The Rat River Health Council (RRHC) is created to represent residents served by the De Salaberry District Health Center in all matters relating to health care. Residents are primarily from the Village of St-Pierre-Jolys and the RM of DeSalaberry. The Council becomes a vehicle for community education and input, as regionalization approaches.
Its signature project – The Health Corner – is developed in the newly built De Salaberry District Health Centre. The goal is to focus on wellness. To ensure it evolves from a passive to an active resource center, it is developed in 3 phases: Phase I: Resource Centre. Phase II: Programming. Phase III: Partnerships. South Eastman Health RHA eventually adopts this concept and repeats it in several communities.
RRHC Member Murielle Bugera becomes first President and then Vice-President of the Western District Health Advisory Council with Southern Health Regional Health Authority. Throughout the years, the RRHC ensures representation from this region on the Advisory Council.
The RRHC is officially incorporated as it is now partnering with South Eastman Health RHA on projects that involve the handling of large amounts of project funds. Examples of these projects are: (1) facilitate the delivery of breastfeeding program; (2) consult on women’s health needs.
Outstanding concerns related to physician recruitment and retention, quality of health services delivery, stability and sustainability of programs and services are growing. The RRHC can not resolve these issues on its own. Three key strategies are undertaken by various groups: (1) Association of Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities: Study on effects of regionalisation; (2) Community: Survey on medical services and (3) Pharmacy: S.W.O.T. analysis on doctor recruitment and retention. Results legitimized community concerns and emphasized need for further action. The Chaboillé Coalition is created as a political lobby group.
Representatives of the Coalition and the RHA meet and agree to wait for outcomes of (1) Management Review of St-Pierre Medical Clinic by Dr. Ferd Pauls and (2) Vision for Future of De Salaberry District Health Centre by Suzanne Nicolas RN, BN, MN, Primary Health and Management Consultant ($25,000 raised by community partners) before initiating any plan of action.
The Nicolas Report concludes that a Primary Health Care Model (including hospital and personal care home) is the solution. South Eastman RHA adopts the report and initiates the first steps in implementing the recommendations. Regular meetings between the Coalition and the RHA take place to monitor progress. Meetings are suspended when staff changes and other priorities stall the process. South Eastman RHA does go on to develop a Primary Health Care Framework, which is in line with the Nicolas Report’s recommendations.
To get the process back on track, the Coalition contracts the services of Julie-Turenne Maynard ($4,000 with REDI grant) to prepare a business plan for a successful and sustainable fee-for-service medical clinic.
An application is made to the Aboriginal Health Transition Fund (AHTF) for funding to establish this medical clinic. The application is denied, however South Eastman Health’s application to operationalize their Primary Health Care Framework is successful. Councl members Guy Gosselin and Murielle Bugera are hired as project transition facilitators. As an additional benefit, they are involved in starting up the first Jonoke Electronic Medical Records in the St. Pierre and St. Malo Clinics. In the mean time, the Coalition transitions into the new RRHC 2008. By-laws based on the Winkler Clinic Model are adopted, to give the Council legal status to operate a medical clinic.
The new RRHC 2008 and South Eastman Health are working collaboratively towards the establishment of a fee-for-service medical clinic that would be managed by the Council. (Steinbachonline article)
The amalgamation of South Eastman and Central RHA’s change the direction that is being taken. The Council agrees to working with the new Southern Regional Health Authority – whose Mission is to support people and communities in achieving optimal health by providing innovative, sustainable and quality health services. The goal is a sustainable medical clinic, made up of Contract Family Physicians and Nurse Practitioners, able to provide service to the majority of residents in the region. This means better defining the practice and community environments, so ‘best fit’ health care professionals become part of the team.
The Council assists with recruitment by launching this dual purpose web site: 1) to provide information about the practice and the community to health care professionals and 2) to promote th great public, private and non-profit health care services available in the communities along the Rat River.
The Council recognizes the important step Southern RHA has taken in taking part in Primary Care Networks. We strongly believe that this Manitoba Health initiave will ensure good continuity of care for our residents. Pursuing it for the St. Pierre and St. Malo Medical Clinics is a must.
A turning point: a 2nd nurse practitioner is added to the clinic. Even if this means giving up a physician EFT, Southern Health – Santé Sud accepts to work with the community to hire fee for service physicians who would work as a team to also cover the hospital, emergency and personal care home. These physicians would then also have access to the Jonoke Electronic Medical Records to ensure continuity of service.
Thanks to the Foundation, the Council launches a new website to (1) help with recruitment and retention of health care professionals and (2) promote the excellent health care services in the Rat River Corridor.
To help with promotion of this web site, the Office of Rural and Northern Health provided a grant to hire a local photographer and produce rack cards.
The Council is entering into a partnership with the Morris Cadets to assist with the distribution of the rack cards in local businesses. This will also provide the Cadets with higher visibility.
The Council recognizes that Manitoba Health’s Advanced Access Program is key to satisfied health care professionals and satisfied customers in the St. Pierre Medical Clnic (and St. Malo Satellite Clinic). The progress of its implementation in the clinic is key and the Council strives to ensure accountability through its monthly meetings with Southern Health staff.
The Council demonstrates its appreciation to the De Salaberry District Health Centre staff through regular Meet and Greet opportunities. We have very caring staff….