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  • BC physician writes—and fixes—Wikipedia medical information

    August 08, 2017

    Times Colonist​: Dr James Heilman is an emergency physician at the Cranbrook hospital but when he’s not working shifts there or climbing local mountains, he’s at his computer writing and editing medical information on Wikipedia to ensure it’s an accurate resource. Heilman, head of emergency medicine at East Kootenay Regional Hospital and a UBC clinical professor, says he’s the only BC doctor—one of only a few hundred physicians around the world—volunteering time to the free, online Wikipedia encyclopedia. And about 875 articles he’s worked on have been translated to other languages. Read the full story >

  • Youth clinic in Sidney extended into the summer

    August 04, 2017

    Victoria News​: An after-hours clinic for youth in Sidney is being extended another month, after very positive reception by the community and an abundance of people using the clinic’s services. Originally open in June and July only, the Peninsula Youth Health Clinic will continue through August and one of the main organizers hopes to be able to keep it going even longer. “When something like this starts, it shows you just how many people have been waiting for it,” says Jen Harrison, Youth and Family Engagement Coordinator with the South Island Division of Family Practice. Read the full story >

  • Massive seniors’ care facility on time and budget, CRD told

    August 04, 2017

    Times Colonist​: Capital Regional District staff are hopeful a seniors’ care facility under construction will come in at or under its $65-million construction budget. “From a financial perspective as it relates to the project, we are cautiously optimistic that we are on track for the $65-million total construction portion of the budget,” Nelson Chan CRD chief financial officer told directors this week. More than $17 million in construction contracts for the Summit at Quadra Village facility were approved Wednesday by Capital Regional District directors—a total that came in significantly under estimates. Read the full story >

  • Opinion: System discriminates against family doctors

    August 02, 2017

    Times Colonist​: I was deeply saddened and, in fact, angered to read the editorial regarding family medicine (“Family medicine must improve,” July 29). Health care in our country and primary care in particular are in crisis, and pieces of writing like this are among the direct contributing causes. The overall flavour of this editorial is that individual family physicians are the cause of the problem, and it is our sole responsibility to fix it. This demonstrates an incredibly shallow understanding of the issues and once again makes community family physicians into health-care scapegoats. At its core, the problem is that our society still values heroic, episodic care in big hospitals, well beyond continuous community-based primary care. This plays out in particular in the funding of fee-for-service community family medicine as the lowest paid work that a family physician could do. Read the full editorial >

  • Controversial seniors development in Victoria heading to public hearing

    August 01, 2017

    BC Local News: It's a development some Victoria city councillors are seeing as a necessary piece to the city's complex housing puzzle. With a 0.5 per cent vacancy rate, the transformation of the Mount Edwards Court Apartments into 93 supportive and affordable rental units for seniors could help alleviate some of the city's housing crunch.The proposal at 1002 Vancouver St. would convert the existing building into 78 supportive housing units and 15 affordable rental units for seniors over age 50. The Victoria Cool Aid Society was chosen by BC Housing to operate the building. Supportive housing residents could be struggling with poverty, suffer from chronic physical health needs, mental illness, or alcohol or substance abuse. At the facility, they will have access to services on-site such as life skills training, and connections to primary health care, mental health or substance use services. Read the full story >

  • More doctors heading for Lake Country

    August 01, 2017

    Vernon Morning Star​: More doctors are making their way to Lake Country. The Turtle Bay Medical Clinic, which opened in March, will have three new doctors in its facility in September. “We’re about half full right now, so this will pretty much fill up (the clinic),” said general manager Kiffer Walker. The clinic will have six full-time doctors with a possible seventh. Read the full story >

  • Editorial: Family medicine must improve

    July 29, 2017

    Times Colonist​: A recent comparison of family medicine in 11 developed countries ranks Canada at or near the bottom in most categories. The report, published by the Commonwealth Foundation, makes grim reading. Fewer than half of our country’s GPs arrange for patients to see a doctor or nurse when their office is closed, the worst ranking in the survey. And only a third of family physicians in BC make such provisions — second-lowest in Canada. Read the full editorial >

