Kindercare is an innovative paediatric clinic in the TAS commercial building at 491 Eglinton Ave West. We sat down with Dr. Dan Flanders to talk about the clinic, and the philosophy of community benefit that both of our organizations share.
What is Kindercare?
It’s an outpatient multidisciplinary paediatric centre, with five primary care doctors, multiple subspecialty clinics, and a branch for psychological and mental health services.
How many staff work with you?
“It’s a bit nutty how many we have,” laughs Dr. Flanders. There are about 18 physicians, four psychologists, eight allied health professionals (such as nutritionists and speech therapists), and a dozen additional staff.
Why choose a paediatrician over a GP?
GPs provide excellent care, but for paediatricians, it’s all they do.
“Some parents feel comforted by knowing that the doctor spends all his or her time practicing paediatrics,” says Dr. Flanders. “Some parents feel good knowing that the doctor can look after their families as a unit.”
When did the clinic start? What was the vision?
Kindercare opened in 2010.
“I had a vision of a centre that essentially provides all the outpatient services of a hospital but without all the red tape,” says Dr. Flanders.
He believes a lot of paediatric issues are better managed outside of a hospital, where care can be tedious for a family. Hospitals are large, intimidating, and food and parking add up to quite the expense. They also service such a large number of people that the wait times can be very long.
What makes it unique?
Dr. Flanders says combining primary care with subspecialty care is a common thing, but it’s not usually combined with mental health services and allied healthcare (such as occupational therapy, speech therapy, and dieticians).
“It’s more convenient for the patients to have a home where all their medical needs are taken care of in one place.” Doctors are also not typically known for their innovative spirits, which makes Dr. Flanders something of an outlier. “I like to leverage technology to optimize or improve the experience of receiving care.”
Kindercare has an active social media presence, and encourages email communication instead of the phone. The clinic also uses electronic questionnaires for health screening for both children and parents.
Any recent successes you want to celebrate?
Kindercare is proud of its partnership with a paediatric neurologist at the Neurology Centre of Toronto, which opened this year. The clinic champions teleneurology (video conference medicine). Using the Ontario Telemedicine Network’s platform, patients are able to speak to a doctor in the clinic from the comfort of their own home.
“It’s an amazing way to provide care to people who are disabled or live in First Nations Reserves,” says Dr. Flanders. “This technology allows us to reach out to communities that don’t have access to top care.”