Some of Chilliwack’s most vulnerable are helped out at the Chilliwack General Hospital’s Primary Care Clinic. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress file)

$1 million fundraising campaign to improve Primary Care Clinic at Chilliwack General Hospital

Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation campaign aims to improve services to most vulnerable patients

The Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation is launching a $1 million fundraiser to help pay for renovations at the Primary Care Clinic at Chilliwack General Hospital (CGH).

The Chilliwack Primary Care Clinic (CPCC) opened in 2011 and offers care for vulnerable patients unattached to a family doctor.

A partnership between the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice and Fraser Health, the CPCC helped, for example, George (last name omitted by request) who was a cancer survivor with several complex conditions.

“Four years ago, he did not have a doctor and was visiting the emergency room (ER) about 50 times a year for multiple conditions,” according to the Division of Family Practice. “Today, after being supported by clinic doctors, nurse practitioners and a local specialist, and with access to a regular family doctor, he has decreased his medications and no longer needs to visit the ER, unless he has an emergency need.”

The CPCC provides care to complex and vulnerable patients, many of whom are familiar faces in the ER, many of whom also have mental health and/or substance use challenges.

Five years into operation, the CPCC was lauded for its positive results.

“The clinic has been a big success,” said Dr Melanie Madill in 2016, physician lead with the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice. “After stabilizing some very vulnerable patients through the CPCC, we are able to transition them to family doctors in the community, which is changing the frequency of ER visits and hospital stays.”

• READ MORE: Attaching patients to GPs in Chilliwack is working

The CPCC uses team-based care with nurse practitioners, general practitioners, a mental health clinician, a psychiatrist, and a clinical pharmacist. The interdisciplinary team accepts referrals from community for comprehensive medication reviews and take-home naloxone. It links with the hospital for early discharges to support follow up for unattached patients, as well as other specialized clinics such as the seniors’ clinic, the diabetic, respiratory and cardiac clinic.

Renovations would support the expansion of the current clinic team to add family physicians, nurse practitioners, social work, and access to additional mental health supports and a community rehab team. This expanded team would support increased attachment, a greater focus on chronic disease management, and outreach to the Chilliwack Youth Health Centre (providing primary care and mental health access to youth and young adults up to the age of 26) and to street entrenched clinics.

The Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation (FVHCF) is looking to raise $ 1 million as part of a campaign ending March 31 2021.

Anyone looking to support the CPCC at CGH can do so by contacting the FVHCF at 1-877-661-0314 or visit www.fvhcf.ca.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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