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Volume 1, NO. 1. 2012


Patient Insight about asthma management Building Bridges for better health Celiac Disease a gluten-free diet

Can you tell who the dietitian is? How about the registered nurse? That’s because at the South Calgary Primary Care Network, we provide patient care as a team – your team. We work with you, ensuring you have the tools you need to take control of your own health.



Exceptional Patient Care

We have state of the art programs and services to help your patients reach their personal health goals • Comprehensive Immunization Services:

Walk in X-ray Ultrasound Mammography GI Studies Bone Density Pain Management MRI & CT* *only available in Calgary

Shingles, Flu, Meningococcal, Pneumonia, HPV, Travel Vaccinations and more

• Certified Diabetes Educator Pharmacists

Insulin starts, Diabetes Management Classes, Medication Reviews, Blood Pressure Education at selected sites

• Travel Medicine Pharmacists

Travel Consultations available, Travel Health Services and Immunizations available at selected sites



Automatic refills of selected prescription several days before they run out



Blister cards grouping multiple medications to help your patients take the right ones at the right time

For a detailed list of our pharmacy programs and services visit Simply click on the pharmacy tab.

Any questions? See me






Understanding People Working Together Talk to someone who can help. Psychologists are qualified licensed and regulated professionals, who provide assessment, consultation and treatment for people of all ages. REFERRAL SERVICE: 780-428-8255 in Edmonton 403-246-8255 in Calgary

Calgary | Edmonton | Okotoks Toll free: 1.877.420.4CDC (4232)

1-888-424-0297 Toll free anywhere in Alberta Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 4:00 pm On-line Referral Service:


Safeway version

A message from our medical director Welcome to the first issue of our PCN magazine, Health Matters. PCNs are a provincial initiative to improve access to primary care services. Our team of physicians and health professionals work together to identify gaps in primary health care and to create programs that benefit you, our south Calgary patients. Each issue of Health Matters will showcase these programs and services and provide information to help you live a healthier life. Enjoy the magazine, and please feel free to take a copy home with you. Dr. Ernst Greyvenstein Medical Director South Calgary Primary Care Network

A message from our executive director Today’s patients are very different from those of years ago – today’s patients are informed. That is why we are bringing you Health Matters, our publication for patients and the role they can play in maintaining their own good health. Your input into the magazine’s content is always welcome, because you know better than anyone what’s important to you and your family. Feel free to email us at if you have a particular topic you’d like to read about in upcoming issues. Also, be sure to look for a new section in the May issue called Primary Care Tips, where a member of our South Calgary PCN team will share a helpful hint for staying healthy. I hope you enjoy reading this first issue of Health Matters. Marny Conlon Executive Director South Calgary Primary Care Network

Published for South Calgary PCN by: Editor Chrissie Worth South Calgary Primary Care Network

SOUTH CALGARY The Trico Centre for Family Wellness #200, 11150 Bonaventure Drive SE Calgary, AB T2J 6R9

Calgary, Alberta Tel: 403.287.9818

Art Director Richart Bocxe Publisher Jim Thornton

Phone: 403.256.3222 Email:

Health Matters Magazine is published three times per year in January, May and September, and is made available free of charge to the 128,000+ South Calgary patients of 135 PCN family physicians at 39 clinics. The e-magazine version is available at and by free subscription at

All rights reserved ©2012. Printed in Canada. Member of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Fax: 403.256.3223



The South Calgary PCN: highway to health By Shelly Storozuk and Jennifer Colliton


n an effort to increase access to primary care, the federal government provided funding to each province and territory to be used to support patient care at the family doctor level. The decision in Alberta was to create Primary Care Networks (PCNs). The networks include family physicians and other health care professionals, such as nurses, dietitians, kinesiologists, respiratory

Do you need a family doctor?

