Thompson Region Division of Family Practice

Community Engagement

What Primary Health Care Means to YOU?

In Fall 2018, we asked the people of the Thompson Region what they need and value most from a primary health care team. Through public events, workshops, focus groups, interviews and a survey, more than 750 people shared their experiences, challenges and suggestions. In summary, this is what we heard:

Patients want a primary healthcare team that is proactive, comprehensive, accessible, equitable and coordinated.

Patients see themselves as equal and accountable partners in their health and in their relationship with their primary health care team.

A Vision Built on Partnerships 

Through this process, your community has helped shape a vision of how primary health care in our region could be improved in the future. This vision is guiding our efforts and actions here at the Division. 

Moving Forward Together

Here are some things we are moving forward with our partners and communities:

COLLABORATIVE RELATIONSHIPS: We are working alongside our health care partners and communities to bridge healthcare gaps.

What does this look like? Through community health committees and municipal discussions, we have identified transportation as a gap in accessing care. We are currently planning a regional discussion to engage with our health care partners, community health committees and municipal representatives to address transportation-to-care needs.

TEAMS: We are strengthening opportunities for health care providers to collaborate on patient care.

What does this look like? We have a pilot program underway where specialists, family physicians and pharmacists are working in a team-based care model. We anticipate better communication and better outcomes for patients.

We are also supporting the development of family physician call groups to ensure 24/7 coverage for patients of family physicians who do not see patients in hospital.

COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY: We are engaging with community organizations to identify opportunities to work together.

How? One way is by working with Thompson Rivers University on research projects that evaluate care improvement ideas. One of these is ideas is using bladder scanners in long-term care homes to reduce the need to transfer patients to the emergency department.

ADVOCATING FOR PRIMARY CARE: We are sharing the information and experiences gathered with health care partners and all levels of government.

How are we putting advocacy into action? We have shared the results of our community consultation with local, regional and provincial governments and discussed how they can support recruitment and retention of primary care providers in our region.

ACCESSIBLE: We are partnering on new projects to increase patient access to services like mental health, maternity and seniors care.  

How? Using access to mental health as an example, we are working with family doctors, specialists, counsellors and community supports to improve access for people with mild to moderate disorders who may not otherwise seek or receive care.  

EQUITABLE: We are increasing opportunities to include the patient and community voice in our projects. 

How are we making sure you are heard?  We have joined established healthy community committees and are supporting the development of others to better understand community health care needs. We also include patient partners in our projects. 

PROACTIVE: We are ensuring what we heard from communities continues to inform ideas and opportunities for change.

How is proactive being actioned?  We are supporting primary care providers with cultural sensitivity education and exploring how best to embed this in our organization.

COMPREHENSIVE: We are using your feedback to help inform planning for changes to health care services. 

What does this mean? It means ensuring health service planning takes your feedback into consideration, and we are currently collaborating with Interior Health, First Nations Health Authority, other health care providers, and the community to do so.

You are the most important partner in this process. 
What do you do to be healthy and promote a healthy community?

With Gratitude

We are grateful to our partners, and the many individuals and organizations, throughout the Thompson Region that provided information and their experiences spanning the interests of, among others;

  • Patients
  • Interior Health
  • Health Care Providers
  • Mental Health, Allied Health and Community Health Advocates
  • First Nations
  • Schools, University and Students
  • Cultural Associations and Advocates
  • LGBTQ+ Community Advocates