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Mount Sinai physician leads Pan Am Games emergency clinic

Dr. John Foote

Mount Sinai's Dr. John Foote in front of the Pam Am Games Polyclinic

When Dr. John Foote goes to work today, he’s heading to the Polyclinic in the Pan Am Games Athletes’ Village instead of the Mount Sinai Hospital’s Schwartz/Reisman Emergency Centre. That’s where he has taken on the role of Medical Director of the Polyclinic’s emergency clinic, an exciting opportunity to help care for some of the Americas’ top amateur athletes.

After 20 years as an emergency physician, Dr. Foote was delighted to have the chance to lead a team in this unique environment. His experiences at Mount Sinai, part of Sinai Health System, have prepared him well for the role. He has treated a wide range of patients in a fast-paced, high pressure environment, including many athletes.

“It’s a real privilege to work with this international patient population,” said Dr. Foote. “I also have the chance to learn from the rest of the team at the clinic, who come from many different places and backgrounds. I’m looking forward to bringing those lessons back to my work with Sinai Health System after the games.”  Dr. Foote worked with Josie Villamil, a nurse in Mount Sinai’s Emergency Department, to develop nursing ER triage protocols at the Polyclinic/ER.

Already, Dr. Foote has treated athletes completing in events such as water polo, rugby and BMX, and described the atmosphere as similar to a very fit and international summer camp.

The Polyclinic is a 20,000 square foot portable located in the Athletes Village in downtown Toronto. It includes clinics for emergency and family medicine, dentistry and ophthalmology, as well as health services like massage and physiotherapy. Staffed largely by volunteer doctors and nurses from across Ontario and around the world, it serves athletes, accredited individuals, and – in emergencies – visitors and volunteers. The emergency clinic will operate 24/7 from July 1 through August 17, functioning and staffed like a mid-sized hospital emergency department.

“I know John will do a great job and I’m very proud of him for embracing this new challenge,” said Dr. Howard Ovens, Chief of Emergency Medicine for Sinai Health System, and Provincial Expert Lead in the field. “This is a great opportunity for him to build on his foundation as a strong emergency physician and get valuable new experiences that can ultimately benefit our patients across Sinai Health System.”