November 24, 2017
submitted by Edward Staples
Report on the November meeting of the Princeton Health Care Steering Committee
On Tuesday, November 21, the Princeton Health Care Steering Committee (PHCSC) held its monthly meeting at Princeton General Hospital. The PHCSC was formed in 2013 to provide a mechanism for Interior Health, the Town of Princeton, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, Cascade Clinic, Princeton General Hospital, and community organizations to work together to support stable, sustainable and accessible health care in Princeton.
This month’s meeting was attended by representatives from the Town of Princeton, Area H (RDOS), Cascade Medical practitioners, Princeton General Hospital staff, Interior Health, BC Ambulance Services, Princeton and District Community Services, Princeton Family Services, RCMP, and Support Our Health Care (SOHC). The meeting was chaired by Interior Health administrator, Susan Brown.
Susan Brown welcomed Sandra Lawlor (Area H), Connie Howe (Princeton Community Services), Heather Eriksen (Princeton Family Services), and Corporal Chad Parsons (RCMP) as new members on the Steering Committee.
Mary Beth Rutherford from the Penticton office of the BC Alzheimer’s Society gave a presentation outlining First Link, a referral program designed to help newly diagnosed people with dementia get the help they need as soon as possible. First Link assists physicians and health and community service providers to connect people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and their families with the Alzheimer Society.
Suzanne Moccia, South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice, presented information on the Patient Medical Home, a primary health care model that focuses on team based, patient-centred care. Cascade Medical practitioners, Dr Black, Dr Monro and NP Ter Keurs, heartily endorsed the model and reported that they are working with the Division to implement the PMH model in Princeton.
Cherie Whittaker reported on facility upgrades at Princeton General Hospital. New purchases include the purchase of cardiac monitoring equipment and a new ventilator. The cardiac monitoring equipment connects our hospital with a network allowing consultation in real time between the GP and a cardiac specialist. The ventilator supports respiratory care in the Emergency Department. Whittaker also reported that three new Licensed Practical Nurses have been hired at the hospital.
Over the past year Cascade Medical Clinic has sponsored several family practice residents as part of their rural rotation at UBC Okanagan. Recently, Drs Black and Monro attended an evaluation meeting in Penticton where they contributed to an upgrade of the program curriculum. It was also reported that because of the high quality experience provided by our local physicians, Princeton is now a mandatory location for residents completing their rural rotation.