Lloydminster Celebrates Grand Opening of Prairie North Health Centre
January 12, 2016
Lloydminster today celebrated the official opening of the Prairie North Health Centre (PNHC) primary health care site located in Prairie North Plaza in the downtown heart of the Border City.
The centre is home to a team of health providers that offers multidisciplinary, integrated primary health services to Lloydminster and area residents, and visiting physician services to Onion Lake Cree Nation.
Saskatchewan Minister of Rural and Remote Health Greg Ottenbreit and Alberta MLA for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville Jessica Littlewood cut the ribbon officially declaring the PNHC open.
PNHC Officially Open (l-r): Amanda Helmeczi, PNHC Office Coordinator; David Fan, PNHR CEO;
Bonnie O'Grady, PNRHA Chairperson; Jessica Littlewood, MLA Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville AB;
Greg Ottenbreit, Minister of Rural & Remote Health SK; Rob Saunders, Mayor City of Lloydminster;
Darrel Howel, Chairperson, LRHF; Dr. Tinesha Govender, PNHC Physician
"The Prairie North Health Centre is a great example of innovation and patient-centred care," Ottenbreit said. "Our (Saskatchewan) government is pleased to support collaborative projects like this that improve access to timely, quality primary health care for our province's growing population. I congratulate all the partners for their vision, contributions and dedication to make it happen."
Development of Prairie North Health Centre was a joint partnership between Prairie North Health Region (PNHR), Lloydminster Region Health Foundation (LRHF), the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, and the Government of Alberta.
Speaking on behalf of Alberta Minister of Health Sarah Hoffman, Littlewood said "This innovative facility is a good example of how we can work with our partners to improve health care delivery for rural residents. I'm very pleased residents of Lloydminster and neighbouring communities have more options to get the health care they need, when they need it, delivered by the right provider."
The PNHC primary health care clinic provides regular clinic and after-hour walk-in services Monday through Friday, and walk-in services on Saturday. The multidisciplinary team includes seven physicians, a primary health care registered nurse case manager, a primary health care counselor and other allied health professionals. Patients without a family physician presenting at walk-in or seen by PNHC physicians at the Lloydminster Hospital Emergency Department (ED) are invited to become patients of the clinic to ensure continuity of care.
"We are very pleased with the success of the health centre to date in serving Lloydminster and area residents through greater numbers of health care professionals and expanded hours for patient services," said Bonnie O'Grady, Chairperson of Prairie North Regional Health Authority. "The availability of walk-in services has given patients a much-needed alternative to using the Lloydminster Hospital Emergency Department for non-emergency care services, resulting in reduced pressure on the ED and improved access to service."
Darrel Howell, Chairperson of the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation, said the organization is extremely proud to be a major contributor to the project. "The availability of primary health care is important for our community," Howell said. "We were pleased to support the innovative designs and practices being utilized in the clinic, as well as the recruitment of several excellent primary health care physicians. We are extremely grateful for the funding we receive from our donors and particularly the efforts of our 2013 Gala committee, sponsors and attendees, who collectively raised more than $300,000 for this amazing cause."
Lloydminster Mayor Rob Saunders thanked Prairie North Health Region, Lloydminster Region Health Foundation, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health and the Government of Alberta for working together as partners to develop the Prairie North Health Centre. "This innovative centre is assisting our Lloydminster and area residents by providing information about how and where to access primary health care and how to gain timely access including after-hours services," Saunders said.
Prairie North Health Centre was developed using a Lean design approach that focused on the needs of patients and care providers and included input from patient advisors, physicians, allied health professionals, clinic staff, and PNHR leaders. The design enables an efficient, smooth flow of people, information and supplies.
PNHR developed a video highlighting development and design of the facility, including testimonials from patients, staff and physicians. Click on the video below to view.
The partners contributed approximately $2.8 million in one-time funding to operationalize the design:
PNHR $1.4 million
Alberta Health $550,000
Saskatchewan Ministry of Health $325,000
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Health also provides approximately $550,000 in annualized funding to support health providers including visiting physician services for Onion Lake Cree Nation.
Touring PNHC (l - r): Vikki Smart, PNHR Vice President of Primary
Health Services and Amanda Helmeczi, PNHC Office Coordinator
proudly show the new health centre to Jessica Littlewood, MLA
Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville AB; Greg Ottenbreit, SK Minister
of Rural & Remote Health; Colleen Young, MLA Lloydminster SK;
and Bonnie O'Grady, PNRHA Chairperson.
Following the ribbon cutting, PNHR Primary Health Care and PNHC staff conducted tours of the clinic for the public, media and dignitaries. Response was overwhelmingly positive regarding the design, layout, atmosphere, and amenities, all geared toward putting the patient first and ensuring a positive, efficient environment for health care providers.
In her remarks during the program, Bonnie O'Grady noted that "patients of Prairie North Health Centre consistently tell us that they can get an appointment on their day of choice and with the provider they want. The patients rate their average care experience very highly. The after-hours walk-in services are well utilized, helping reduce the number of non-emergency visits to the ED and supporting (PNHR's) efforts to reduce ED wait times." She described Prairie North Health Centre as 'truly patient-centred - a patient place."
Prairie North Health Centre is one of eight Saskatchewan sites funded by the Ministry of Health that have introduced innovative approaches to the delivery of primary health care.
Between 2012 and 2015, the Saskatchewan Government invested a total of $13.2 million to strengthen primary health care. This funding is assisting health regions to stabilize services and support innovative models of primary health care, including Collaborative Emergency Centres.
To view the Saskatchewan government news release, click here.