The Princeton Health Care Steering Committee (PHCSC) held its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 20 at Princeton General Hospital. The meeting was attended by representatives from Area H (RDOS), the Town of Princeton, hospital administration, health care practitioners, Interior Health, Princeton seniors, and SOHC.
PHCSC has formed a Retention and Recruitment Sub-Committee, charged with the responsibility of securing a full complement of five physicians and one nurse practitioner for our community. The recent approval by IH of a fifth physician for Princeton and Area and the announcement that Dr. Idanwekhai (“Dr. Eva”) will be leaving us at the end of July, emphasizes the importance of retention and recruitment of practitioners and health care staff in our community. The new committee will be working closely with IH and our team of practitioners to expedite the process of filling the two vacancies.
Cherie Whittaker, PGH administrator, reported that the artwork donated by local artist, Sandy Spring, has been displayed at the Cascade Medical Centre. The Committee would like to thank Sandy and her husband Bill, for their generous contribution. The artwork has done much to create a more welcoming and appealing space for patients in the Clinic.
Susan Brown, Community Administrator, South Okanagan reported on Shared Care, a joint initiative of Doctors of BC and the BC Ministry of Health. Princeton Access to Specialists is a project of Shared Care. The aim of this project is to provide easier access to specialist care for people living in Princeton and area. The specialist areas that have been covered so far are psychiatry for adults and seniors, paediatric care and internal medicine – nephrology and respirology. This project started in January 2014 and is under development. More information will be shared with the public as the projects develops.
Dr. Colleen Black reported on an initiative called the Rapid Access Clinic that will be launched as a pilot program at Cascade Medical Centre in the near future. This program will provide fast access to a consultation with a physician or nurse practitioner for conditions that do not involve lengthy appointments. Dr. Black described the program as being similar to a walk-in clinic, where each practitioner would designate a period of time each week for Rapid Access patients. More information on the program will be shared with the public when details have been finalized.
The Princeton Hospital Auxiliary provided information that they have committed $37,400 toward the purchase of three new pieces of equipment for PGH; $30,000 for half the cost of a CR reader for the X-ray department, $4,500 for a new Tono-Pen for measurement of intraocular pressure (IOP), and $2,900 for an ambulatory blood pressure monitor. Laila Bird, Hospital Auxiliary President, expressed her thanks to the people of Princeton for their generous and ongoing support which has made these purchases possible.
In order to continue its work to develop and sustain an effective health care model for the people of Princeton and Area, the Steering Committee has agreed to extend its mandate for another year. At its next meeting in June, PHCSC will begin a review of its Action Plan to determine present accomplishments and future initiatives. A full report will be shared with the public once the review is complete.