Making client priorities our priorities

Monday, March 10, 2014 - 2:18pm

A collaborative health care team is working together with the citizens of North Preston, East Preston, Cherry Brook and Lake Loon to launch new programs addressing key needs identified by those communities.  
The Community Health and Wellness Centre provides services ranging from primary medical care and wellness programming to mental health and addictions services.
“We’re now offering these communities more comprehensive and sustainable primary health care in addition to primary medical care,” said Graeme Kohler, health services manager with Primary Health Care at Capital Health. “This model provides wellness promotion, co-ordination and chronic disease management that builds on the current team approach, in addition to enhancing access to health services.”

Team approach to care
The Community Health and Wellness Centre outreach model is based on a team approach where services are provided by a network of providers from Capital Health and the IWK Health Centre. Two part-time family physicians and a nurse practitioner joined the health care team last April, followed by a pediatrician last summer.
In July 2013, Primary Health Care and the IWK Health Centre hosted Community Conversations to gather information about what types of programs and services each community would like to see. From these sessions, key priorities areas for health and wellness were identified. 
The team also learned what was important to citizens, such as increasing awareness about the types of programs and services available, considering transportation and accessibility of services, building relationships with local community partners and understanding and acknowledging that each community is unique. 
This fall and winter, the Community Health and Wellness Centre team, in collaboration with Capital Health, IWK and community partners, has developed a series of health and wellness programs to offer in the four communities. The new programs, which launch this month, are designed to address key priority areas.

Innovative programs
One example of these programs is the Kitchen Table Talk Series. Providers from the Community Health and Wellness Centre team will visit community groups and reach out to people in their homes upon request. They will deliver talks about health and wellness and help link individuals to the Community Health and Wellness Centre to promote awareness of the different types of programs and services available. 
The health care team is excited for the launch of these health and wellness programs and eager to continue to promote that access to primary health care for the citizens of North Preston, East Preston, Cherry Brook, and Lake Loon is available at locations close to home.
Shauna Crawley-Jordan, a registered nurse with the Community Health and Wellness Centre since 2012, says the community focused centre is a rewarding place to work.
“Having worked in acute care nursing for more than 28 years of my nursing career, I thought that was my passion,” she said. “I now see working in the community is where I truly feel like I have great value and can and will make a difference for the communities I serve over time.”
The Community Health and Wellness Centre has two locations: 44 Simmonds Road in North Preston and new last fall, 1900 Highway 7 in East Preston. For more information or to find out more about how to access programs and services, please call (902) 434-3807.