canadian Family Physician. 2011; 57(7):851-852.
  • Lee L, Rojas-Fernandez C, Heckman G, Gagnon M. Cognitive enhancing drugs in dementia: Tips for the primary care physician. Canadian Geriatrics Society Journal of CME, 2011;1(1):5-9.
  • Lee L, Weston W, Hillier L. Developing memory clinics in primary care: An evidence-based interprofessional program of continuing professional development. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 2013;33(1);24-32.
  • Lee L, Weston W, Heckman G, Gagnon M, Lee Joseph, & Sloka S. Structured approach to patients with memory difficulties in family practice. Canadian Family Physician, 2013:59;249-54.

Information about  the Family Medicine FHT Memory Clinic Model.