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Primary care

Capital Health opens four new Primary Care Networks

EDMONTON – Capital Health continues to build a new model of primary care in partnership with government and the Alberta Medical Association.

Since February 1, another 140 family physicians have joined with the region to launch four more Primary Care Networks. This brings the total of family physicians now working or planning to work in networks to 340, or 40 percent of all the family physicians in the region.

“The Network concept renews our role as family physicians by creating teams supported by an electronic health record and links to the regional health system,” says Dr. Alison Martel, Edmonton West Primary Care Network. “The Network builds on the best tradition of family medicine and aims to give patients continuous care, assurance of timely and appropriate care when they need it and a wider range of services than any physician could provide alone.”

“We’re at a tipping point, where the Networks are beginning to build on their own success as physicians and patients see the benefits they bring,” adds Sheila Weatherill, Capital Health’s President and CEO. “At this rate, we’re on track to be the first major urban centre in the country to give 50 percent of our population 24/7 access to appropriate primary care, ahead of the scheduled national goal of 2011.”

Six PCNs are now operating in the Capital Health region:

• Edmonton Oliver (includes the Allin Clinic), launched February 2006; 25 physicians

• St. Albert & Sturgeon (St. Albert, Sturgeon County, Morinville and other communities), launched March 2006; 35 physicians

• Leduc Beaumont (includes Leduc, Leduc County, and one of the offices in Beaumont; Devon will join later this year), launched March 2006; 29 physicians

• Edmonton West (includes west part of the city, extending to southwest), launched March 2006; 53 physicians

• WestView (includes Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County, and the Paul, Enoch, and Alexis Bands), launched June 2005; 41 physicians

• Edmonton Southside, launched May 2005; 59 physicians

“This initiative is built on a partnership that is visionary,” says Marianne Stewart, Capital Health’s VP & Chief Operating Officer for Primary Care. “These new Networks are a way forward on some of the most basic issues in the health system, including helping those who can’t find a family doctor, and the huge challenge of managing the growing burden of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart failure.”

Primary Care Networks provide a wide range of services, from managing 24/7 access to urgent care and coordinating care within their areas, to low-risk obstetrics and mental health.

About Capital Health
Capital Health in Edmonton is Canada’s largest academic health region, providing complete health services to one million residents in the cities of Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, Spruce Grove and St. Albert, and the counties of Leduc, Parkland, Strathcona and Sturgeon (and communities within their geographical areas), as well as the Town of Devon and communities in the eastern part of Yellowhead County. Capital Health serves a total of 1.6 million people across central and northern Alberta, providing specialized services such as trauma and burn treatment, organ transplants and high-risk obstetrics.