People living with chronic health conditions have better access to a free community-based health education and exercise program, thanks to the expansion of Prairie North Health Region's Strides to Better Health program.
The program has expanded to accept people who have a history of cardiac events, stroke, arthritis, pulmonary disease, and other chronic diseases. Carmen Beaumont, a program participant from Meota, SK, says Strides empowered her to start taking caring of her own health again, despite the frustration she felt at being a patient in the health care system. “I was making progress,” she says. “I was meeting my goal.”
Strides participants go through a 12-week program that includes medically monitored exercise three times per week, as well as weekly education. Home-based programming is also available. The program's emphasis is on building skills to help manage health to maintain an active and fulfilling life.
“By adding additional health professionals to the Strides team, we've made it safe for people with higher risk factors to join the program and for people to join without a physician referral,” says Glennys Uzelman, vice-president of primary care services for Prairie North Health Region. “This is a great opportunity for people to take charge of their health and improve their quality of life.”
Strides accepts referrals from all sources, including self-referrals. Acceptance into the program is determined by a participant's medical history and an assessment by program staff. The professionals who coordinate the program include a medical advisor, exercise specialist, chronic disease nurse educator, physiotherapist, respiratory therapist, and dietitian. The program is free to participants.
Strides programs are offered in Lloydminster, Meadow Lake, and the Battlefords. The programs are supported by each city and by a group of volunteers. This week, the program's expansion and its supporters are being celebrated in all three locations.
For more information, visit www.pnrha.ca and click on the feature article.
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Prairie North Health Region