In 2018, a small group of community members in Pictou County gathered around kitchen tables and local coffee shops to share a vision of improving health care in Pictou County. The vision was to transform access to primary care beyond treating disease and illness to a more organic model of shared responsibility to restore mind, body, and soul. A place where relationships are built between community and traditional health care, resulting in a system where all aspects of a person’s lived reality is considered when addressing health care needs. These conversations sparked a movement leading to the development of the Pictou County Community Health Centre Working Group (PCCHC-WG or WG) with the goal of creating a Pictou County Community Health Centre (PCCHC).
In 2021, the PCCHC-WG secured funding from the Aberdeen Health Foundation (AHF) and the Sutherland Harris Memorial Hospital Foundation (SHMF) to undertake a community engagement process and develop a pre-operational business plan, and the support of these partners has been key to the ongoing development of this project. The goal of this plan was the cultivation of a clear pathway for the future of a potentially transformational health care system for Pictou County.
Over the past year, the Pictou County Community Health Centre Working Group (PCCHC-WG) undertook an extensive stakeholder engagement process with service providers, community groups, and service users. This “First Voice” data, along with a review of current Community Health Care models and available data pertaining to healthcare in Pictou County, allowed us to create this CHC business plan.
In short, our research showed us the current service gaps and demonstrated the need for an alternative way to approach primary health care in our community, an approach which recognizes that health is not solely interventions in treating disease, but also includes disease prevention, health promotion, and being responsive to community members as well as the contexts in which they live. Our business plan will lay the path for putting these principles into action.
We have completed important foundational work, but much remains to be done before a CHC can open its doors in our county. These are some of the main goals for the next phase of our work:
- Create an operational plan
- Complete an asset map of our county
- Establish the PCCHC-WG as a registered non-profit society and charity
- Continue to create and maintain strong community partnerships
- Implement a communication and knowledge translation strategy
- Develop evaluation, sustainability, and building plans for the CHC
We are pleased with the progress to date and excited for what is ahead of us in this journey. We are optimistic that there will be a CHC established in Pictou County which will improve health care services and health outcomes for residents of Pictou. With the support of our partners and community members the PCCHC-WG is confident that Pictou County can become the leader in the future of healthcare in our province.
If you have any questions regarding our business plan, or are interested in how you can contribute to the success of this project, please contact us at: email@example.com
Interested in learning more about Community Health Centres? Visit the following links!
Link to NS Association of CHCs: https://nsachc.org/
Link to Canadian Association of CHCs: https://www.cachc.ca/