CURC

Conference Learns Importance of Primary Health Care

On March 3, 2010, Southey Saskatchewan was the setting for the successful Primary Health Care Conference co-sponsored by the Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism and the Saskatchewan Federation of Union Retirees. Betty Pickering, President, Saskatchewan Federation of Union Retirees acted as Conference Chairperson.

Left to right, Terry Mildenberger, Pharmicist, Southey, Saskatchewan; Martin Lingelbach, Mayor, Southey; Lynn Digney-Davis, Chief Nursing Officer, Government of Saskatchewan; and, Dr. Michael Rachlis.

Left to right, Terry Mildenberger, Pharmicist, Southey, Saskatchewan; Martin Lingelbach, Mayor, Southey; Lynn Digney-Davis, Chief Nursing Officer, Government of Saskatchewan; and, Dr. Michael Rachlis.

The Conference was a tremendous success.  Of the 200 registrants for the conference, over 160 attended regardless of the ice-fog weather that occurred that day. MLA’s attending were Laura Ross, SK Party, Regina Qu’Appelle Valley, Lyle Stewart, SKParty, Thunder Creek, Glen Hart, SK Party, Last Mountain Touchwood, Dan D’Autremont, SK Party, Cannington, Deb Higgins, NDP, Moose Jaw Wakamow and Warren McCall, NDP Regina Elphinstone. The Conference also welcomed Martin Lingelbach, Mayor, Southey, Don Jewoski, Mayor, Cupar, Malcom Graham, Mayor, Saskatchewan Beach, and Eunice Cameron, Councillor, Regina Beach.

The conference key note speaker was Dr. Michael Rachlis from Toronto. Dr. Rachlis practices as a private consultant in health policy analysis. He has lectured widely on health care issues.  He has made presentations to committees of the House of Commons, Canadian Senate and the United States House of Representatives and Senate.

Move forward

Dr. Rachlis spoke about the history of medicare, medicare today and how we should move forward with the second stage of medicare which is Primary Health Care.  He was enthusiastic about Primary Health Care in his presentation and urged the participants to eagerly support, encourage and sponsor Primary Health Care in their Communities. Lynn Digney Davis, RN, and Nurse Practitioner spoke to the conference on being a Nurse Practitioner.  She explained the role of the Nurse Practitioner working with other health professionals, diagnosing and treating medical disorders, diagnostic tests, prescribing and dispensing drugs and performing surgical procedures.  Lynn was thorough and clear with her explanation of this very important profession and its role in Primary Health Care.

Holly Schick, a conference facilitator (seated) and SFUR President Betty Pickering.

Holly Schick, a conference facilitator (seated) and SFUR President Betty Pickering.

A health panel also gave their presentations.  Marci Scott, Strategic Planner, Primary Health Care, Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region discussed the important elements of Primary Health Care and Primary Health Care in the Health Region.

Michele Holliday, Chronic Conditions Nurse Educator from Four Directions Community Health Centre, Regina gave a presentation as a care giver working in primary health care.   She discussed how primary health care supports her clients and their needs in today’s health system.

Joyce Tapaquon, a Primary Health client discussed her experience as a client of Four Directions.  She explained how Four Directions meets all of her needs. She encouraged all the participants to support Primary
Health Care.

Spread the Word

The participants were asked to gather into table groups to answer two questions regarding their opinion on the most important services provided by a Primary Health Care facility, its greatest benefit to them personally, and aside from the video being prepared what other methods could be used to spread the word about Primary Health Care.

For lunch, caterer, Mayor Martin Lingelbach., served a delicious old-fashioned turkey dinner.  This was an absolute success!

After lunch the result of the questions were summed up by three facilitators, Angie Zurowski, Holly Schick, and Fiona Bishop.

Importance of Primary Health Care

Dr. Michael Rachlis wrapped up the Conference and reviewed the importance of Primary Health Care in our medicare system.  With words of encouragement he urged everyone to support, encourage and lobby for Primary Health Care to be adopted and its value to be recognized in Communities.  Dr. Rachlis ended the Conference with the words of Tommy Douglas: “Courage my friends, ’tis not too late to make a better world……”

The Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism would like to thank the Town of Southey and the Mayor of Southey, Martin Lingelbach for their generosity in donating the use of the facility for the conference. We would also like to thank Rosemary Flaman for all her hard work in organizing in the Community of Southey. Thanks to Judy Corkery for leading the Fitness Breaks.

The Conference was filmed by Wolfson Productions.  There will be DVD’S made and will be made available for communities and organizations throughout the Province.

The conference was funded by a grant from Saskatchewan Parks & Recreation.

– Betty Pickering, SFUR President

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