Doctors Are Writing Prescriptions to Get Active

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Submitted by Glenna Mageau

Primary Care Network Wetaskiwin

Patients wanting to increase their physical activity and improve their health can now get a prescription to help encourage them. Primary Care Network (PCN) family doctors and PCN healthcare professionals are now handing out ‘Prescriptions to Get Active’ for patients who would benefit from more physical activity to reduce health risks. Patients can then decide on the type of physical activity they would like try by choosing one of the participating partners. The patient will then hand in their prescription for their complimentary access.

The program is relatively new to Wetaskiwin as it started in 2013. The City of Wetaskiwin was the first to partner with the Wetaskiwin PCN, offering a complimentary ten punch swim pass. Now with the new Manluk Centre open, it is a great opportunity to try out the program. Over the last several months more partners have joined the Wetaskiwin Prescription to Get Active program: Bodywerks (offering a complimentary five day pass), Shanti Wellness (offering a complimentary class to either: Karate, Yoga or Bolly-d dance), Snap Fitness (offering a one week complimentary pass) or Refresh Wellness (offering a complimentary class to either Pilates or Yoga).

Prescription to Get Active became a regional initiative in late 2013 which continues to grow in the surrounding area. It was originally created in Leduc in 2011 and expanded as a regional effort which is when Alberta Health Services joined the partnership. The Wetaskiwin PCN has been offering the Prescription to Get Active since the summer of 2013 but officially joined the regional program June 2014. This June we were happy join the regional initiative together with the communities – Leduc, Beaumont, Devon, Edmonton, Thorsby, Ardrossan, Fort Saskatchewan, Spruce Grove, Sherwood Park, St. Albert, Strathcona County – offering greater access to people who want to try new ways to get active.

The Wetaskiwin PCN is a non-profit organization created by your local physicians in partnership with Alberta Health to extend free health care services to the community. Primary care is the first point of contact a person has with the health system, the point where people receive care for most of their everyday health needs. Primary care includes the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of various health conditions. It also includes referrals to specialists and diagnostic services such as laboratory tests or X-rays. Programs offered through the Wetaskiwin Primary Care Network, include: mental health counselling; nutrition counselling; resource navigation; women’s wellness; teen health clinic; prenatal and postnatal care (Mommyhood 101); diabetic services including footcare, tele-ophthalmology and information and strategies to help manage your chronic illness including: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and smoking.

To get your Prescription to Get Active ask your family PCN associated family doctor or a PCN healthcare professional. To learn more go to www.wetaskiwinpcn.ca and click on Prescription to Get Active.

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