Since 2006, we have helped approximately 74,000 patients in south Calgary find a family doctor. Are you looking for one? Call the South Calgary PCN at 403.256.3222 or visit

Open Mon-Fri: 9am-6pm • Sat: 10am-2pm Email:

Professional Services: • Blister pack/Accu-Pak Compliance Packaging • Complimentary Medication Reviews • Medication Flavorings • Diabetes Products and Services • Medela Breast Pump Rentals • Injection Services & Immunizations • Health Events and Screenings • FREE DELIVERY

Exceptional patient care in a professional, friendly and caring environment. Transferring your prescription is easy. Call or visit us for details

403-201-0180 Bernadette S. Galang, B.Sc. Pharm - Pharmacist/Owner

EVERGREEN CENTER: Unit 3105, 230 Eversyde Blvd. SW 4 HEALTH MATTERS

therapists, and behavioural health consultants, working together to meet the health needs of their local communities. PCNs are divided by geographical boundary, and most towns and cities in Alberta have one or more PCNs, depending on their size. Currently, there are 40 PCNs operating throughout Alberta, with more than 2500 family physicians. Calgary and surrounding area is divided into seven unique and separately managed PCNs. Established in February 2006, the South Calgary PCN includes the area south of Anderson Road to the southern, western, and eastern city limits. Its vision is to provide personalized, seamless, quality primary care to our south Calgary population through collaboration, increased use of technology, and multidisciplinary teams. The South Calgary PCN is committed to implementing innovative service-delivery strategies that are patient-centered, enhance timely access, and advance comprehensive patient care. “The South Calgary PCN’s journey was initially like traveling on a gravel road in the middle of nowhere,” says Marny Conlon, Executive Director. “We knew our destination, but we had only a vague idea of how to get there and how long the journey would take. Lots of rocks, a few potholes and the occasional flat tire later, we are now on a paved twin highway, with a clear destination and a great GPS.” The South Calgary PCN now has more than 135 member physicians at 39 clinics, and we have introduced many new programs for the residents of south Calgary, including a Low-Risk Maternity Clinic, the Health Management Clinic, and a Breastfeeding Clinic, as well as the addition of behaviourial health consultants. And, we are constantly evaluating our programs and looking at the needs of our population, so we can continue to increase access to primary care. “Primary Care Networks enable you to take a proactive approach to your health,” says Dr. Ernst Greyvenstein, Medical Director for the South Calgary PCN. “As a patient in a PCN, you will receive care from your family doctor for your everyday health concerns. But with access to multidisciplinary teams and to resources for prevention and health promotion, you are able to take a more active role in living a healthy lifestyle.” q


Patient insight about asthma management By Dr. Lienki duPlessis, MD


n 2011, I conducted research about asthma services within the borders of the South Calgary PCN to fulfill the final requirements for my Master’s degree in Public Health. I wanted to explore the general management of asthma from the perspectives of patients and health professionals to better understand how their interactions affect asthma treatment. I also wanted to identify if there were any areas for improvement in asthma management for south Calgary patients. Two factors emerged as particularly relevant for asthma patients. First, there are mixed perceptions about many aspects of asthma management. Patients and health professionals sometimes make assumptions about the knowledge and level of understanding of the other party, which can lead to miscommunication, poor follow-up, and poor treatment outcomes. I also found that patients and health professionals may disagree about the certainty of the asthma diagnosis, how to control symptoms, how to use treatments, the usefulness of asthma education, and the roles and responsibilities of each party in asthma management. Second, according to the patients in this study, it was not always easy to obtain ongoing support for asthma management. Patients said it could still be challenging to find a family doctor or that it was sometimes difficult to see a doctor in a timely manner. They also said that short appointment times meant fewer opportunities for effective communication with their doctors. In addition, if patients went to walkin clinics for their asthma, there was little continuity in care and follow-up.

