Vaccine Exemptions    

September 8, 2021

The physicians at Rideau Crossing Family Health Centre strongly advise that all our patients who are age-eligible, be vaccinated against COVID-19.  We are seeing that the fourth wave of COVID-19 is predominately affecting unvaccinated persons. Ontario’s chief medical officer says that unvaccinated persons are 8 times more likely to catch COVID-19, 29 times more likely to end up in hospital and 48 times more likely to require ICU care. The medical evidence is clear that the benefits of vaccination strongly outweigh the risks.  Given this, we strongly support the vaccination effort to bring an end to this global pandemic. 
The College of Physicians and Surgeons has advised us that medical exemptions, to the COVID-19 vaccination, can only be given in the following circumstances:
“Generally speaking, there are very few acceptable medical exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccination (e.g., an allergist/immunologist-confirmed severe allergy or anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of its components that cannot be mitigated; a diagnosed episode of myocarditis/pericarditis after receipt of an mRNA vaccine)”. Letters for such exemptions may only be written by your allergist or cardiologist.  Therefore, we will not be providing medical exemptions to our patients who do not meet the above criteria. 
We would also like to remind patients who may be disappointed by this, that we have a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for abusive language or behaviour toward our physicians and staff. We ask that respectful language and behaviour be used in discussions around this policy, or we will be forced to terminate the physician-patient relationship. We appreciate that it is a challenging time for everyone and look forward to working with you to end this pandemic.

Upper Respiratory Infection Clinic at Rideau Crossing – Coming September 7, 2021

The Kemptville Community and patients of Rideau Crossing Family Health Centre have been very fortunate to have had the services of the North Grenville COVID Assessment Centre as a place in which to seek care for patients experiencing Upper Respiratory Infections (URI) for the past year.  A special thank you to Dr. Rutherford for taking the lead at the NGAC and our physicians at Rideau Crossing for dedicating their time to ensure patients had access to care outside of the ER departments during the height of the pandemic.  

Unfortunately, effective September 7th, 2021, the North Grenville Assessment Centre will no longer be offering physician assessments and will return to a COVID testing site only. 

In our continued efforts to ensure our patients receive exemplary care, especially those patients who are experiencing upper respiratory infections (URI), Rideau Crossing Family Health Centre will be launching an URI Clinics effective Tuesday, September 7, 2021.  These clinics will be for urgent upper respiratory care only and will be separate from regular family medicine clinics. 

To ensure the safety of patients who are not ill, these clinics will be run at the end of day and will be by appointment only.

Patients experiencing any of the symptoms listed below and feel that they require a physician’s assessment, should call the clinic to obtain an appointment time.  

Symptoms of upper respiratory infections (URI) include:  

  • cough
  • nasal congestion
  • fever
  • sore throat
  • myalgia (muscle aches)
  • fatigue/malaise (feeling ill)
  • conjunctivitis
  • shortness of breath
  • new olfactory (smell) or taste disorders
  • vomiting/nausea
  • diarrhea
  • runny nose (in the absence of underlying reason for symptom such as seasonal allergies or post nasal drip)

Clinics have limited capacity and will close once capacity is reached.

If you require a COVID test only and do not need to see a doctor, please book in at the North Grenville Assessment Centre.  

We request that patients come alone to their appointment, unless they are accompanying a minor or assisting a patient with limited mobility, in which only one parent/caregiver may accompany.

Patients should arrive on time for their appointment as inside waiting space is extremely limited.  

Those presenting t to the clinic are required to wear a mask.  You will be provided with a clean medical mask before entering the clinic.



Expanding In Clinic Appointments – August 5, 2021

In our efforts to ensure we continue to provide the best approach to primary care during this pandemic, we are pleased to advise that we are moving forward with our goal to expand our clinic to additional in person visits as of August 8, 2021.   

Although we have been practising in a manner set out by the Ontario College of Family Physicians that includes a mix of both in-person and virtual care throughout the pandemic, we know that in-person care is essential for many conditions and acknowledge that there are limits to what can be done virtually. 

Please note masks are mandatory for in-clinic visits.

In an attempt to reduce traffic, we would ask that you do not present to the clinic without a scheduled appointment. If you are wishing to make an inquiry or book an appointment, we ask that you do so via the telephone.  Unfortunately, booking appointments via the portal will not resume at this time.  

Moving forward, depending on the appointment type you require with your physician, you may be offered an in clinic or a virtual appointment or an appointment type of your choice, if available.   

Procedures we put in place many months ago will continue to be observed.  We ask that you continue to come alone to your appointments.  We will limit the use of our waiting area and we will continue with a one way traffic flow within the clinic.   Active screening will continue to take place to ensure our full patient population is not put at risk.  If you are scheduled for an inpatient visit and are experiencing any symptoms that are COVID related, you will need to  cancel  your in clinic appointment.   Patients experiencing COVID related symptoms must proceed to the North Grenville Assessment Centre. 

 Unfortunately, it is important to note that allergy injections will be delayed until a full reopening of primary care has commenced.  

Staff education will cause the clinic to close on the afternoon of Friday, August 6, 2021.

We recognize that wait times to see your physician in clinic may be longer as we begin this transition to more in-clinic visits,  your continued support and patience as we navigate through this process is greatly appreciated. 


June 5, 2021  
Congratulations to Rideau Crossings’ Dr. Suzanne Rutherford on receiving the Inspiring Women Physicians Award from Canadian Women in Medicine!

Dr. Rutherford was recognized for her leadership in the fight against COVID-19 and her contribution to improving the health and wellness of women physicians across Canada through the creation of the Canadian Women Physicians Fitness Challenge!




To protect other patients, our staff,  and our doctors, we ask that you please CALL first and we will provide direction from there.


Due to the inability to screen patients for COVID-19 symptoms prior to entry into the clinic, the Saturday Walk In Clinics are cancelled until further notice.




Now is the time to apply for a photo health card!

If you still use a red and white health card, it’s time to easily replace it with the more secure photo health card.

Doing so will help protect Ontario’s health care system against potential fraud. As of July 1, 2020, red and white health cards will no longer be accepted as proof of Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage for insured health services.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Bring the right documents. Bring your red and white health card and three separate documents – one from each of the following categories:
    • proof of Canadian citizenship or OHIP-eligible immigration status, such as a Canadian passport, Canadian birth certificate or permanent resident document
    • proof of residency in Ontario, such as a driver’s licence
    • proof of identity, such as a credit card or utility bill
  2. Download, print and complete a Health Card Re-Registration Form
    • bring this to a Service Ontario centre
  3. Visit a Service Ontario centre near you

If you have a valid address on file, you will receive a letter in the mail asking you to switch to a photo health card. If you get a letter, please follow the instructions in it. All red and white card holders must make the switch before July 1, 2020.



What I need to know about Tick Bites:      lyme-disease



Please take note of some important changes:



Patients walking in to book appointments prior to 8:30 am, will be asked to wait until 8:30 to ensure fair access to all patients.