Sunday, September 27, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead, Friday, September 25, 2009

A health update for council as Councillor Gordon-Payne changes her hats for the session, Conserving the lands of Haida Gwaii and an attempt to secure funds to proceed on the Tsimshian Access Project is turned down, some of the items of note for Friday.

HEALTH SERVICE ADMINISTRATOR REPORTS TO CITY COUNCIL-- Councillor Sheila Gordon Payne changed seats for a few moments of Monday's city council meeting, assuming her new role as Health Service Administrator to update council on developments with Northern Health on the North coast and Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlottes (Daily News Archive story )

The BC Government is on track to preserving and protecting some 111,000 more hectares of land on Haida Gwaii, part of a group of nine conservancies announced last week, a development that has been welcomed by the Haida Nation (Daily News Archive story )

A grant application by the City for funding towards the Digby Island/Tsimshian Peninsula Access Project has been turned down, the request for funds was applied to the Northern Development Initiative Trust but at 14 million dollars was a little out of their scope of reference (Daily News Archive Story )

A number of local groups and organizations in the city applied for Tax Exemption status at the September 21st meeting of City Council, The Royal Canadian Legion, North Coast Transition Society, and School District 52 were among those outlining their case and seeking their exemptions. The Daily News article of Friday offers up an interesting review of the requests, including the apparent sighting of the ghost of former SD Treasurer Kim Morris (who last we had heard had relocated) making an application.(Daily News Archive Story )

The sports section outlined the progress of the cross country season at the two high schools in the city.

Front page headline story:

Health Service Administrator reports to City Council
By Monica Lamb-Yorski -

The Prince Rupert Daily News
Friday, September 25, 2009

In her role as Health Service Administrator for Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii, Councillor Sheila
Gordon-Payne gave a report to City Council on September 21.

Her goal was to increase communication between the Northern Health Authority and the City of Prince Rupert.

She highlighted NH's new website and encouraged people in the community to check it out.
"There is a lot of information there about the H1N1 virus and key messages about what people can do, like hand washing and staying home if they are sick. People can dial 811 to receive counselling at home."

In regard to medical staff recruitment, Gordon-Payne said there are five physicians seriously interested in Prince Rupert.

"The Northern Health team, people in the community, City Council and physicians are picking up the phone and contacting them."

The new Campus of Care (replacement for Acropolis Manor) indicated there are 56 residents living in Complex Care and 10 in assisted living.

"I'm not saying everything is completely rosy there, we continue to work every day," Gordon-Payne said, asking people to consider how difficult it is for one person to move, let alone 66.

Referring to the old Acropolis Manor's demolition, Gordon-Payne said most of it has come down.
"We took out furniture and put it on the fourth floor of the hospital and have been attempting to distribute it to community groups. We salvaged some of the material and some of it wasn't."

Rumours have been floating around town recently that understaffing is creating issues with meal scheduling at the new care facility.

When asked by Councillor Kathy Bedard if there is a full contingent of staffing in the new Campus of Care, Gordon-Payne couldn't give an exact number, but said the square footage of the building is the same as the old manor plus that of the intensive care unit that was previously in the hospital.

The extra footage raises the question of need for more staff and this is being explored.

"Most of the rooms are single resident rooms and our question is - what time of the day is the best time to add staff? We're trying to determine when is our greatest need and how we can meet that."

Bedard inquired about a grand opening of the new facility and was told staff is waiting until residents settle in.

"We're also waiting to see when the Minister of Health is free and have heard he is going to be in Terrace in October, so possibly we could coordinate something then."

Gordon-Payne noted that some of the key things that were in Acropolis have been transferred over to the new facility.

Councillor Nelson Kinney asked if the community is any closer to getting a walk-in clinic and was told that at this point NH's focus is to provide care to the 6,000 or more people in the community that have lost doctors.

"The focus is connecting unattached people to a doctor for the long haul," said Gordon-Payne.

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