Sea to Sky Division of Family Practice

Shared Care Initiatives

Shared Care-Mental Health

In the summer of 2013, and again in the fall of 2014, members of the Sea to Sky Division of Family Practice met to discuss their interests and concerns as primary and urgent care physicians in the Sea to Sky corridor.

Specific issues and overarching themes emerged from these discussions.  It was evident that concerns around provision of urgent and ongoing primary care to patients faced with mental health and/or substance abuse issues were a predominant and shared concern across both Sea to Sky communities.

In the spring of 2014, Squamish physicians struck a Mental Health working group to explore challenges and gaps that affected their capacity to deliver highly effective care to this particularly vulnerable population.

The working group has expanded to include Whistler physicians, local psychiatrists and VCH/Sea to Sky Mental Health and Addiction Services.  In Oct 2014, the working group secured preliminary funding support from the Family Practice Services Committee.  In November 2014 member physicians in Squamish and Whistler will have an opportunity to meet for in-depth discussions regarding the specific challenges they face in providing supportive treatment to patients with mental health or substance abuse issues.  

In late November 2014, the working group will present this information to the Division’s Board, seeking consent to use this physician feedback as a primary component of a future Shared Care funded project.  Shared Care projects bring together physicians and specialists and support them as they develop means of improving the flow of patients between primary and specialist care.  

Shared Care-Surgical Capacity

The value of growing surgical capacity--across a spectrum of services, including obstetrics and orthopaedics--at Squamish General Hospital also emerged as an interest of local physicians.  A Surgical Services working group was struck in spring 2014, and will begin Division-level exploration of these concerns in the near future.

For examples of successful Shared Care projects across BC, see