Most Wetaskiwin residents don’t even know it exists. And those who have heard the name ‘Wetaskiwin Primary Care Network (PCN)’ don’t understand what it is. But upon entering the PCN facility in the East Gate Mall at 5010c – 48 St (north of Terracotta) it becomes evident very quickly that this is an important healthcare service everyone should be aware of. The PCN, (a non-profit health organization) was created by local physicians to extend free health care services to the community. The PCN multi-disciplinary team consists of family physicians, nurses (chronic disease, prenatal, women's & teen health focus), a dietitian, patient care facilitator, therapist and foot care specialist. There are 45 PCN’s located throughout the province.
The Wetaskiwin ‘Network” links the services offered by the PCN main office, local physicians clinics, as well as the Wetaskiwin hospital. This keeps everyone up to date and informed on the status of the patients health. The formation of the Wetaskiwin PCN means your physician and other healthcare providers (such as your nurse & dietitian) are now working within the same network towards the same goal – your health. The PCN is comprised of 25 family physicians (located in the 4 participating clinics) & 23 PCN staff, of which 18 are healthcare professionals, who provide direct clinical services. Within the PCN, physicians & other health care providers communicate and consult with one another to help plan and guide future health plans and services for their patients. The services are available to the residents of the City of Wetaskiwin, County of Wetaskiwin and surrounding communities such as: Millet, Gwynne, Hobbema, Falun, Pigeon Lake and Buck Lake.
The Wetaskiwin PCN was created in 2010 and services became available to the community in 2011. The planning committee collaborated to determine which services will best serve patients and family members and identified the need was greatest in:
• Mental Health
• Chronic Disease Management
• Obstetrics, Women's Wellness & Teen Health
PCN has a focus on programs and services that best serve these needs.
Three new services added in Wetaskiwin
The Wetaskiwin PCN team recently announced they will be offering 3 new services:
1. Walk-In Counselling – single session appointment to help people through a difficult time (team approach) http://www.wetaskiwinpcn.ca/#!walk-in-counseling/c1jgb
2. Women’s Wellness – women will have access to a team of female health care providers http://www.wetaskiwinpcn.ca/#!womens-wellness/caub
3. Teen Health (young adults under the age of 25) http://www.wetaskiwinpcn.ca/#!teen-health/cefp
Team approach to new walk-in counselling service
Alycia Chung, M.Ed., Registered Provisional Psychologist describes the new Walk-in Counselling program as, “a partnership between the PCN and Alberta Health Services- Addictions and Mental Health. As counsellors from different organizations, we all have a unique set of skills and ideas that we bring to the program. By putting our heads together, we make sure that the client gets the best help possible.”
“Costly services and long wait times often discourage people from accessing services. We tried to eliminate those barriers by creating a free service where people can just walk in and get solutions and support in only an hour. If clients would like additional help, they are welcome to return as often as needed for brief therapy, or we can direct them to other community resources.”
“Some people are also hesitant to access counselling because they don’t think that their problems are big enough. Our Walk-In program can talk people through all issues, big or little. This may include relationship or work stress, grief and loss, difficulties parenting, and other situational stressors. Whatever the problem, we are here to help.”
The Walk-In Counselling program is available from 12-4:30 on the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month, excluding holidays. All ages are welcome, but parental consent for minors under 14 is required.
Services offered by the Wetaskiwin PCN provide patients who have health concerns with a convenient approach to getting answers to their questions or concerns. Patients can still make an appointment to see their physician just as they did before but PCN suggests that by offering supportive services, patients may actually find that they have better access to their family physician. They also claim that patients will find getting referred is faster and easier as the PCN can directly refer patients to the healthcare provider, program and/or specialist needed. Don’t have a family physician? PCN will connect people without a family physician to those who are accepting new patients.
Physicians & Clinics (28) in collaboration with
Dr. Mohamad Badawi (OB/GYN)
Wetaskiwin Hospital & Care Center Rm 4509
Dr. Ellen Toth (Endocrinologist)
362 – 107 University Campus NW
Dr. Ernest York (Pulmonologist)
Wetaskiwin Lung Laboratory
Dr. Argals Dr. Kirwan
Dr. Bakshi Dr. Moola
Dr. Brand Dr. Schlenther
Dr. Haider Dr. Schwartz
Dr. Jeffery Dr. Surgenor
Dr. Johnson Dr. Van Den Berg
Dr. B. Patel
Dr. K. Patel
Tower Professional Clinic
Family Medical Clinic
Dr. De Wet
Dr. van der Walt
The Wetaskiwin PCN will continue to reach more patients in the community by expanding relationships for care and collaboration. Some of the current partners of PCN:
Alberta Health Services
Alberta Health & Wellness
AHS Aboriginal Health Lead & Coordinators
AHS Gestational Diabetes Educator
AHS Mental Health & Addictions
Alberta Medical Association
Central Zone Primary Care Networks
Dr Ellen Toth
Dr Mohamad Badawi (OB/GYN)
Ermineskin Brighter Futures
Four Bands Health Unit
First Nations Inuit Health Board
Maskwacis Heatlh Services
Maskwacis Public Health Nurses
Nutrition and Food Services
Samson Healthy Families
Wetaskiwin Brighter Futures
Wetaskiwin Hospital & Care Center
And other various community and related health & wellness groups.
For more information visit the website at www.wetaskiwinpcn.ca or visit the Centre at 5010C – 48 St in Wetaskiwin or call 780-312-2500.