As many people in the community are aware, there have been occasions over the past several months when the Almonte General Hospital (AGH) Obstetrics Department has not been accepting new admissions and women in labour have been redirected to Smiths Falls. This has occurred because we have not had enough Obstetricians to cover the on-call schedule.
We appreciate that this is not ideal for our patients, but it is done in the interests of the safety of both mother and baby.
Even when a patient chooses to deliver with a Midwife or a GP qualified in Obstetrics, we require a specialist-trained Obstetrician to be available in case of an emergency, to ensure that we are able to provide safe, high-quality care.
We are grateful to our colleagues at Smiths Falls District Hospital for their exceptional support.
These periods of closure have led to rumours that the AGH Obstetrics Department is closing. This is absolutely not true.
In fact, throughout this time we have been actively recruiting new Obstetrician/Gynaecologists for the community and the Hospital – and we have been successful.
Effective immediately, Dr. Enobong Ekong has joined the Hospital’s Active Medical Staff. Dr. Ekong is a graduate of Queen’s University Medical School (with Distinction) and of the Obstetrics & Gynaecology Residency program at the University of Saskatchewan.
She is accepting new obstetrics and gynaecology patients in her office at 95 Spring Street, next to the Ottawa Valley Family Health Team.
Dr. David Caloia has also joined the AGH Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto with significant experience in global health as well as in Canadian clinical practice. Dr. Caloia is working out of the Family Health Team offices and is also accepting new patients.
Patients wishing to see either Dr. Ekong or Dr. Caloia should arrange for a referral through their Family Physician.
I am also pleased to announce that the AGH Board of Directors has appointed Dr. Bahaa Awwad as Chief of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, effective December 15, 2014. Dr. Awwad is currently working in a community in Northern Ontario and will be transitioning to Almonte over the coming three months.
We are fortunate to have the support of a number of other Obstetrician/Gynaecologists who provide on-call coverage but do not have offices in Almonte, including Dr. Elliott Cohen, Dr. Roman Feigel, Dr. Moses Adanlawo and Dr. Laura Didomizio.
Despite everyone’s best efforts there may be some days of redirection between now and December. The situation is temporary. The Obstetrics Department at Almonte General Hospital is open for business and looking forward to serving our community for many years to come.
Mary Wilson Trider is President & CEO of Almonte General Hospital.