  • A new normal for Williams Lake

    July 28, 2017

    The Williams Lake Tribune​: Williams Lake is slowly starting to fill up with people again. Residents are returning to the lake city one day after officials announced their intention to lift the evacuation order for the city and many surrounding rural areas and replace it with an alert. As the evacuees return, so are some of the many services of the urban centre. Read the full story >

  • Around Town: The Myth of Normal

    July 28, 2017

    Delta Optimist​: Delta Division of Family Practice presents an evening with Dr. Gabor Maté on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at South Delta Secondary. The Myth of Normal: Depression, Anxiety and Addictions from a New Perspective will be the topic. Read the full story >

  • Vulnerable evacuees will stay in PG until Williams Lake ready for them

    July 28, 2017

    Prince George Citizen​: Although the evacuation order for Williams Lake residents was lifted Thursday, Northern Health is waiting for Interior Health to be prepared to receive those in need of extra supports before considering moving vulnerable evacuees out of Prince George. Read the full story >

  • Trellis abandoning Sechelt for new location in Gibsons

    July 20, 2017

    Coast Reporter​: After expressing frustration with the way its development application has been handled by the District of Sechelt, Trellis Seniors Services has struck a deal to buy land for a new long-term care facility from the Town of Gibsons. Read the full story >

  • More emergency doctors to speed up care in Terrace BC

    July 20, 2017

    Terrace Standard​: Wait times at Mills Memorial Hospital should decrease now that Northern Health has brought in three more part-time emergency room physicians. Only a year ago, Mills Memorial Hospital had one full-time and one-part time doctor working the emergency room, with family doctors rotating the evening and weekend shifts. Now there will be one full-time doctor, and a total of four part-time doctors. Read the full story >

  • How will I know the way?

    July 19, 2017

    Revelstoke Mountaineer: As a service provider, you know what it’s like to walk through the doors of your office. You know who will greet you. You understand the ins and outs of what you offer. You know who is eligible for which programs and what referrals, if any, could take place. However, for a child or youth and their families, these are the barriers, blocks and unknowns which cause confusion, fear, and embarrassment. Read the full story >

  • Supervised consumption services approved for Kamloops and Kelowna

    July 19, 2017

    BC Local News​: Interior Health is moving forward with another component of its response to the overdose crisis following Health Canada's approval of its applications to offer mobile supervised consumption services in Kamloops and Kelowna - the two communities in the Interior hardest hit by the public health overdose emergency. Read the full story >

  • New measures boost addiction treatment access in Victoria

    July 14, 2017

    CBC News​: New efforts to expand treatment for opioid users in Victoria are putting addiction specialists in hospital emergency departments and supporting family doctors who provide opioid substitution therapy for patients. The initiatives by Island Health and the Victoria Division of Family Practice are intended to dovetail with the work of the South Island Rapid Access Addiction Clinic that opened in the city early this year. Read the full story >

  • Letter to the editor: Doctors frustrated by lack of progress

    July 13, 2017

    Coast Reporter​: Editor: As the lead physician on the Residential Care Committee of the Sunshine Coast Division of Family Practice, I wish to convey our physicians’ frustration with the lack of progress in addressing the critical shortage of publicly funded long-term residential care beds on the Sunshine Coast. Read the full letter >

  • A personal look at assisted dying: Well-known Salmon Arm resident uses new legislation to end life

    July 12, 2017

    Surrey Now-Leader​: “Hello. This is Sally Scales. S-c-a-l-e-s. I’m in Salmon Arm and I am preparing to die tomorrow,” said the message on the voice mail. The message was left overnight Monday, July 3 at the Salmon Arm Observer office. Sally was one of the more than 400 British Columbians to use the Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) service since it became legal in Canada in June of 2016. Read the full story >

