Build a sense of community, belonging and support among patient family advisors and patient partners, and provide an opportunity for them to build skills – these were the primary goals of Nova Scotia Health’s recent Building Connections Patient Family Advisor (PFA) conference, held virtually June 2 and 3.
“To be honest, I didn’t even know what a PFA was,” laughed Juanna Ricketts as she talked about how she became a volunteer patient family advisor (PFA) for Nova Scotia Health.
Ricketts’ role as a patient partner began long before she joined Nova Scotia Health as a PFA. In 2014, Ricketts experienced clinical depression and high anxiety.
“I lost my ability to speak clearly, I stuttered for almost six months, and I would mix up my words, for example in my mind a knew a plate was a plate but I would call it a spoon; this lasted for about three months,” explained Ricketts.
After a diagnosis of cancer, patients can often wait for a long period of time for an initial consultation with an oncology team. And sometimes, patients learn at this stage that further investigation is still required before a treatment plan can be made. Not only does this lead to significant delays in starting treatment, but it can also have a big impact on patient outcomes.
Dr. Abdulmajeed Dayyat, with the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Cape Breton Cancer Clinic, and his research team are looking to improve patient experience. Dr. Dayyat has spent most of his career in Jordan and came to Nova Scotia about a year and a half ago.
“As an analyst, I’m never going to save anyone’s life, but knowing that I’m helping to educate and inform frontline care providers … I know that my community is getting the care that they need or at the very least getting the language that they deserve,” said Robin Latta, senior analyst for Nova Scotia Health in Amherst.
Representation for every community within personal and professional spaces is paramount for the positive development of young people’s aspirations and self-esteem.
As a nurse for over ten years, Abigail Sawler, now a Nurse Practitioner, has cared for many people who did not have a primary care provider.
When she heard about VirtualCareNS, she was interested in the opportunity to provide primary care to unattached people in such an innovative way.
VirtualCareNS is a pilot program led by Nova Scotia Health’s Innovation Hub in partnership with Nova Scotia Health’s Primary Health Care team, IM/IT team, and other health system partners, which provides free, temporary access to primary medical care for people on the Need a Family Practice Registry. Through VirtualCareNS, people on the registry can make a same-day virtual medical appointment for their primary health care needs.
In an effort to ensure all Nova Scotians have access to COVID-19 testing as needed, especially those in rural communities where testing is not available nearby, the Public Health mobile units will be offering testing across the province.
Two physicians in the Northern Zone were recently named recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Pin. The emblem was created to mark the 70th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne, a historic milestone.
Dr. Stephen Ellis, Member of Parliament for Cumberland-Colchester, sent out requests to Cumberland-Colchester County residents for nominations of a person in the community who works hard to contribute meaningful and positive change in the community. The request received an overwhelming response. The pins were presented during a special event held at the Wentworth Recreation Centre on Saturday, May 14.