A new clinic staffed by highly-skilled and experienced therapists and offering a wide range of rehabilitation services has opened in Killybegs.
Strive Clinic at Donegal Road, above the SuperValu Centre, specialises particularly in cancer rehabilitation and survivorship; mental health; lymphoedema management; heart health & weight management; and bone, muscle & joint health.
Altogether, dozens of different conditions can be managed at Strive, ranging from joint pain and anxiety to lymphoedema and couples counselling.
Says Strive CEO, Dr Chris McBrearty: “Our goal is to empower people to improve their health and change their lives by providing a human touch to the patient experience and a superior, evidence-based approach to care.”
The Strive Clinic at Killybegs is the second of a series of clinics the company plans to open in Ireland. The first clinic is up and running at Galway since February this year.
A major part of the services offered will cater for people who have been diagnosed with cancer or who have come through cancer treatment.
People can be left with residual pain. Many cancer survivors are also suffering from anxiety over whether the disease will return. Others can have difficulties with lymphoedema or relationship problems.
“The more we researched it, the more it became obvious that there were a lot of other rehabilitation needs out there”, he added.
Dr McBrearty, a qualified medical doctor, has completed a Stanford University affiliated programme on medical innovation and he realised that, while some rehabilitation needs are being met in various parts of the country on a one-off basis, there was no single clinic offering such a wide spectrum of therapies.
“What Strive Clinic offers is a completely new type of service in Ireland”, he says. “At the moment, there is nowhere either in the public or private sector offering this type of comprehensive inter-disciplinary service.”
Such clinics are common in the United States as well as in Scandinavia and Germany.
Dr McBrearty sees the Strive Clinic model fitting the objectives of the Irish Government’s National Cancer Strategy, which was launched in June 2017 and outlines a ten-year plan for cancer treatment in this country.
Dr McBrearty says that, as well as offering the service in Galway and Killybegs, the plan is to have a Strive Clinic in close proximity to each of the cancer centres in Dublin, Limerick, Cork and Waterford.
He added that one of the main reasons for basing a Strive Clinic in Donegal was the complete absence of specialist services here. “We looked at Letterkenny but we decided on South Donegal because there is a particular need for those services in this area.”
Among the types of therapy offered are physiotherapy, lymphoedema therapy (swelling of the arms or legs after cancer treatment) and psychotherapy. Occupational therapy and clinical nutrition services will commence shortly.
“I want to improve healthcare – access to it, the quality of it, and outcomes from it” Dr McBrearty said. “Traditionally, much emphasis has been placed on detection and acute management of disease in our health system. There is a lot more to healthcare than this.
“I see a huge need for the provision of services that will improve the function and quality of life of patients. Strive Clinic does just that. I want patients to be at the centre of what we do and why we do it.”
He added that, from personal experience, he had an intimate knowledge of the effects that a diagnosis of a complex medical condition can have both on patients and their families. “I want to use my unique perspective to ensure that all patients and their families receive the evidence-based care that they require and deserve”, he said.
All services at the Strive Clinic are available on a fee-for-service basis and costs may be reimbursable through private health insurance.
Patients can also access a medically appropriate selection of Strive’s health and wellbeing services online via the clinic’s secure telehealth platform, Strive at Home. Contact www.striveclinic.ie/strive-at-home