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Win the pain game

Watching Jen walk down the street, you’d never know she is bracing against the pain with each step. The 31-year old says that is part of the problem. “I look good on the outside. It would be easy for someone to think I am faking it,” she says. “On the inside I can be crying with pain.” Jen was 18 when she first experienced pain from endometriosis. In years gone by, there have been times when the dark clouds of pain hanging over Jen left her feeling down. By 26, the pain wa…
 
Patient with registered dietitian

Food choices fuel new outlook on life

AFTER learning he was overweight during a visit to his doctor, John-David Malta embarked on a 10-month battle to trim down. Eight months later, after not losing weight, John-David asked to be referred to a dietitian at his doctor’s clinic. Together, they discussed a range of food-related health issues, including how John-David could make healthier food choices and limit portion sizes. Gaining valuable health information: Two months after speaking with registered dietitian Kari Derbyshire, …
 

Mental health support focuses on solutions

SZYMON Apanowicz spends his day helping people regain their life balance. “For many patients, it is the first time they’ve really opened up to someone about the way they feel,” he says. One of 14 behavioural health consultants with the Calgary Foothills PCN, Szymon provides short-term mental health support for patients referred by their family doctor. Appointments typically take place in the physician’s clinic. Range of issues: Some patients may be coming to terms with a physical d…
 

Healthy relationship with food on menu

WHEN Frank and Karla Mah became concerned about the long-term effects of over-eating, they turned to family doctor Andrew Eddy for help. “We’ve both struggled with weight since we turned 40,” Karla says. “We were concerned about how it might affect our blood pressure and cholesterol levels.” As it turned out, Calgary Foothills Primary Care Network had just started Craving Change™, a free program designed to help people build a healthier relationship with food. The couple decided t…
 

Team visits patients at home, ‘Eyes, ears’ of a doctor’s clinic

Team assesses patients' needs in their homes As a personal care nurse, Rosalyn Watson built a long and successful career out of helping others. But when the Calgary senior developed health problems of her own and was forced to take a leave of absence from her job, she felt overwhelmed and turned to her family doctor for help. Dealing with chronic dizziness, a lack of mobility and financial and personal stress as she waited for head and neck surgery, she was referred to the Calgary Foothil…
 

Program benefits new grads, patients

For new graduate Dr. Janice Lui, Calgary Foothills Primary Care Network’s decision to start the New Grad Program could not have come at a better time. Launched in July 2013, the program exposes new family medicine graduates to different clinics, while providing mentoring support. It also expands access to primary care services because the new graduates see member physicians’ patients, including those who call for same-day appointments. The new graduates say treating another doctor’s patien…
 

Emergency department refers patients to PCN after hours

If there is a silver lining to the dark cloud of the Alberta floods of 2013, it could be the new Calgary Foothills Primary Care Network and Foothills Medical Centre emergency department referral program. Initiated last June during the floods as patient numbers grew, emergency department staff directed suitable patients to PCN-managed after hours clinics. Some 27 patients were sent to Calgary Foothills PCN’s after-hours clinic, Access 365. During a subsequent pilot program that ran from D…
 

Drug switch a ‘life-changer’ for patients

Family doctors now proactively help groups of patients to improve the health of all Improving the life of just one patient is a true success story for any treating physician and team. Radically transforming the care of almost 20 is a major achievement. Over the past year, the lives of many of Dr. Ted Jablonski’s patients got a whole lot better, thanks to an innovative practice enrichment project. The drug-switching initiative took 4 months initially and involved at least 6 staff. But patie…
 

Health Home – family doctor’s clinic – opens doors

Expecting her first child, Jane Wickenheiser discovered she could access all the pre- and postnatal care she needed through her family doctor's clinic, her Health Home. After discovering her long-time family doctor had retired, the Calgary school teacher found a new physician via the city-wide Find a Doctor website. Network-wide services Because her new doctor was a member of Calgary Foothills PCN, Jane was able to access specialist care and treatment (that is available to all patients of P…
 

Losing to win: on the path to good health

OVER the past year, Kevan Austen has lost 4 pant sizes, 4 shirt sizes and more than 110 pounds. The self-confessed 1-time couch potato has shed his sedentary life and unhealthy eating habits, tackling a workout on 362 of the past 365 days. “There’s no more sitting around eating bags of chips and watching movies or looking for excuses to sit around,” Austen says. “This is my new life and the goal is simple: to live and be healthy.” Tackling Unhealthy Habits Flash back to February 2013…
 
Cochrane Bethany Care Centre residents Herold, far left, and wife Mary, with son Lyle and nurse practitioner Tammy Rogers

Caring team brings peace of mind

It is not just the residents who value Tammy Rogers, nurse practitioner at the Bethany Care Centre in Cochrane. Their families say she gives them peace of mind. “Tammy listens to our concerns,” says the daughter of one resident. “We have a rapport with her.” Since 2007, a Calgary Foothills Primary Care Network (PCN) nurse practitioner has worked within Bethany Cochrane to increase residents’ access to primary health care. A team effort Day-to-day, Rogers works closely with each res…
 
After-hours clinic Access 365

Emergency referral pilot hailed, set to continue

Patient Michael Malone, who presented at Foothills Medical Centre with a cyst on his back in 2013, was one of the first patients referred from Foothills Medical Centre to Calgary Foothills PCN’s Access 365 Clinic under a new referral pilot. “(The care) was amazing,” he says. “They got rid of the cyst on my back quickly and I had to come back a number of times for them to pack and bandage it. “They showed me such kindness and all knew me by name by the time I was done.” New referr…