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How you can become more involved in your healthcare journey

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You can become more involved in your healthcare journey with MyChartTM  

What is MyChartTM?

 MyChartTM is a free, secure, online tool that provides you with easy 24-hour access to your health records from select hospitals in southwest Ontario.

What Information is Available?

With a MyChart account, you can access your select hospital health records – anytime, anywhere. There is no cost to you to use this tool.  Accessible records include:
·         Allergies
·         Hospital Discharge Reports
·         Lab Results
·         Medications
·         MRI, CT & X-Ray Reports
·         Pathology & Genetic Reports

As of March 23, 2020 you will be able to view any COVID-19 test results that have been resulted through hospital systems.

You will also have the ability to document your own information in your personal health record, such as immunizations, your weight, and more.  Records may be shared electronically with family members and caregivers.

For more information please visit:


Staying Active while Staying Distant during COVID-19

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As of March 23, 2020, it is still considered safe to exercise (e.g. walk, jog, or cycle) outdoors with members of your own household. Here a few recommendations for exercising safely at this time:

1. Avoid exercising in busy areas like popular public parks and trails. These busy locations make it very difficult to stay two meters away from others!
2. Exercise instead on wide, uncrowded trails, pathways, or sidewalks that allow you to stay 2 meters from others.
3. When passing, be sure to say hello (and smile!) from a distance. However, as you approach another person or group of people, avoid talking, sneezing, coughing or breathing heavily in their direction.
4. If you find yourself passing another person or group on a narrow trail or sidewalk, safely step to the side of the trail and give them room to pass.
5. Do not exercise if you are noticeably sick.


Here are some additional resources for staying active during this time.

The American College of Sports Medicine:
Our community partner, Just Walk, has some excellent resources on the benefits of walking, safely considerations and provides a downloadable walking log.
From Soup to Tomatoes was developed by a Registered Nurse and Diabetes Educator. She provides videos on chair-based exercise programs that you can access via her YouTube channel. All you need is a chair, some space to move and some light weights, or cans of soup.

Mental Health Resources to Support You During COVID-19

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We understand that for many people, the current COVID-19 pandemic situation may be distressing and anxiety-provoking. We’d like to share some resources with you that you may find helpful during this time.


Free online resources:
· Coronavirus support/resources:
· Anxiety Canada:
· Online Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course:


Phone counselling support:
· If you’re feeling isolated, lonely, or otherwise distressed and looking to speak to someone anonymously, the Halton Distress Centre is a great resource. The Burlington number is: 905-681-1488.
(More information can be found here:
· Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Halton is continuing to offer their “walk-in” counselling services via phone:


Crisis support:
In the event that you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please contact one of these services: · COAST at 1-877-825-9011. (More information can be found here:
· Crisis line for children, youth, and their parents/caregivers via Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK): 905-878-9785.  OR Live Answer Access Line at 289-266-0036 between 9 -5 pm each business day. Messages cannot be left on this number.
· Text-based crisis support:


We hope that you stay healthy and safe during the coming weeks.

An INSPIRED approach to help you breathe – what can you do about shortness of breath? A whole body approach to better breathing.

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Our lungs are for life!

Individuals with lung diseases like COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and Asthma might feel shortness of breath after exertion or even following an emotional event. Feeling short of breath can make you feel anxious. Feeling anxious can make you short of breath. Here are some tips to help you breathe easier.


First, find a comfortable position. Stay calm and let your shoulders drop away from your ears. Leaning forward and resting your arms on a table or your thighs can help put your ribcage in a more relaxed position to ease the muscles of breathing.

Pursed Lip Breathing

Try to slow your breathing by inhaling through your mouth at first and exhaling through pursed lips, as if you were blowing out a candle. The breath out should last 2-3 times longer than the breath in. As your breathing slows, inhale through your nose and exhale through pursed lips.

Your Environment

If you are in a public space when you experience shortness of breath, well-meaning individuals may come close and offer help. This can lead to more anxious feelings followed by more shortness of breath. Close your eyes and focus on the air moving in and out of your lungs to tune out the distractions in your environment to ease your breathing faster.

