A TWO-YEAR UPDATE OF THE TRINITY-CONCEPTION COMMUNITY HEALTH NEEDS ASSESSMENT
Proud Heritage, Healthy Future: Strengthening the Ties that Bind (2012) outlines the results of the final community health needs assessment completed within the Eastern Health region. These needs assessments have demonstrated Eastern Health’s commitment to its vision of Healthy People, Healthy Communities by helping the organization to better understand what communities feel they need to be healthier. The Trinity-Conception area has a population of approximately 40,000 and includes all communities in Conception Bay North, the North Shore of Conception and Trinity Bays, Lower Trinity South as well as Whitbourne.
Based on feedback from a telephone survey, focus groups, key informant interviews and written/electronic submissions, five key themes were identified for recommendations:
Based on 13 overall recommendations, the following progress has been made in each of the report’s priority areas:
Preventive Approaches and Education Recommendation: Expand Eastern Health’s Chronic Disease Self-Management Workshops to the Trinity-Conception area Implementation: Self-Management Workshops run once a week for six weeks and are designed for people living with chronic conditions such as arthritis and diabetes. The program is peer-led and helps individuals deal with such issues as healthy eating and dealing with depression, pain and isolation. To date, four workshops have been offered in the Trinity Conception area, with 50 participants completing. Four lay leaders have been trained: one in each of Old Perlican, Harbour Grace, Bay Roberts and Carbonear. Additional sessions are being planned for Winterton and Carbonear for fall 2014 and winter 2015.
A TWO-YEAR UPDATE OF THE TRINITY-CONCEPTION COMMUNITY HEALTH NEEDS ASSESSMENT
Health Services Recommendation: Approach Trinity-Conception local media to collaborate with Eastern Health on various topics related to prevention, health promotion and overall healthy living. Implementation: Numerous health promotion activities specific to the Trinity-Conception area have been ongoing, mainly led through Eastern Health’s Health Promotion Division and the Eastern Regional Wellness Coalition, including: • Municipalities signed proclamations and promoted World Breastfeeding Week • Hickman Motors in Carbonear hosted a breastfeeding awareness event, entitled 24 Hour “Crib Side” Assistance, where Public Health Nurses provided information and resources to customers • Offered the Choosing Healthy Foods & Beverages Workshop to 25 communitybased groups • During National Sexual and Reproductive Health Week, sexual health consultants visited the Carbonar campus of College of the North Atlantic to promote Eastern Health’s new sexual health website, www.easternhealth.ca/TCDT Recommendation: Explore new models of care delivery that involve a “hub” or group of physicians in a larger area, such as Carbonear, with outreach and mobile services to other communities throughout the Trinity-Conception area. Implementation: A presentation on the findings and recommendations of this needs assessment took place with the Local Medical Advisory Committee in Carbonear, which highlighted issues related to access to services. In addition, a meeting between Eastern Health and 19 community physicians from Rural Avalon took place in May 2013. Key issues were discussed, including recruitment.
Since the release of this report, medical services have been enhanced in the area, particularly through three family physicians opening up a new practice within Harbour Grace and one taking over a practice within Carbonear. Eastern Health will collaborate with those new physicians and continue to offer support to promote rural practice. In particular, in partnership with Memorial University’s Family Medicine Residency Program, Eastern Health continues to be involved in academic teaching through rotations of medical students to rural sites. This helps increase the likelihood of getting additional graduates into rural practice. A recruitment strategy for rural areas is also being developed in collaboration with Memorial. Recommendation: Investigate options to expand the role of other health professionals in the TrinityConception area, particularly regarding Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Paramedics. Implementation: At present there is no additional capacity to expand the availability of Nurse Practitioners; however this recommendation will continue to be kept in view by Eastern Health programs to identify potential opportunities. The results of Trinity-Conception Community Health Needs Assessment were submitted as part of the Fitch-Helleur review of the Provincial Ambulance Program. The specific recommendation about opportunities to expand the role of paramedics in rural communities was highlighted. Recommendation: Develop a proposal to expand the use of Telehealth or other distance technologies to advance patient care in Mental Health and Addictions Services. Implementation: Eastern Health has partnered with Bell Aliant Pioneers to secure funding for expanding Telehealth options in the Old Perlican area, so that the Mental Health Nurse who does outreach to the area can offer counseling via Telehealth and thereby decrease the need for patients/clients to travel.
