January 12, 2016

Lloydminster Celebrates Grand Opening of Prairie North Health Centre

Lloydminster today celebrated the grand opening of the Prairie North Health Centre (PNHC) primary health care site located in Prairie North Plaza in the downtown heart of the border city.

The centre is home to a team of health providers that offers multidisciplinary, integrated primary health services to Lloydminster and area residents, and visiting physician services to Onion Lake Cree Nation.

Rural and Remote Health Minister Greg Ottenbreit joined health care providers and staff, residents, local dignitaries and representatives from Lloydminster Region Health Foundation, Prairie North Health Region, Alberta Health Services and the Alberta government at the event.

“The Prairie North Health Centre is a great example of innovation and patient-centred care,” Ottenbreit said.  “Our government is pleased to support collaborative projects like this that improve access to timely, quality primary health care for our province’s growing population.  I congratulate all the partners for their vision, contributions and dedication to make it happen.”

Development of Prairie North Health Centre was a joint partnership between Prairie North Health Region (PNHR), Lloydminster Region Health Foundation (LRHF), the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health and the Government of Alberta.

“This innovative facility is a good example of how we can work with our partners to improve health care delivery for rural residents, ” Alberta MLA Jessica Littlewood said on behalf of Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman.  “I’m very pleased residents of Lloydminster and neighbouring communities have more options to get the health care they need, when they need it, delivered by the right provider.”

“We are very pleased with the success of the health centre to-date in serving Lloydminster and area residents through greater numbers of health care professionals and expanded hours for patient services,” Prairie North Regional Health Authority Chairperson Bonnie O’Grady said.  “The availability of walk-in services for patients has given them a much-needed alternative to using the Lloydminster Hospital Emergency Department for non-emergency care services, resulting in reduced pressure on the ED and improved access to service.”

The centre provides regular clinic and after-hour walk-in services Monday through Friday, and walk-in services on Saturday.  The multidisciplinary team includes seven physicians, a primary health care registered nurse case manager, a primary health care counselor and other allied health professionals.  Patients without a family physician presenting at walk-in or seen by the PNHC physicians at the hospital emergency department are invited to become patients of the clinic to ensure continuity of care.

The centre was developed using a Lean design approach that focused on the needs of patients and care providers and included input from patient advisors, physicians, allied health professionals, clinic staff, and PNHR leaders.  The design enables an efficient, smooth flow of people, information and supplies.

The partners contributed approximately $2.8 million in one-time funding to operationalize the design: PNHR – $1.4 million; LRHF - $500,000; Alberta Health - $550,000; and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health - $325,000.

The Saskatchewan Ministry of Health also provides approximately $550,000 in annualized funding to support health providers including visiting physician services for Onion Lake.

Darrel Howell, Chairperson of the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation, said the organization is extremely proud to be a major contributor to the project.

“The availability of primary health care is important for our community,” Howell said.  “We were pleased to support the innovative designs and practices being utilized in the clinic, as well as the recruitment of several excellent primary health care physicians.  We are extremely grateful for the funding we receive from our donors and particularly the efforts of our 2013 Gala committee, sponsors and attendees, who collectively raised more than $300,000 for this amazing cause.”

Lloydminster Mayor Rob Saunders thanked Prairie North Health Region, Lloydminster Region Health Foundation, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health and the Government of Alberta for working together as partners to develop the Prairie North Health Centre.

“This innovative centre is assisting our Lloydminster and area residents by providing information about how and where to access primary health care and how to gain timely access including after-hours services,” Saunders said.  “Prairie North Health Centre is one of eight Saskatchewan sites funded by the Ministry of Health that have introduced innovative approaches to the delivery of primary health care.“

Between 2012 and 2015, the Saskatchewan Government has invested a total of $13.2 million to strengthen primary health care.  This funding is assisting health regions to stabilize services and support innovative models of primary health care, including Collaborative Emergency Centres.

For more information on the Prairie North Health Centre and a virtual tour of the facility, watch the video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RAfLMB3FvI.