Your Mind

Your brain is only able to focus well on one thing at a time. Putting your focus on the air entering your lungs and the stresses leaving through pursed lips as you exhale will help your breathing return to normal more quickly. Practicing pursed lip breathing when you are relaxed will help you to easily use this technique when you need it in cases of suddenly feeling anxious and short of breath.

Your Lifestyle

Living a healthy lifestyle will help you deal with both the physical and emotional challenges of the day. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, getting a good night’s sleep, pacing yourself with activity as well as getting regular exercise will all help you to enjoy better breathing.

Tracy Bonifacio, BSc., RRT (Registered Respiratory Therapist)


Burlington and Caroline FHT

Happy Holidays!

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Happy Holidays from the Burlington Family Health Team and the physicians and staff at the Halton McMaster Family Health Centre.

In the past year, we have had some exciting changes in healthcare.  The biggest change was the introduction of the Ontario Health Team (OHT)model.  We are proud to be a member of the Burlington Ontario Health Team, one of 24 teams chosen by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to be the first wave of OHT’s.  You can find more information on OHT’s by clicking and more information regarding our Burlington OHT will be coming in the New Year.

We are honoured to be part of your primary care team and wish you and your loved ones a Bright and Merry Holiday season and a wonderful New Year.


OHIP: Insured Services Update Effective Oct 1st, 2019

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Dear Patients,

Recently, the Ministry of Health working alongside the Physician Appropriateness Working Group have updated the OHIP insured/uninsured benefits to reflect current evidence-based guidelines to provide best care for patients. The following changes were made to ensure Ontarians get the best possible care, while reducing redundancy and health system waste (Choosing Wisely).If you have questions about the below changes –please talk to one of your healthcare providers about the changes.


WHAT:Previously, routine pre-operative assessment by a primary care provider was required by the Ontario Hospitals Act. However, Pre-Operative assessments are often best done by those involved with the surgical procedure (the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, or the medical doctor who provides hospital care/follow up). Routine pre-operative assessments will no longer be insured for primary care providers

WHAT WILL THIS MEAN FOR ME: Your primary care provider and surgeon can still make referrals to Preoperative Assessment clinics which will continue to help with pre-operative planning. These visits will still be insured by OHIP. If your surgical provider still feels they require your family physician to do a Pre-Operative physical form in addition to this assessment, there may be a cost associated of $65.00 with the completion of this assessment and forms.


WHAT:Ear wax removal will only be insured when it results in hearing loss and applying topical medications has been unsuccessful, or when immediately removing the wax is necessary for diagnosis and/or therapy.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU:Your physician may ask you to try topical medications to remove ear wax prior to manual removal at an associated cost of $11.25 per ear.


WHAT: Urine pregnancy tests will only be insured when an immediate determination of pregnancy is required.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU: If you are pregnant, a home pregnancy test is one way to confirm pregnancy. You can discuss with your provider if other testing including blood tests and ultrasounds might be used to confirm or date your pregnancy (these tests are still covered by OHIP). If your doctor needs to do a pregnancy test to rule for a medical reason, these will still be covered.

Upcoming workshops at the Burlington Public Library!

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The community team at the Burlington Family Health Team will be offering the following sessions at the various Burlington Public Library locations.  Registration starts Nov 15th, 2019 – All are welcome!!

Don’t Hibernate!

4 Dec: 10:30 am-11:30 am, Aldershot

27 Jan: 7-8 pm, Alton


Living Better with Osteoarthritis

16 Dec: 11 am-12 pm, Central

5 Feb: 10:30 am -11:30 am, Aldershot


Come Fall with Us

29 Jan: 10:30 am -11:30 am, New Appleby

11 Feb: 2-3 pm, Brant Hills 


Improve your Sleep Routine

10 Feb: 7-8 pm, Central – Jake and Shannon

26 Feb: 10:30-11:30 am, New Appleby – Jake and Shannon


SPRING 2020:

End Hibernation!

1 Mar: 2-3 pm, Alton