A TWO-YEAR UPDATE OF THE TRINITY-CONCEPTION COMMUNITY HEALTH NEEDS ASSESSMENT Recommendation: Develop a local community advisory committee to review identified mental health issues and develop an action plan to address these issues. Implementation: Terms of Reference for the committee has been drafted and we have issued a public call for any individuals with an interest or experience to sit on this committee. If you reside in the Trinity Conception area, have an interest and/or experience in mental health issues, and would like to contribute to improving mental health in our communities, please send an email to David Kielly at firstname.lastname@example.org or Wendy Cranford at email@example.com briefly describing what you can bring to the committee as we work to improve the mental health of residents of Trinity-Conception. The deadline to apply is September 26.
Social Supports/ Community-Based Supports Recommendation: Work with partner groups to expand peer support initiatives. Implementation: Eastern Health has been exploring options to help expand peer support initiatives with community partner agencies, such as the Consumersâ€™ Health Awareness Network Newfoundland and Labrador (CHANNAL) and the Schizophrenia Society. For example, Eastern Health has provided support such as free meeting space. Funding sources such as the Lighthouse Grants, Community Development Grants and Wellness Grants are also being considered. It is also important to point out that Eastern Health enjoys a very good relationship with the U-Turn Addictions Centre in Carbonear. Such partnerships are essential to the Eastern Health vision of Healthy People, Healthy Communities and the organization
is always looking to develop new partnerships and/or strengthen existing ones.
Communication and Awareness Recommendation: Include contact information (e.g., phone numbers) of key health services available to residents in Trinity-Conception area. Implementation: This contact information was included in the needs assessment summary brochure that was distributed to each mailbox in the region when the report was released in 2012. Recommendation: Expand on the ongoing redevelopment and maintenance of Eastern Healthâ€™s website, www.easternhealth.ca. Implementation: Eastern Health has struck a new Editorial Advisory Committee that determines priorities for various areas within Eastern Health and builds on such tools as our website, Facebook, Twitter and Story Line Blog. This includes providing up-to-date information on every Eastern Health program/service and answers to frequentlyasked questions, such as phone contact numbers and hours of operation. Recommendation: Establish an Eastern Health Working Group to identify the best way to build and maintain an inventory of community-based organizations and resources throughout the region. Implementation: A significant amount of data and information has been gathered within Eastern Health to develop community profiles. In the meantime, the Community Sector Council has expanded its database, found at www.communitysector.nl.ca/directory, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Statistics Agency will be conducting a census of community-based groups in the province.
A TWO-YEAR UPDATE OF THE TRINITY-CONCEPTION COMMUNITY HEALTH NEEDS ASSESSMENT Recommendation: Host a forum within two years between the Mental Health and Addictions program and its referral sources. Implementation: Eastern Health is still working on holding a forum with community partners, particularly related to referral processes around mental health and addictions services. Our attempts to hold this forum to date have met with challenges such as scheduling conflicts. We want to ensure this session will be as well attended as possible, so work is underway to try to offer it during fall 2014. Recommendation: Develop a semi-annual forum for dialogue between Eastern Health and community family doctors to share information about health services (this recommendation relates to issue #2, Health Services). Implementation: Similar to the implementation under issue #2, a meeting between Eastern Health and community physicians took place in May 2013, which included 19 physicians from Rural Avalon. Key issues were discussed, such as recruitment and technology, and similar sessions have been planned throughout the entire Eastern Health region. Further agenda items related to the Trinity-Conception Community Health Needs Assessment will be added for discussion as needed.
Housing Recommendation: Host a professional development session whereby Eastern Health staff, in partnership with the Baccalieu Advisory Board on Housing and Homelessness, learn about the impact of housing on health and opportunities for collaboration. Implementation: Eastern Health worked with community partners to host a professional development session on housing and homelessness issues in the Trinity-Conception region, which was held September 10, 2014. This involved working with the Baccalieu Advisory Board on Housing and Homelessness and Newfoundland and Labrador Housing to provide education on the resources available and offer an opportunity for networking.
The full report, Proud Heritage, Healthy Future: Strengthening the Ties that Bind (2012), can be found at www.easternhealth.ca and at public libraries. For more information about this needs assessment and the implementation of recommendations, please contact Gillian Janes, Planning Specialist, 709-777-6773 or firstname.lastname@example.org.