Sandy Doze, chair of the David Thompson Health Advisory Council, said that mental health is a priority for the health of Central Albertans at a meeting between the advisory council and Alberta Health Services on the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre on Jan. 10th, 2019. Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express

Expanded mental health services tops list of needs for Central Health Advisory Council

AHS, Health Adisory Council hold public meeting in Lacombe

Mental health was listed as a priority during a meeting between Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the Central Zone Health Advisory Council (HAC) at the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre

“I think mental health is probably the biggest concern, not only in the Central Zone, but across the province,” Sandy Doze, chair of the David Thompson Health Advisory Council, said. “It is about access to services. We are hoping that with the zone health care plan, we will have some input on how those services expand.”

The HAC, which serves as a link between communities and AHS, host public meetings and consultations in order to gauge how Albertans are viewing health and health care in their province. From the feedback received by council members, Doze said that mental health topped the list — followed by the need for expanded access to specialists; access to transportation to and from hospitals and enhanced continuing care service.

The meetings allow the community to not only advocate for further funding and expanded service, but also to learn about how they can access services already available in the community

“We also listen to them regarding the troubles they are having accessing services so that Alberta Health Services can direct improvements in those areas,” Doze said. “Some of it is about more funding and some of it is about getting information out about how people can access service and also where to go. That helps AHS decide where they can maybe move services to where it is needed more.”

She added that mental health is one area that could always use more funding in the Central Zone.

One of the successes of the Central Zone HAC was the development of the new public health facility currently being constructed in Lacombe and also the Red Deer Regional Hospital being put back on the priority infrastructure list by the province.

“They are both things we have been advocating for and the community really needs,” Doze said. “In Lacombe — where they are adding the new building — they have had a lot of community input on what should be there and how it would make it more easy to access services. I think that is a positive step.”

READ ALSO:

Overall, Doze characterized the HAC’s relationship with AHS as developing in a positive direction.

“We have been building over the last three to four years and now we have a good relationship with AHS’s leadership both locally and provincially,” she said. “We report directly to the AHS board, so our feedback we get in the Central Zone goes both to central planning and also to the overall AHS planning.”

She stressed it is important for council members to gain as much community input as possible so that needed information can be relayed to AHS.

“We try to get our council members to go out into the communities and talk with the organizations, physicians, the primary care networks, the churches and the service groups so that we have their input,” she said. “We hold public meetings in different areas to get feedback. We want to get an understanding what the communities’ views are on health and the health system.

“What we need to do is get our voice out to the different communities. We want people to realize we are here and that we are a conduit to get their voices heard.”

To get involved, members of the public can log on to AHS website and search for the health advisory council link.

“They can also call any AHS facility and ask them how to get in touch with us,” Doze said.



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cattle Show set to return to Stettler Jan. 31st and Feb. 1st

“Stettler, historically, has been a very strong cattle community. It was a real hub for the cattle industry.”

RCMP Major Crimes Unit lays charges in Stettler death

Nicholas Climb Johnson, 32, of Stettler is charged with second degree murder in the death of his father

Stettler’s Big Brothers Big Sisters has plenty of events lined up for the first part of 2020

January is Mentoring Month across Canada and throughout North America

RCMP remind drivers about dangers of unlocked and idling vehicles

Leaving a vehicle running unattended creates a situation that criminals find difficult to resist

Stettler Junior Curlers traveled to the Wetaskiwin bonspiel Jan. 11th and 12th

Coming up on Feb. 8th and 9th, the Club will be hosting its own junior bonspiel with 28 teams registered

Canada to bolster screening of central China passengers for virus at 3 airports

Additional measures will include messaging on arrivals screens in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

RCMP Major Crimes Unit lays charges in Stettler death

Nicholas Climb Johnson, 32, of Stettler is charged with second degree murder in the death of his father

Metis nations ask Ottawa to negotiate directly with them, not national body

Three provincial Metis nations will work through the national council until after the federal government releases its 2020 budget

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Sylvan Lake RCMP seek assistance in locating missing male

Mark Crier, 17, was last seen in Sylvan Lake on Jan. 13

UPDATE: Supreme Court dismisses B.C.’s appeal in Trans Mountain pipeline case

Judges decide whether B.C.’s power to protect environment can include impeding a federal project

Most Read