So what can patients do to improve the management of their asthma? •P  lay an active role in managing your condition. Communicate openly with your family doctor, and make a follow-up appointment if you are

unhappy with any aspect of your management plan. Don’t worry about asking too many questions or taking too much of your doctor’s time. Continued on page 6

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Continued from page 5

• Go to a walk-in clinic if you don’t have a family doctor or cannot see your own doctor. If you do this, it’s best to always use the same walkin clinic, because then there can

be better follow-up and continuity of care. Asthma is a chronic condition that requires continuous follow-up

and adjustment of management strategies. You can play an important role in ensuring you and your doctor are managing your asthma in the best possible way. q

Building bridges for better health By Eleanor Benterud, Director Health Promotion and Research


he South Calgary PCN formed a steering committee in 2006 to determine the most effective way of delivering health services to people with chronic conditions, without duplicating existing services. Discussions with a focus group revealed an overwhelmingly positive response to a centralized clinic approach, and today our south Calgary patients have the Health Management Clinic (HMC) to address this need. The HMC was specifically designed to help patients manage their diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and weight (obesity) concerns. The clinic’s multidisciplinary team includes registered nurses, a dietitian, kinesiologists, and behaviourial health consultants who all offer motivational support, education, goal-setting, and a personalized program to meet your needs.

I am really feeling the benefits of the health management experience. It’s been a real plus for me and my overall health.

­—HMC patient

How can the HMC help you? After your doctor refers you to the clinic, the team can: • Help you learn to manage your chronic condition • Show you how to take your medicines • Provide information about reading nutrition labels and preparing healthy meals and snacks • Support you with losing weight and safely starting an exercise program

• Help you stay motivated as you make important lifestyle changes Because of the team approach, the HMC has become a model for other teams working in a centralized clinic setting. The model has been presented at several conferences and forums, and the clinic itself has served as an educational site for students. The HMC is also the site for many pilot and research studies conducted by Alberta Health Services and the South Calgary PCN. Ask your doctor if you could benefit from the services at the HMC. If so, your doctor will refer you, and the HMC will contact you directly to set up your first appointment.q The Health Management Clinic is located in the Health Plus building at 290 Midpark Way S.E.

403.266.HELP me feel heard. 24




403.266.HELP (4357)


Celiac disease and a gluten-free diet By Yun Yun Lee, Dietetic Intern, and Marie-Eve Bujold, RD


eliac disease is an autoimmune disease that mainly affects the digestive system. When people with celiac eat a protein called gluten, which is usually found in wheat, barley or rye, it causes inflammation of and damage to the lining of the small intestine. The damage can lead to reduced absorption of important nutrients such as iron, calcium, vitamins A, D, E and K, and folic acid. What are the symptoms? Symptoms can include chronic diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, cramps, bloating, irritability, skin rash, and anemia. Is there a treatment? There is no cure for celiac disease, so the best way to manage it is to follow a gluten-free diet. If you have celiac, you should carefully read food labels for sources of gluten, including wheat, rye, barley, oats, durum, semolina, bulgur, and couscous. Is there a test for celiac disease? A simple blood test can show if autoantibodies (common indicators of celiac disease) are present in your blood. A firm diagnosis is then made with a biopsy of the intestine. If you think you have celiac disease or are gluten intolerant, visit your doctor first before starting a glutenfree diet. Is there a difference between celiac disease and gluten sensitivity? Gluten sensitivity, or gluten intolerance, refers to people who have certain symptoms (abdominal pain, irritable bowel, headaches, tingling hands or feet) that improve when gluten is removed from the

Hidden Sources of Gluten Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) Malt (including malt vinegar and milk) Some dried herbs and spices Spelt, kamut

diet. The tests for diagnosing celiac disease are usually negative in people with gluten sensitivity. q

Some non-food products, such as lipstick or lip balm; stamps and envelopes; makeup; sunscreen; and toothpaste

Medication Reviews Book a Medication Review if you:

A Medication Review will help you:

• are on several chronic medications.

• understand the medications you are taking and why.

• have recently had changes to your medications. • are planning to be admitted or have been recently discharged from the hospital. • have transferred your prescriptions to a new pharmacy. • have questions, concerns or difficulties with your medications.

• ensure you are taking your medications as prescribed. • identify and solve any medication-related problems. • create a best personal medication record that can be shared with any healthcare provider.

Book an appointment with your Co-op Pharmacist today! HEALTH MATTERS 7

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Health Matters  

The South Calgary PCN's magazine for our patients.

Health Matters  

The South Calgary PCN's magazine for our patients.