  • 1 in 5 Canadian seniors entering long-term care too soon: report

    July 11, 2017

    Global News​: Many Canadian seniors are entering residential care sooner than they need to, according to a new report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). “What we found is that one in five seniors entering residential care actually have the same characteristics of those that are served in the community,” said Georgina McDonald, vice president of Western Canada and developmental initiatives of the CIHI. Read/watch/listen to the full story >

  • Name change for hospice society: White Rock South Surrey Hospice Society is now Peace Arch Hospice S

    July 07, 2017

    Surrey Now-Leader​: White Rock South Surrey Hospice Society is no more. Effective June 28 at 10:09 a.m., the organization became Peace Arch Hospice Society. It is the second name change for the society since it was incorporated in 1982 as White Rock Hospice Society. In October 2010, South Surrey was added to the moniker. “We want all of White Rock and South Surrey to know we’re supporting all of them,” then-executive director Yvon Thibeault told Peace Arch News at the time. “South Surrey has undergone tremendous growth in the last 28 years and the name of our society should reflect that.” Read the full story >

  • BC's skyrocketing real estate prices putting the squeeze on seniors' care, report finds

    July 06, 2017

    CBC News​: The rising cost of real estate in BC could have consequences for seniors' care in the province. The BC Care Association, which represents non-government care providers, says seniors are becoming wealthier because of the property they own, which, in many cases, has skyrocketed in value. Read/listen to the full story >

  • A dozen Vancouver Islanders per month opt for assisted death

    July 03, 2017

    The Province: Two per cent of dying individuals on Vancouver Island chose medically assisted deaths in the first six months after it was made legal and the rate is climbing, according to a case review. Data collected for the period from June to December 2016 shows there were 72 medically assisted deaths in patients aged 49 to 96, according to the report in the BC Medical Journal. Patients were balanced in terms of gender; of the 72 cases, 37 were males and 35 were females. Read the full story >

  • Fake patients, real training: New lab to provide vital health care practice

    June 28, 2017

    Mission City Record​: The computerized mannequins may not be real, but the lessons learned will be. A new regional “simulation lab” – the brainchild of a group of local doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists – will give local health care workers a space to practice communication, teamwork and skills they use to treat sick patients. This week, the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation received a $370,250 from the Fraser Valley Regional Hospital District to finance initial start-up costs for new lab, which will be built at Abbotsford Regional Hospital and open next March. Read/watch the full story >

  • After 35 years, doctor says palliative care 'one of the most rewarding things I've done'

    June 27, 2017

    CBC News​: A West Vancouver leader in the field of palliative medicine is being honoured for 35 years of service. Dr Paul Sugar, who works at Lions Gate Hospital, was lauded for his work caring for people with serious and terminal illnesses by Vancouver Coastal Health. "A lot of people say, 'how can you do that work?' and 'good for you for doing that, because it must be so hard,'" he told On The Coast guest host Gloria Macarenko. "But the fact is, I think it's one of the most rewarding things I've done in medicine." Read/listen to the full story >

  • BC Interior hospitals hire new security officers for emergency departments

    June 26, 2017

    CBC News​: BC's Interior Health Authority has hired 'client service ambassadors' in attempt, officials say, to make the emergency departments in three busy hospitals safer. Starting Monday, the new security personnel will be stationed at Kelowna General Hospital, Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops and Vernon Jubilee Hospital. Read the full story >

  • Pain drove BC woman and 'thousands' to street drugs after medication cut off

    June 25, 2017

    CBC News​: Desperate for relief from unbearable pain following knee surgery, Lorna Bird says she was forced to buy drugs from the Downtown Eastside streets of Vancouver when her doctor stopped prescribing an opioid in response to new standards aimed at preventing fatal overdoses. "I started with heroin because I couldn't stand the pain," Bird said, recalling her fears about dying from fentanyl-laced street drugs because "everybody was croaking" and she didn't want her grandchildren dealing with that outcome. Read the full story >

