A committed group of doctors, nurse practitioners, and community members are working together to bring a Community Health Centre (CHC) to the Lower Columbia region.
The Lower Columbia CHC Network Working Group is proposing a new health centre that includes three to four clinics to serve Rossland, Warfield, Trail, Montrose, Fruitvale, and Areas A and B of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.
The proposed centre will be a community-governed, not-for-profit organization providing patients with access to a team of healthcare providers working together to care for patients of all ages and abilities.
Working with Indigenous organizations, settlement services and other groups to provide a culturally-safe space, the CHC will also integrate other health care and social services that focus on the needs of the community.
“After researching the health care needs of our communities through a needs assessment, and with a letter of support from each of the five municipalities in the Lower Columbia as well as the regional district, it’s clear that launching a Community Health Centre has the area’s full support,” says Dr. Mike Scully, a family practitioner in Rossland. “As a working group, we believe the introduction of a CHC will increase access and attachment to a primary care provider; helping residents get the care they need, with the right practitioner, when they need it.”
To further develop the model to meet specific community needs, the working group is seeking patient input on the initiative through a survey on their website: kootenayclinics.org/survey.
“Recent estimates indicate that 30 per cent of patients in the Lower Columbia region are without a primary care provider,” says Win Mott, a Trail resident and chair of the working group.
“This is unacceptable.”
Research shows that the team-based, Community Health Centre model works, Mott explains.
Not only does it increase access to practitioners, we’re hearing directly from potential physician recruits that it is an attractive option, she adds.
“We’re strongly motivated to move this initiative ahead for all residents in the Lower Columbia and look forward to receiving their feedback.”
Community Health Centres are not a new concept.
They have existed in B.C. for over 50 years and continue to be adopted by communities across the province.
In the Lower Columbia, the working group has consulted and collaborated over the past three years with the Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice, Interior Health, and local municipal leaders to develop a CHC proposal that proactively addresses the needs of the region.
“A great deal of work has gone into the Lower Columbia CHC Network initiative over the past few years,” shares Warfield Mayor Frank Marino. “Now that the project is closer to becoming a reality, it is time to gather input from residents about what is important to them in a future CHC.”
For more information on the proposed Lower Columbia Community Health Centre Network, including a copy of the needs assessment and our contact information, visit kootenayclinics.org.
City of TrailHealthcareKootenay Boundary Regional HospitalKootenaysRossland