Health Care Steering Committee provides update

The Committee continues to work on its mandate to develop and sustain an effective health care model.

The Princeton Health Care Steering Committee held its fourth monthly meeting at Princeton General Hospital on December 17, 2013.

The Committee has achieved many of its goals and continues to work on its mandate to develop and sustain an effective health care model for people living in and around Princeton.

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 cardiac arrhythmia, otherwise known as a heart attack. The device uses simple audio and visual commands to instruct the layman in the use of the AED. Rapid treatment by defibrillation can save the life of heart attack victim.

Working in conjunction with the BC Ambulance Service, two AEDs have been installed in our community. With advice and assistance provided by Steering Committee member Paul Swain, it was decided to install one at the Princeton Curling Club (to be relocated to the Princeton Golf & Country Club during the summer months) and the other at Riverside Community Centre. These new devices are added to existing AEDs located at the Princeton Arena and in all smaller communities in rural Princeton (Area H).

Transportation

In cooperation with Dr. John Adams and Lynn Pelly of Princeton Community Services, the Steering Committee reviewed Princeton’s health care transportation options. Subsequently, a brochure was developed, outlining the variety of options available for getting to medical appointments in Princeton and Penticton. Transportation assistance can be requested by calling 250-295-6666.

Area H Representative

At its December meeting, the Steering Committee unanimously accepted Brad Hope’s recommendation that John Akerley become the representative for Area H. Akerley joins representatives Judy Short and Walter Hogg who were appointed by Town of Princeton. Akerley’s first meeting will be on January 20th.

Local Artwork

One of the goals of the Steering Committee is to partner with local artists to create a more welcoming and healing space for patients in the health care buildings. As a first step toward achieving that goal, the Committee has recently received several prints of paintings by watercolour artist Sandy Spring. This generous donation is in addition to 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 care professionals and staff at Princeton General Hospital and the Cascade Clinic. Over the past few months, three Doctors, one Registered Nurse, and two Licensed Practical Nurses have joined the team at the clinic and hospital, providing primary, acute, emergency, and hospice care to our community.

With the recent retirement of Dr. John Adams and Dr. David Smith, this outstanding team has assumed the monumental responsibility of becoming familiar with the needs of their new patients and transitioning their records to the Cascade Clinic.

To accommodate the increase in the number of practitioners and the resultant increased flow of patients, the facilities at Cascade Clinic are undergoing improvements. One new office has been added and further renovations are planned. The telephone system has been upgraded and adjustments are being made to make the system more efficient.

In response to a letter to the editor in one of our local papers, a new handicapped parking stall has been added to the parking lot at the Cascade Clinic.

HART

The South Okanagan’s High Acuity Response Team, or HART as it’s commonly known, was launched on March 14, 2012 and serves the communities of Princeton, Keremeos, Oliver and Summerland. The team consists of six highly trained critical care nurses based at Penticton Regional Hospital, who respond with a BC Ambulance Service (BCAS) basic life support ambulance team to provide ground transport for acutely ill and injured patients from outlying rural and remote communities needing higher levels of care. Respiratory therapists are also called in to assist when required. One of the greatest benefits of the HART program is that it alleviates the need for doctors or nurses to leave their home community to accompany patients on high acuity transfers. Instead, they remain in their community to continue providing care to other local patients. The acutely ill or injured patient is then transferred by HART to a regional facility like Penticton Regional Hospital or a major hospital in Kelowna or Kamloops.

Up to December 31, 2013, the HART team had provided 39 transfers from Princeton General Hospital since its launch in March 2012.

The Penticton Regional Hospital HART team is holding regular Clinical Outreach sessions for staff. The purpose of the sessions is to review transport processes, recent transfers, and provide staff in-service training on management of acutely ill and injured patients. While there, the HART members are also an extra pair of hands to assist PGH staff with patient care.

Contact the Steering Committee

The Princeton Health Care Steering Committee would like to hear from you. Members of the public can share their comments or concerns by sending an email to comments@princetonhealth.ca or by mail to P.O. Box 257, Princeton.

 

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