Nurse practitioner, CUPSMedical Clinic, Calgary iOATClinic
Patty Wilson works with Calgary’s most vulnerable–individuals and families living with homelessness, substance use disorder, mental health and stigma. At CUPS Calgary Society, Patty creates a safe, non-judgmental space for her clients and works with them to achieve stability through trauma-informed care. She is known to work diligently and collaboratively, even across provinces to ensure her clients’ barriers are not just removed but that her clients are thriving.
“Many of the clients I work with have experienced tremendous trauma and stigma within the health-care system. I view my role as being a positive point of contact for them to receive help. They have incredible resiliency and strength and are capable of the most impressive achievements if they feel like they have someone in their corner,” Patty shares.
At the clinic, Patty specializes in opioid agonist therapy. As soon as Suboxone® and methadone prescribing became part of the NP scope of practice, she immediately enrolled in education programs to help her reduce barriers in providing care. She was key in implementing the opioid agonist therapy prescribing program at CUPS, and is looking to expand this scope to include injectable opioid agonist therapy.
“My clients face many barriers accessing care and the opportunity to remove one by keeping treatment in-house is an essential service,” says Patty, “Our increasing understanding of trauma in substance use disorder and addiction medicine is becoming a practice of healing a whole community.”
Patty is spearheading a more team-based care model at CUPS. She prioritizes time for case coordination with the CUPS team and does outreach to harm reduction centres across Calgary. She involves the client, peer support workers, nurses, pharmacists and other staff to ensure continuity of care. Her team-based approach extends into serving on the clinic’s Trauma-Informed Care Committee, allowing her to make and implement recommendations to ensure evidence-based and trauma-informed programs and services.
“We have an incredible team at CUPS. We understand how essential it is to collaborate and challenge each other to work to our full scope of practice. I appreciate the education and experience each team member brings to the discussion to create a plan that is patient-centred and responsive to ever-changing needs of the client. I never feel like I am alone in making decisions. I am grateful to work in a place that supports my pursuit of bringing both the art and science of nursing to my patients.”