At the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, Memorial Composite High School was pleased to introduce Dr. Doug Klein as one of our newest faculty members. Dr. Klein is working through the University of Alberta to research and create a new model of health service delivery that supports preventive, personalized, and community-relevant care to the people of Alberta. The CHANGE Clinic stands for Canadian Health Advanced by Nutrition and Graded Exercise.
The work of Dr. Klein and his team will focus on four areas:
- Physical activity and fitness
- Mental health and well-being
- Strong partner/family relationships and community connections
As you can see, this is a shift from the 'disease care' model, where patients go to a doctor’s office to have their health concerns addressed.
The primary focus of Dr. Klein’s work at Memorial will be to create proactive health programming for our students. As adults we have some ideas about building our young people’s skills through exercise programs, connecting with nature and fresh air, ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions on various health topics, cooking classes, building social connections and community, and more. However, our starting point will be to bring together a CHANGE Student Advisory Group to tell us if we are on the right track and guide our work through the year.
We are creating a new space at Memorial this year which we are calling the HUB space for now. Hopefully the students can come up with their own name. This is a place for groups of students to come to meet to focus on wellness, culture, and personal development. Dr. Klein will primarily work out of this space one day per week. He does have some office space too for individual patient exams.
Some of the ground rules for the CHANGE Clinic in regard to individual students include:
- Students will first be directed to their own family doctors.
- Narcotics will never be prescribed, nor will gynecological issues be addressed.
- This limited service clinic will support students to connect to the health care system.
We are quite certain that there is no other program like this in Alberta. It is exciting build responsive health and wellness programming to improve the lives of our students. We are looking forward to sharing our experiences with the rest of Parkland School Division, the U of A, Alberta Health Services and others.