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The Willow Park School Clinic – Ensuring Students Maximize Their Potential In School

May 10, 2022

​​With the new school year beginning in a couple days, The Willow Park School Clinic, brought about by the Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities in collaboration with the Toronto Foundation of Student Success (TFSS), continues to make a positive impact on the community, offering great health care and medical support to students at The Willow Park Junior Public School and surrounding neighborhoods.

Our experts, Family Physician Dr. Ullanda Neil and Nurse Practitioner, Leena Bassandra, understand that a number of factors can impede the performance of children academically. With this in mind, they assess the needs of their patients and ensure they can maximize their potential in school.

With the new school year beginning in a couple days, The Willow Park School Clinic, brought about by the Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities in collaboration with the Toronto Foundation of Student Success (TFSS), continues to make a positive impact on the community, offering great health care and medical support to students at The Willow Park Junior Public School and surrounding neighborhoods.

Our experts, Family Physician Dr. Ullanda Neil and Nurse Practitioner, Leena Bassandra, understand that a number of factors can impede the performance of children academically. With this in mind, they assess the needs of their patients and ensure they can maximize their potential in school.

The lives Impacted

Dr. Neil works closely with the students at the clinic and says, “I get to help children who are having difficulty learning in the classroom and see if there are medical reasons behind their difficulties. In fact, I have treated kids with behavioural issues, and it turned out that it was a medical problem that had gone undetected. Once the medical issue was diagnosed and treated, the behavioural issues also cleared up.”

A young female student who was performing poorly at school and had vision problems, went to the clinic for a check-up. While there, it was discovered she had high blood pressure and was suffering from exam stress. Since she had no family doctor, the clinic offered follow-up visits, treatment and monitoring while also equipping her with the right tools to improve her health. Fortunately, she is now coping well with her stress levels and as a result, doing a much better job at school.

In another instance, a six-year-old Canadian newcomer was experiencing recurring pain and loss of appetite and unable to focus in class. He could not get proper healthcare in his original home country and hadn’t received a proper diagnosis. Fortunately, he was able to get medical attention at the clinic and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. He is now able to get the care he needs and can focus on being a child.

Dr. Ullanda Niel, Family Physician and Dr. Heather Duong, Pediatrician at the Willow Park School Clinic

Toronto District School Board’s (TDSB) Model Schools Paediatric Health Initiative (MSPHI).

The Willow Park School Clinic is one of four clinics, established in 2010 as part of the Toronto District School Board’s (TDSB) Model Schools Paediatric Health Initiative (MSPHI).

The MSPHI brings health clinics into schools to make sure all children have a chance to be healthy, especially those in priority neighbourhoods. The aim is to remove the obstacles (cultural and linguistic barriers, lack of a government health card) families face in accessing healthcare for their children.

In 2010, Toronto Foundation of Student Success, responsible for managing the assets necessary for this initiative, teamed up with SCHC to get medical resources like doctors and other health related resources to make it a possibility.

In fact of the patients of the Willow Park School Clinic:

  • 13% do not have an established family doctor
  • 20% of all children who attended the clinics were from Junior and Senior Kindergarten
  • As many as 85% of students in the communities where MSPHI clinics operate come from families where both parents were born outside of Canada and more than half speak a language other than English as their mother tongue

Services offered at the clinic include:

  • Health assessments
  • Referrals to specialists
  • Community resources
  • Immunization updates

The clinic accepts students (accompanied by parents/ guardians) with various concerns ranging from their physical health to mental health or development, while also accepting referrals from other doctors.

Clinic Timings:

9am-3pm every Tuesday

Children with or without health cards welcome

For more information please call 416-394-6880 or email info@tfss.ca.