Swan Valley MyHealthTeam Partners with Sapotaweyak

Submitted by:
Prairie Mountain Health |

A second MyHealthTeam has been approved for the Prairie Mountain Health region, expanding the quality and consistency of care for Manitobans living in the Swan River Valley region.

“Medical experts have endorsed MyHealthTeams because they connect to their communities at the onset and focus on addressing the highest needs of their communities,” said Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen. “By having a MyHealthTeam in the Swan River Valley, people living in the region will see improved access to primary care services that are closer to home.”

Based in Swan River, MyHealthTeam Swan Valley and Area is a partnership of the fee-for-service physician group based at the Swan Valley Primary Care Centre (SVPCC), along with Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) and the Sapotaweyak Cree Nation Health Authority. The team will follow a provincial approach where health-care providers of different disciplines work together to strengthen the overall support network for patient care. This includes access to a team of health-care providers such as a doctor, nurse practitioner, community health nurse, shared care community mental health worker and pharmacist. Patients are treated as partners in planning and managing their care and are provided with more tools and access to resources to do so.

MyHealthTeam Swan Valley and area will eventually expand its geographical reach by engaging other communities, fee-for-service practices and community organizations. Although the MyHealthTeam has started with a few different health care providers, the planning team anticipates broadening and growing the team over time.

“Through this collaborative approach, health-care professionals will provide focused care faster for patients in the northern part of our region,” said Penny Gilson, CEO of PMH. “This is the first MyHealth Team to partner with one of our First Nation Communities and the potential to improve health disparities is exciting as we work together to eliminate barriers that limit access to quality primary health care.”

The partners examined various sources of data as well as community feedback to determine the initial priorities for MyHT Swan Valley and Area. They include:
– enrolling more patients to primary care providers (doctors and nurse practitioners);
– timely access to care;
– addressing the needs of patients with complex conditions;
– service coordination; and
– outreach to vulnerable populations.

These priorities can be achieved by adding new providers to the team. PMH has recently hired staff for two of the three positions that have been established for the initiative. They include positions in pharmacy and mental health. A third position for a primary health care provider assistant will be finalized later this fall.

Swan River physician Dr. Rafiq Andani says the group is excited to work within the new partnership.

“The creation of a MyHealthTeam in Swan Valley will allow the clinicians in the area to better serve the needs of the surrounding communities. We hope that the extra supports and resources provided through this initiative can help us grow and expand our existing services into a sustainable and effective patient-centred program,” Andani said.

Sapotaweyak Cree Nation Health Authority (SCNHA) is pleased that the community consultation process has helped facilitate the overall objectives for the initiative. SCNHA Acting Health Director Richard Gott says they are very appreciative to have a voice within the MyHealthTeam.

“We are really happy with how everything has unfolded so far,” said Gott. “It has been great to be part of the team that will bring new and increased health services that will benefit our residents now and into the future.”

The first PMH MyHealthTeam started in Brandon in late 2014. There are currently 12 MyHealthTeams in Manitoba.