May 15th, 2009 (Canmore, Alberta) – Primary Care Networks (PCNs) in Alberta reached a significant milestone today with the launch of the province’s 30th PCN – the Bow Valley PCN – in the Banff and Canmore area.
“PCNs are a made-in-Alberta solution designed to enhance and improve access to primary health care services that Albertans receive daily. Today’s launch of the 30th PCN in the province is an important mark for the province,” says Dr. Raj Sherman, Parliamentary Assistant, Alberta Health and Wellness.
PCNs have been established in many geographical areas of Alberta with almost two million residents receiving care through networks. There are over 1750 family doctors working within PCNs in the province.
“PCNs are about finding local solutions to local health issues. Through the PCN team approach, physicians and other health professionals work together to provide comprehensive primary care services for residents in the local area,” says Dr. Noel W. Grisdale, President, Alberta Medical Association. “PCNs are changing primary care as family doctors know it, and we are hopeful this new way of practicing will help recruit more physicians into family practice.”
The Bow Valley PCN has identified three key areas that it will focus on:
• expanding the inter-professional primary care team to better manage the health issues faced by Bow Valley residents and to improve access to services
• increasing capacity to work with community agencies to improve the health of residents in the Banff and Canmore area
• expanding services to improve management of chronic diseases
“Today we have taken a significant step forward to improve the overall health of residents, young and old, in this region,” says Dr. Steve Shigeishi, Physician Co-Lead for the Bow Valley PCN. “We have an exciting opportunity here to really make a difference by better coordinating the care that patients receive.”
PCNs bring together physicians, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists and other health professionals to better respond to the health needs of residents in a geographic area. “There are many wonderful examples of how PCNs are changing the health status and lives of patients,” says Ken Hughes, Board Chair, Alberta Health Services. “Primary care and PCNs are an important part of helping to create a health system that is not only sustainable but also vibrant and relevant for Albertans.”
Contact: Ronna Bremer
Communications Manager, Primary Care Initiative
Phone: (780) 970-6209 Cell: (780) 863-9481
Primary Care Networks (PCNs) are a made-in-Alberta approach to improve the delivery of primary care. A Primary Care Network is formed when a group of physicians and Alberta Health Services agree to work together to provide enhanced primary care services. In addition to physicians, other health professionals are key partners in delivering PCN services. Alberta Health and Wellness, Alberta Medical Association and Alberta Health Services are partners in the development of Primary Care Networks