  • Island Health opts to move Comox hospice beds to secular facility

    June 23, 2017

    Times Colonist: Comox Valley residents who want access to medical assistance in dying are celebrating a decision to move the region’s hospice beds into a secular space. The Comox Valley’s four hospice beds are hosted in Hospice at the Views, which is run by St. Joseph’s General Hospital. As a faith-based facility, it does not allow assisted dying. Those four beds, as well as two new ones, will be located together in a different location, said Elin Bjarnason, executive lead for end-of-life and medical quality at Island Health. Read the full story >

  • Regional support to attract doctors

    June 22, 2017

    The Invermere Valley Echo​: The East Kootenay Division of Family Practice was the happy recipient of $20,000 from the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK). The general administration grant was approved to help support recruitment and retention of family physicians for the years 2017 and 2018. The RDEK and Columbia Basin Trust have provided the Division with funding in the past to help improve care through supporting a coordinator, who is tasked with a focus on recruitment and retention of family physicians. Read the full story >

  • Kelowna woman concerned over quality of care at KGH

    June 22, 2017

    Global News BC​: A Kelowna woman is speaking out about troubling incidents she’s experienced at Kelowna General Hospital in recent weeks. “This isn’t just about making me feel better. This is about saving my life,” Jesska Brewin said. Confined to a wheel chair the last 3 months, Jesska Brewin’s body is slowly being crippled by a severe form of Graves disease. Read/watch the full story >

  • Bulkley Lodge wait times have increased

    June 22, 2017

    The Interior News​: The waitlist for the Bulkley Lodge is longer than normal with more patients waiting in the hospital. The long-term residential care facility in Smithers always operates at 100 per cent capacity but there are currently 16 people waiting to get in. Normally, the wait list fluctuates between 9 and 13. There are 70 beds in total, 53 are long-term, three are short-term, and 14 are for the regional psycho-geriatric population. Read the full story >

  • Terrace, BC doctor receives high honour

    June 21, 2017

    Terrace Standard​: Retired local physician Dr Geoff Appleton has been given an award for his more than 40 years of work in improving rural medicine. Presented by the Doctors of BC, the association which represents physicians in dealings with the provincial government and in moving the profession forward, the Silver Medal is awarded to those who have made outstanding contributions to medicine and/or to improving the welfare of BC residents. Read the full story >

  • Letter to the editor: Splitting hospice beds would be a poor decision

    June 21, 2017

    Times Colonist: Re: “More secular care sought,” June 18. I have a dear friend in hospice at The Views, so I agree the care is exceptional. I also know this is in part because my community funds the Comox Valley Hospice Society, which enhances care and supports for people who are dying at home, in residential care, in hospital and in the hospice. Regardless, I am disappointed Island Health is contemplating a decision that would continue to make access to hospice care for Comox Valley residents different than everywhere else on Vancouver Island. Read the full letter >

  • New medical care model

    June 20, 2017

    Kelowna Capital News​: Six family practices in the Central Okanagan are looking for nurses to join them in the move toward a model of care that aims to improve patient access to care, build capacity in practices, and optimize providers’ expertise. “Nurses joining these practices will be integral members of a patient care team, working together with doctors to streamline care, especially for patients with complex health needs,” said Dr. Janet Evans, Nurse in Practice Lead for the Central Okanagan Division of Family Practice, a non-profit society representing family doctors from Kelowna, West Kelowna, Lake Country and Peachland. Read the full story >

  • Step Into the Light Walk Raises Awareness and Support for New Parents

    June 19, 2017

    The Castlegar Source​: Grand Forks City Park is the place people can meet Saturday (June 24th) at 10:30 a.m. to participate in the ‘Step Into the Light’ walk for women’s health. When the new baby arrives in a family, most people assume it is a time of love and celebration. What many new moms don’t expect is that they might struggle to adjust or that she may feel isolation, exhaustion, or even a lack of love for her child. Becoming a mother is often viewed as one of the happiest times of life, yet one in seven find the adjustment to difficult and can suffer from crippling depression, anxiety, doubt or guilt that can also affect dads and impact families. Step Into the Light invites moms, dads, sisters, brothers, grandparents, friends and all other family members to walk together on Saturday, June 24th to bring attention to this important issue. Read the full story >

