The Princeton Health Care Steering Committee held its fourth monthly meeting atÂ Princeton General Hospital on December 17, 2014. The Committee has achieved manyÂ of its goals and continues to work on its mandate to develop and sustain an effectiveÂ health care model for people living in and around Princeton.Â The following is a list of some of our achievements to date:
Automated External Defibrillators (AED)
An AED is a portable electronic device used in cases of life threatening cardiacÂ arrhythmia, otherwise known as a heart attack. The device uses simple audio and visualÂ commands to instruct the layman in the use of the AED. Rapid treatment by defibrillationÂ can save the life of heart attack victim.Â Working in conjunction with the BC Ambulance Service, two AEDs have been installedÂ in our community. With advice and assistance provided by Steering Committee memberÂ Paul Swain, it was decided to install one at the Princeton Curling Club (to be relocatedÂ to the Princeton Golf & Country Club during the summer months) and the other atÂ Riverside Community Centre. These new devices are added to existing AEDs located atÂ the Princeton Arena and in all smaller communities in rural Princeton (Area H).
In cooperation with Dr. John Adams and Lynn Pelly of Princeton Community Services,Â the Steering Committee reviewed Princetonâ€™s health care transportation options.Â Subsequently, a brochure was developed, outlining the variety of options available forÂ getting to medical appointments in Princeton and Penticton. Transportation assistanceÂ can be requested by calling 250-295-6666.
Area H Representative
At its December meeting, the Steering Committee unanimously accepted Brad Hopeâ€™sÂ recommendation that John Akerley become the representative for Area H. Akerley joinsÂ representatives Judy Short and Walter Hogg who were appointed by Town of Princeton.Â Akerleyâ€™s first meeting will be on January 20th.
One of the goals of the Steering Committee is to partner with local artists to create aÂ more welcoming and healing space for patients in the health care buildings. As a firstÂ step toward achieving that goal, the Committee has recently received several prints ofÂ paintings by watercolour artist Sandy Spring. This generous donation is in addition toÂ rotating art displays to be organized by Marjorie Holland and the Princeton Arts Council.
Princeton General Hospital and Cascade Clinic
The Steering Committee recognizes the excellent work being done by the health careÂ professionals and staff at Princeton General Hospital and the Cascade Clinic. Over theÂ past few months, three Doctors, one Registered Nurse, and two Licensed PracticalÂ Nurses have joined the team at the clinic and hospital, providing primary, acute,Â emergency, and hospice care to our community. With the recent retirement of Dr. JohnÂ Adams and Dr. David Smith, this outstanding team has assumed the monumentalÂ responsibility of becoming familiar with the needs of their new patients and transitioningÂ their records to the Cascade Clinic.Â To accommodate the increase in the number of practitioners and the resultant increasedÂ flow of patients, the facilities at Cascade Clinic are undergoing improvements. One newÂ office has been added and further renovations are planned. The telephone system hasÂ been upgraded and adjustments are being made to make the system more efficient.Â In response to a letter to the editor in one of our local papers, a new handicappedÂ parking stall has been added to the parking lot at the Cascade Clinic.
The South Okanaganâ€™s High Acuity Response Team, or HART as itâ€™s commonly known,Â was launched on March 14, 2012 and serves the communities of Princeton, Keremeos,Â Oliver and Summerland. The team consists of six highly trained critical care nursesÂ based at Penticton Regional Hospital, who respond with a BC Ambulance ServiceÂ (BCAS) basic life support ambulance team to provide ground transport for acutely ill andÂ injured patients from outlying rural and remote communities needing higher levels ofÂ care. Respiratory therapists are also called in to assist when required. One of theÂ greatest benefits of the HART program is that it alleviates the need for doctors or nursesÂ to leave their home community to accompany patients on high acuity transfers. Instead,Â they remain in their community to continue providing care to other local patients. TheÂ acutely ill or injured patient is then transferred by HART to a regional facility likeÂ Penticton Regional Hospital or a major hospital in Kelowna or Kamloops. Up toÂ December 31, 2013, the HART team had provided 39 transfers from Princeton GeneralÂ Hospital since its launch in March 2012.Â The Penticton Regional Hospital HART team is holding regular Clinical OutreachÂ sessions for staff. The purpose of the sessions is to review transport processes, recentÂ transfers, and provide staff in-service training on management of acutely ill and injuredÂ patients. While there, the HART members are also an extra pair of hands to assist PGHÂ staff with patient care.
Contact the Steering Committee
The Princeton Health Care Steering Committee would like to hear from you. MembersÂ of the public can share their comments or concerns by sending an email toÂ firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to P.O. Box 257, Princeton.