About the Department
The Department of Family Medicine, Complex Continuing and Post-Acute Care at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) encompasses family physicians and specialist post-acute providers across HHS. The portfolio also includes physician leadership for both Palliative Care and MAiD. There are upwards of 300 family physicians that practice across the communities of Hamilton and West Lincoln. Our family physicians provide care within the Hamilton Family Health Team, the McMaster Family Health Team, various Community Health Centres, and community practices within the greater Hamilton area and several distinct practice groups servicing West Lincoln. We provide active in-hospital acute and chronic care, as both community physicians and hospitalists at Juravinski Hospital, McMaster Children’s Hospital, West Lincoln Memorial Hospital, St. Peter’s Hospital and the Satellite Health Facility. Our physicians provide true “lifetime care” ranging from intrapartum and newborn to end of life care.
Our in-patient programs at St. Peter’s Hospital include Restorative Care, Medically Complex, Behavioural Health and a 60 bed Clinical Teaching Unit (CTU) in Palliative Care. Currently, there are 235 inpatient beds for these 4 program streams. Our medical model is that of family physicians with enhanced skills in complex care who act as the MRP, supported by specialists in geriatrics, psychiatry and geriatric psychiatry. Our palliative care CTU is staffed by both family physicians (2) and an internist (1) who are all palliative care certificants. In addition to the inpatient services, St. Peter’s Hospital is home to the Centre for Healthy Aging (CFHA) and the GERAS Centre for Aging Research. The CFHA provides outpatient consultation services in geriatric medicine, falls clinic and a memory clinic, along with geriatric mental health outreach.
Our department has a strong presence within the McMaster Department of Family Medicine and many of our physicians are actively involved in the teaching of undergraduate medical students and Family Medicine residents. The full time faculty are active members of the Department of Family Medicine, Complex Continuing and Post–Acute Care at HHS or the Department of Family Medicine at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (SJHH). We have a collaborative community education forum with our academic partners and are actively partnered with the Greater Hamilton Health Network (GHHN) with whom we host monthly Primary Care Town Halls.
Visit our McMaster University Department page
Visit the Greater Hamilton Health Network website
About the Chief – Dr. Tamar Packer
Dr. Tamar Packer has served as Chief at HHS since 2018, initially as Joint Chief of Family Medicine for both HHS and SJHH and Primary Care Lead. In 2022, she became Chief of the expanded HHS portfolio, including Post Acute Care. Dr. Packer also serves as the HHS Ontario Health Team Advisor with the GHHN.
Tammy is actively involved in the leadership of several HHS Councils, including the Palliative Care Council and the Seniors Care Council, and is a contributing leader within our Health Information and Digital Portfolio.
Through active engagement within the organization, and as a key member of the community Family Medicine group, Tammy has shown innovation and leadership to improve access and quality of care for our patients, while working toward building a stronger and more collaborative relationship between the hospitals, long term care and community providers.
Tammy has been involved in various roles within our Odyssey project and subsequent introduction of the Epic Health Information System. Tammy brings a rare, diverse and well-rounded skill mix in organization process, leadership and administration, along with an esteemed clinical practice and an active teaching presence in primary care. She has shown innovation in the development of several initiatives including the Transformation of the Care Delivery Model in Newborn Care, Community COVID Care, the development of a Long Term Care Advisory collaborative, and further initiatives that focus on improving transitions for our patients. Tammy’s current priority work involves Post-Acute Care across the enterprise.
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