Ponteix is the newest community within the Cypress Health Region to benefit from implementation of a new Primary Health Care Model, a success story that began with a discussion about what was possible, followed by a Community Needs Assessment designed to ensure that services offered would meet the town’s actual requirements, relative to their demographics.
Effective Oct. 17, the existing team of health care professionals providing care at the Ponteix Health Centre was joined by a Nurse Practitioner, Sherry Hornung. She will be available on Mondays and Thursdays, while Dr. Barretto will remain available Tuesdays and Thursdays. The other change is that Dr. Barretto will see his patients at the Health Centre, not at the medical clinic. Both Hornung and Barretto see patients on an appointment-only basis.
Primary health care refers to what is usually a first encounter with a health care provider. Dr. Ignacio Barretto, located at the medical clinic, chose to work with the CHR as they assembled a team of health professionals that could offer a broader spectrum of services to meet identified needs.
The assessment process was completed in October for Ponteix, and Cabri is next on the list.
“There’s a tremendous amount of work that goes into these,” admitted Beth Vachon, CEO, Cypress Health Region, “again, because of the ongoing meetings and the facilitation and everything that needs to happen.”
The community of Ponteix was empowered to choose the priorities they wanted to work on and engaged in extensive discussions to achieve their goals.
“That’s just the beauty of the Community Needs Assessment in putting that information forward and having a thoughtful plan to address the needs of the entire community.”
Vachon attended the Ponteix meeting as an observer.
“What I really liked about it is that our staff worked with a group of community members who actually identified the 70 people that got invited. They wrote the letter, as community members, asking these people to come.
“We had representation from every age group, every ethnic group in the community, and then that group of people made follow-up phone calls a day before to just remind people tomorrow is the meeting, do you need a ride, is there anything we can do to help, so we just got great uptake because the invitation came from the community, so I really liked that process and it was very interesting to hear what became the priorities.”