Princeton Community Healthcare Consultation & Action Plan

These are the results of the Princeton and Area Healtcare Community Consultation, which took place on January 29, 2012.

Prepared by: Barbara Pesut PhD, RN

Associate Professor, Canada Research Chair, Health, Ethics and Diversity School of Nursing, University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus

Rural healthcare delivery is complex. Each community, shaped by a unique history, geographic location and social context, has strengths and needs that collectively make up its capacity for care – capacities that shift in relation to population and resources. When healthcare needs outweigh capacities, communities reach critical points requiring focused attention. Such has been the case in the community of Princeton, British Columbia. As Interior Health and strategic partners seek to solve the complex healthcare issues, various advocacy groups have arisen in the community to better understand and support the necessary change. The Save our Hospital Coalition has been one such advocacy group. As part of the work of this Coalition, members sought to better understand the perceptions of the community regarding healthcare delivery. A community based consultation was organized to solicit the perspectives and experiences of a group of Princeton citizens. This was not a fact finding mission in that no attempt was made to verify participant’s claims. Rather the purpose of the consultation was to glean the ‘story’ from the community’s perspective, recognizing that this story is an insight into the collective wisdom that forms an essential part of the solution to such a complex

The report covers 19 pages. We have posted the Summary and Conclusion below, but you can view or download the rest of the report here.

Summary and Conclusion

The purpose of this consultation was to gather collective community wisdom and perceptions about the strengths and challenges of healthcare delivery in Princeton. The consultation revealed a number of strengths that support capacity for innovation and change. Five priority challenges were identified: physicians and 24/7 emergency room coverage; escalating downsizing of services; emergency medical services; the impacts of commuting for care; and conflicts in responsibilities and accountabilities for healthcare. Participants shared a number of potential innovations to address these

Conversations that fostered the sharing of information and the correction of misinformation were an important aspect of this consultation. Participants brought a variety of perspectives, and information was shared that was not known by other participants. Many were not aware of the work that was being done on their behalf by healthcare leaders. This consultation is one contribution to a much larger strategy to solve the identified issues. The willingness of citizens to participate, and the conversations that occurred, revealed the degree of engagement of the community. Engagement at this level is a powerful resource for change, which bodes well for the future of healthcare delivery in Princeton.

SOHC Action Plan

Based on the concerns and issues identified in the Community Consultation Summary, SOHC developed an Action Plan to act as a roadmap for the development of an improved health care model for Princeton. To view the Action Plan, click on the following link:

pdf Action Plan – Community Consultation

Rural Healthcare Delivery – Current Research

Here is a compilation of notes on relevant research about healthcare delivery in rural areas. There is much to explore regarding both our assets and deficits. This information was compiled by Dr. Barb Pesut and a team of researchers from the University of British Columbia – Okanagan. Dr. Pesut and her team will be in Princeton on January 29th, conducting a Community Consultation on Healthcare in Princeton and Area.

Princeton (Interior Health stats, 2012)
• Higher and increasing incidence of low birth weight (131.9/1000 births vs. BC average of 55.5/1000 births).
• Increasing incidence of chronic disease, compared to BC’s average (except dementia)
• Increasing numbers of in-patient admissions, acute/rehab days, ALC days
• Decreasing numbers of in-patient surgical days, surgical daycare, hip/knee cases, fluctuating ER visits over last 3 years.

Click here to read (or download) this 12 page pdf. (142K)