3 min read | October 21, 2022
Calian CARES™: Linking Military Family Members to Primary Care Physicians Across Canada.
“Calian recognizes that military families face unique circumstances: frequent relocations and regular family absences due to training and/or deployment. We are proud that Calian has been able to support military families by referring more than 3,875 military family members to doctors in the MFDN network since launching in 2016...” Gordon McDonald, President, Calian Health
Did you know?
- There are over 40,000 families of full-time Regular Force Canadian Armed Forces personnel
- Canadian military families do not receive care through the military but access care through provincial healthcare programs
- Military families face unique circumstances: frequent relocations, regular family absences due to training and/or deployment, and the increased risk for operational injury, illness or death of the military member
Calian Health, in partnership with Military Family Services (MFS), has been offering the Military Family Doctor Network (MFDN) since 2016. The goal of the program is to improve access to quality healthcare for families of serving Canadian Armed Forces members by speeding up the process of obtaining a physician and reducing the number of military spouses and children without a family physician. The MFDN program is provided at no cost to families of the Canadian Armed Forces and is available in several locations across Canada. Calian staff appeal to family physicians who practice at Primacy clinics and beyond to extend their practices to military family members.
Says Laurie Ogilvie, Senior VP, Military Family Services, Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services “with each move, military families in Canada are required to seek out new healthcare providers and inevitably land on the bottom of a new waiting list if the demand for healthcare in their new community is high. The Military Family Doctor Network (MFDN) helps to mitigate this challenge by actively working to connect physicians with newly posted military families. Canadian Forces Morale & Welfare Services’ Military Family Services, and the military family constituency have greatly benefitted from the ongoing Calian efforts to support improved healthcare outcomes for families.”
As we continue to evolve MFDN, Calian has launched other initiatives, including research, to improve health care for military, Veterans and their families:
- In 2015, Calian provided 3 years of funding to expand the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN) to include military markers. CPCSSN is a central repository of data on chronic diseases from a network of primary care practitioners.
- In 2018, Calian, Military Family Services (MFS) a division of Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services, in partnership with the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) and the Vanier Institute of the Family, announced the establishment of Innovation to Impact—a working group to translate key Canadian medical research to empower physicians and other healthcare professionals to make evidence-based decisions to advance the healthcare experience and well-being of military family members. Two key deliverables of the working group are the following research based guides: a Quick Reference Guide for Military Families When Meeting with a Health Care Provider and a Quick Reference Guide for Health Care Practitioners Caring for Military Families.
- In 2019, Calian enlisted the support of CIMVHR researcher, Dr. Linna Tam-Seto, from Queen’s University, to conduct a study and create reference guides for physicians who work with Veterans and their families. Dr. Seto’s work resulted in the development of two Veteran health guides similar to those developed for Military families: a Reference Guide for Health Care Providers Meeting with Veterans and a Veteran and Family Health Reference Guide.
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