A lot has changed at the Dalhousie Student Health & Wellness Centre in the 30 years since Drs. Katherine Robinson and Cathy Connell first joined. At that time, electronic medical records had yet to be introduced and the clinic itself was located on the ground floor of Howe Hall.
In 2014, a move to a bigger location in LeMarchant Place led to a big shift in the level of care offered to patients.
“Moving the clinic allowed us to provide a more comfortable space for patients and a better range of services to students,” says Dr. Connell. “It also provided an opportunity to bring physicians and counsellors together to create the interprofessional collaborative healthcare team we have today.”
Now, the centre finds itself adapting to another major shift as Drs. Connell and Robinson both retire from family practice after three decades. A new team of three doctors has been hired to take on their patients, ensuring a smooth transition in care.
But while much has changed, some things have remained the same during Drs. Connell and Robinson's careers.
“We have always had the privilege of working with a reliable group of colleagues, creating a supportive workplace culture,” says Dr. Robinson. “Our patients have also always shown us tremendous support and appreciation.”
A commitment to family care
Attracted by the diverse and dynamic patient population and hands-on approach of the clinic, Dr. Robinson started at the centre in August 1990. Enticed by the supportive team, which included her former classmate Dr. Robinson, Dr. Connell joined the team just four months later in January 1991. Both have been providing primary care through family practice as well as prenatal care, gynaecological examinations and women’s health.
Together, Dr. Robinson and Dr. Connell have delivered more than 7000 babies. And at times, both doctors have had four generations of families under their care, showcasing their dedication to family care.
“We have been very fortunate to have Dr. Robinson and Dr. Connell on our team over the last three decades,” says Dr. Glenn Andrea, Medical Director of the SHWC. “They have provided consistent, quality care to not only our students, but our community patients as well.”
Their impact on the community was evident in the numerous messages sent to the Student Health & Wellness Centre from patients who had learned of their retirement. Countless well wishes from patients who had been with Dr. Connell and Dr. Robinson over the years demonstrated gratitude for their efforts in serving so many Halifax families.
Leaving their patients in great hands
While they prepared to leave their family practices, Drs. Connell and Robinson remained committed to the on-going care of their patients. Both physicians were very involved in the process of hiring new physicians to join the clinic and take over their family practices.
Dr. Sarah Massoud, Dr. Andrew Mikhail and Dr. Anna McLean have recently joined the Dalhousie Student Health & Wellness team and are working closely with Dr. Robinson, Dr. Connell and administration to smoothly transition patients to their care.
“Our main goal while planning our retirement was to ensure we had good people in place to take over our practice,” says Dr. Connell. “I am confident that Dr. Sarah Massoud, Dr. Andrew Mikhail and Dr. Anna McLean are going to serve our patients very well.”
While Dr. Robinson and Dr. Connell have retired from family practice, they will continue working with the clinic to provide prenatal care, gynaecological examinations and women’s health for our students and community.
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