  • Worried about access to assisted dying, group seeks more secular care in Comox Valley

    June 18, 2017

    Times Colonist​: A group of residents is calling for secular long-term and hospice care in the Comox Valley, since medical assistance in dying has been denied at faith-based facilities. The Equal Access Committee has collected about 1,000 signatures on a petition directed at Island Health and the provincial Ministry of Health. Read the full story >

  • Accessibility week to highlight success, needs

    June 17, 2017

    Parksville Qualicum Beach News​: Highlighting recent achievements in accessibility — and lobbying for more — will be the focus during Accessibility Week in Oceanside June 19-24. Universal Access Qualicum Beach (UAQB) and Parksville-based Access Oceanside Association (AOA) are joining forces in a week of activities, ranging from walk/wheelabout events with mayors and staff in both communities to spiritual and holistic workshops to watersport activities for wheelchair-bound residents at Parksville’s beach. Read the full story >

  • No easy solution to doctor shortage in the South Okanagan

    June 16, 2017

    InfoTel News​: A walk-in clinic wouldn’t help alleviate emergency medical treatment in Oliver or Osoyoos, regional board directors were told yesterday. South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice project manager Aarin Frigon said because emergency ward doctors at South Okanagan General Hospital Oliver are paid through fees for service, a walk-in clinic in the town would likely diminish the need for residents to get treatment at the hospital, further reducing a doctor’s incentive in a situation where emergency ward staffing is already an issue. Read the full story >

  • Youth health clinic pilot project on now in Sidney

    June 15, 2017

    Victoria News​: There’s a new after-hours clinic in Sidney and this one is for young people who might be reluctant to see their family’s doctor, or who might not have a physician at all. The Peninsula Youth Health Clinic opened on a trial basis two weeks ago and will be open every Thursday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. in June and July. It’s at the Ocean Pier Medical Clinic on Beacon Avenue, where a youth medical services will be provided by practicing physicians. Services such as prescriptions, pregnancy tests, sports injuries, birth control and more will be offered to youth between the ages of 12 and 24. Read the full story >

  • Island Health president leaving for post in Ontario, closer to his family

    June 15, 2017

    Times Colonist​: Island Health president and CEO Dr. Brendan Carr has announced he’s leaving the position. Carr said he is taking a new role as president and chief executive officer of the William Osler Health System in Ontario, which will take him closer to family. Kathy MacNeil, Island Health’s executive vice-president for quality, safety and experience, will serve as interim president and CEO until a new leader is hired. Read the full story >

  • Canadian hospitals vulnerable to hackers, warns health-care expert

    June 15, 2017

    Vancouver Sun​: There are only two kinds of hospitals in Canada: those that know they’ve been hacked and those that just don’t realize it yet. That is among the wisdom that Bill Tholl, president and CEO of HealthCareCAN, has picked up over the last two years while working on a plan to keep Canadian health-care providers safe from cyber attacks. “The health-care sector is a target of cyber-hackers. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a small hospital or a large hospital,” said Tholl, whose organization speaks for health-care groups and hospitals across Canada. Read the full story >

  • Health care gaps identified on the North Island

    June 14, 2017

    North Island Gazette​: A community meeting in Port McNeill has raised concerns from residents regarding health care research. Two consultants, Melanie Mogus and Helena Trudel, gave a presentation at the Community Hall which identified gaps in North Island services. Some of the areas identified at the meeting on June 7 were transportation issues, lack of home care support, empty hospital beds, and a lack of long-term residential care facilities in the region. The research was part of a collaborative working group’s effort to collect health data specific to the North Island. Read the full story >

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