Prescription to Get Active Backgrounder In October 2011, the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network launched a unique initiative with the City of Leduc and the Leduc Recreation Centre called Prescription to Get Active. This program allows local family physicians to prescribe physical activity to sedentary and at-risk patients they feel would benefit from increased activity. With each “Prescription to Get Active”, doctors are able to prescribe the intensity, duration and frequency of activity a patient is required to undertake to help in preventing future chronic medical issues such as heart conditions, high blood pressure and diabetes. Regular physical exercise has been shown to improve health and quality of life, as well as significantly reducing the risks of chronic disease, disability and premature death. The recommendation is written on a prescription pad specifically designed for the Prescription to Get Active program and encourages participants to engage in activity such as using local walking trails, riding a bike to work and engaging in winter activities. The four original partner facilities (LRC, Aqua-Fit Centre in Beaumont, Total Fitness in Devon and Arctic Spas Recreation Complex in Thorsby) provide the patient with a free one-month membership where they are given an orientation, tour and access to the facilities, classes and equipment. The Prescription to Get Active program has received significant media coverage including an article on the front page of the Edmonton Journal, articles in several local newspapers, radio attention, spots on Global Edmonton and CBC’s The National as well as numerous mentions in national and international websites and blogs. Prescription to Get Active is based on the Green Prescription program in New Zealand. About the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network The Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network began operations in 2006 and provides services for patients in the City of Leduc, towns of Beaumont and Devon and all communities in Leduc County. A group of 50 family physicians in 11 clinics along with additional health care professionals (registered nurses and dietitians, a registered pharmacist and psychologist and an exercise specialist) work together to improve primary care for our patients. What are Primary Care Networks? Primary Care Networks (PCNs) are a made-in-Alberta approach to improving access to and better coordination of care for patients across the province. In a PCN, a group of family doctors working with a multidisciplinary team and Alberta Health Services coordinate health services for patients. A PCN is not necessarily a bricks and mortar building – it is a network of doctors and other health providers such as nurses, dietitians,
mental health professionals, therapists, pharmacists and others working together to provide primary health care to patients. A PCN can be comprised of one clinic with many physicians and support staff, or several doctors in several clinics in a geographic area. Each network has the flexibility to develop programs and to provide services in a way that works locally to meet the specific needs of patients. This is done within the provincial Primary Care Initiative framework. This flexibility to develop local solutions to local health issues makes each PCN unique and encourages the PCN team to focus on the needs of the local patient population. There are 41 PCNs operating throughout Alberta with more in development. More than 2,800 (85%) family physicians in Alberta are working in PCNs.