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September 12, 2000

Linda Whitmore
Communications & Public Affairs, SJHC
519-646-6100, ext. 65294

St. Joseph's Health Care new home to London's consolidated rheumatology services

(LONDON, Ontario) - London rheumatologists will begin to see their patients in new facilities at St. Joseph's Health Care today. The London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) rheumatology program has consolidated with that of St. Joseph's in St. Joseph's Monsignor Roney building at Cheapside and Richmond streets.

The six academic rheumatologists in London are part of the new Rheumatology Centre at St. Joseph's that includes a full range of patient services. The move establishes a comprehensive, multidisciplinary arthritis centre on a single site with medical, diagnostic and therapeutic services, including a therapeutic pool. The pool will be opening in November.

"Working closely together will enable us to provide integrated care for patients with rheumatic diseases," says Dr. Nicole le Riche, division head, rheumatology. "We look forward to the stimulation of being together as a team on one site and to the exchange of ideas about patient care and research."

Elaine Gibson, rheumatology team leader-manager, notes, "From a patient's standpoint, the services and people dealing with patients with a common set of issues will be centralized. We will provide "one-stop shopping" for individuals with muskuloskeletal conditions."

This consolidation of London hospital services was a recommendation of the Health Services Restructuring Commission. The Rheumatology Centre will be working closely with The Arthritis Society to provide outreach services to patients, physicians and allied health professionals outside the London/Middlesex area.

LHSC rheumatology staff are moving to St. Joseph's with the program.