Information on helping people under psychological distress was shared as the Sun Country Regional Health Authority held its monthly board meeting on Wednesday at the Tatagwa View care home.
Interim president and CEO of the health region, Marga Cugnet, presented her monthly report to the board.
Highlights of the president’s report included new steps aimed at helping individuals and families experiencing psychological distress. The board heard about new steps aimed at curbing suicide, as Saskatchewan has the highest per capita rate for suicides in the country.
The region is implementing training to educate acute nursing staff about suicide and addiction, trying to decrease the number of suicides through timely assessment and access to care.
The region is also developing its capacity to help mothers who are dealing with postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis.
The Sun Country Health Region is also looking at how it coordinates patient discharging and transferring. The region would like to standardize the information package that accompanies a discharged patient with other regions across the province.
The region is also creating a single point of entry for patients being transferred to the SCHR, making the transition from other health regions go smoother.
To reach this goal the region has hired a central intake coordinator, tasked with receiving patients from transferring agencies and coordinating their needs with the most appropriate available bed or service in the region.
The president’s report also noted that the SCHR is continuing its efforts to create primary health teams, made up of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals.
The initiative is aimed at improving patient care through a team-based approach, with health care professionals working together and sharing information to better serve patients. One primary health team was added in Estevan as discussions continue there with another group of three physicians.
Discussions for new primary health teams are also ongoing with Coronach and the Five Hills Health Region.
The president’s report also included gains made by the Sun Country Health Authority in recruitment of “difficult-to-fill” positions. From May 15 to June 18, the region hired 15 registered nurses and three senior assists, third-year nursing students. The region also hired four licensed practical nurses, one combined lab and x-ray technician and two cooks.
The region also recognized employees with Long Service Awards on June 1. Dr. Philip Fong of Weyburn was recognized for his 45 years of service in the region.
Updates on the progress of the region’s major construction projects were also presented to board members during the meeting.
Construction on the new Radville Health Centre was reported to be behind schedule. The original schedule had the completion date set for May of 2013 and although the no official updates to the schedule had been provided by the construction company, health officials expected completion to be delayed until June or July of 2013.
Although construction on the Radville facility may be behind schedule, the long-term care facility addition to the Redvers Health Centre is going smoothly with an expected finish date of November 2012.
Renovations at the Wawota Memorial Health Centre are also on schedule and expected to be completed in mid-July of 2012.
During the meeting the audited financial statements for the Radville Marian Health Centre were also presented to the board.
The health centre ended the year with a $133,000 surplus despite increases in spending on drugs.