Thursday, January 07, 2010

Podunk Below the Masthead, Thursday, January 7, 2009

Prince Rupert's much anticipated Health Care Centre opens its doors, contractor troubles head to the courts and Prince Rupert's real estate numbers are in for 2009, some of the items of the Thursday news cycle.

Daily News, Front page, headline story
PRIMARY HEALTH CARE CENTRE HAS OPENED ITS DOORS-- The long awaited return of medical services to the former Green Clinic site has finally taken place and Rupertites have been quick to take advantage of the services at the Primary Health Care Centre. At the moment the Centre is staffed by a Family Nurse Practitioner, Toby Hilton who is quickly becoming a favourite for many Rupertites who have long had to go without regular medical care owing to the doctor's shortage in the city. When physicians join the centre in February it would seem that they will have a ready made client list, with 200 patients signing on with the clinic in its first day of operation.

George T. Baker updates us on the plans of Nathan Cullen to try and wrestle some economic funding out of the federal government, this in the wake of West Fraser Timbers recent winfall of 30 million dollars as part of the black liquor credits put in place by the government. As we outlined on this blog last Sunday, Mr. Cullen is not pleased that West Fraser is using credits gained from the Eurocan mill for other locations in their system, all the while as they close the Eurocan mill in Kitimat.

To the courts the Daily News went, as they provide details of some civil cases between Prince Rupert and Port Edward residents and a local roofing contractor. Two cases heard inside the Prince Rupert Court House play out as though from an episode of the People's Court. With medical concerns, finger pointing, missed opportunities to pay back the unhappy customers and even an AWOL defendant.

The Sports section features a look at the Rupert Runners recent Resolution Run from New years day, as the club offers up the details with a submitted piece that outlined some of the happenings from that event. The weekly UFC view from Steve Maguire also grabbed some space on page 6.

(Archive for Daily News Articles for January, 7 2010)

The Northern View
After a slow 2009, optimism abounds for realty in Prince Rupert in 2010 -- Some background on the Northern BC Real Estate year end numbers for Northern BC and the reaction of local realtor Victory Prystay to the year end and the positives that he sees going into 2010 (see article here)
CFTK TV 7 News

No new items posted on the TV 7 website for January 7

CBC News British Columbia, Daybreak North
While they may be back at work in the studios of Daybreak North, no new content has been posted to their website so far in 2010, Daybreak is apparently awaiting new technology to deliver their content, with updates scheduled to return on January 12.

Daily News, Front page, headline story
Primary Health Care Centre has opened its doors
By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Daily News

Thursday, January 7, 2009

Within two days of openings its doors on Jan. 4, Prince Rupert’s Primary Health Care Centre, located at the former Greene Clinic on McBride St., already has a growing list of patients.

When staff arrived at the clinic on opening day, there was a lineup of people outside waiting, and by the end of the day, there were over 200 people signed up.

Presently the clinic is without any physicians, but staff said there should be physicians in the clinic some time in February.

“We anticipate two or three physicians in February,” said Family Nurse Practitioner Toby Hilton. “We are hopeful, it’s looking good.”

Until the physicians arrive, patients are being scheduled to have appointments with Hilton.
Before meeting with her first patient on Tuesday morning, Hilton said she was excited.

“It’s been a long wait so it’s nice to see it happening. I’m not a doctor, but I can manage patient care and when we do get new doctors, it’ll make it easier for them to take on new patients. I’m here to get the ball rolling.”

At this point, patients meeting with Hilton share a complete history and help her determine if they need any referrals.

In her capacity as an NP, she can order blood tests and x-rays, prescribe most medications, excluding narcotics such as codeine, Tylenol #3, morphine, oxycontin or benzodiazepines such as Valium, Ativan/Lorazepam, or Temazepam. She can also care for patients with acute and chronic diseases such as ear infections, tonsillitis, diabetes and heart disease.

Hilton said she is trying to create spaces for the general public to have appointments and for people that are referred from the hospital’s emergency department.

Appointments for the next few months have filled up quickly because it is estimated there are around 4000 people without a family physician in the Prince Rupert area.

Hilton first arrived in Prince Rupert in 2007 to work in the Greene Clinic as an NP. It was a full clinic with doctors at the time and she loved the work. Three years later, she’s back in the same building.

“The readiness of the clinic to welcome a nurse practitioner made it clear they valued a collaborative model of care. I was impressed with the people working in the clinic,” she recalled.

Hilton graduated from UVIC with a Masters Degree and completed her undergraduate studies there. She estimated there are between 100 and 150 NPs in the province, and approximately six in the North between Prince Rupert and Prince George.

Hilton was among the third group of students to go through with licensing in B.C. “It’s still quite new,” she observed.

After the Greene Clinic closed, Hilton worked in Prince George for several months at a similar clinic for patient, without a doctor.

“There are over ten thousand people in Prince George without a doctor and there is such a load on Emergency. The clinic could help manage care until patients are accepted by a doctor.”

She also worked in two different communities in Nunavut – Baker Lake and Kugluktuk – doing outpost nursing, and was most recently in Victoria for a few months to work in a travel medicine vaccination centre.

Louise Remo, Clinic Coordinator, also worked at the Greene Clinic - starting in 2001 and staying there until it closed.

“I think it’s going to be awesome. The people here need doctors,” observed Remo. “We’ve been quite busy since we opened with people coming in and phoning.”

The office staff also includes Kristin Coffin as a full-time medical office assistant and Colleen Bucknell as a casual medical office assistant.

“For us this is a very initial first step and over the next few months we should see not only physicians, but more expanding services being offered at the clinic. And it’s good that we’re finally able to give people a system that provides more continuity in care,” said Health Services Administrator Sheila Gordon-Payne.

Anyone wanting more information about the clinic can call the Centre at 250-622-6340.

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