Sandy Doze, chair of the David Thompson Health Advisory Council, said that mental health is a priority for the health of Central Albertans at a meeting between the advisory council and Alberta Health Services on the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre on Jan. 10th, 2019. Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express

Sandy Doze, chair of the David Thompson Health Advisory Council, said that mental health is a priority for the health of Central Albertans at a meeting between the advisory council and Alberta Health Services on the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre on Jan. 10th, 2019. Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express

Expanded mental health services tops list of needs for Central Health Advisory Council

AHS, Health Adisory Council hold public meeting in Lacombe

Mental health was listed as a priority during a meeting between Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the Central Zone Health Advisory Council (HAC) at the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre

“I think mental health is probably the biggest concern, not only in the Central Zone, but across the province,” Sandy Doze, chair of the David Thompson Health Advisory Council, said. “It is about access to services. We are hoping that with the zone health care plan, we will have some input on how those services expand.”

The HAC, which serves as a link between communities and AHS, host public meetings and consultations in order to gauge how Albertans are viewing health and health care in their province. From the feedback received by council members, Doze said that mental health topped the list — followed by the need for expanded access to specialists; access to transportation to and from hospitals and enhanced continuing care service.

The meetings allow the community to not only advocate for further funding and expanded service, but also to learn about how they can access services already available in the community

“We also listen to them regarding the troubles they are having accessing services so that Alberta Health Services can direct improvements in those areas,” Doze said. “Some of it is about more funding and some of it is about getting information out about how people can access service and also where to go. That helps AHS decide where they can maybe move services to where it is needed more.”

She added that mental health is one area that could always use more funding in the Central Zone.

One of the successes of the Central Zone HAC was the development of the new public health facility currently being constructed in Lacombe and also the Red Deer Regional Hospital being put back on the priority infrastructure list by the province.

“They are both things we have been advocating for and the community really needs,” Doze said. “In Lacombe — where they are adding the new building — they have had a lot of community input on what should be there and how it would make it more easy to access services. I think that is a positive step.”

READ ALSO:

Overall, Doze characterized the HAC’s relationship with AHS as developing in a positive direction.

“We have been building over the last three to four years and now we have a good relationship with AHS’s leadership both locally and provincially,” she said. “We report directly to the AHS board, so our feedback we get in the Central Zone goes both to central planning and also to the overall AHS planning.”

She stressed it is important for council members to gain as much community input as possible so that needed information can be relayed to AHS.

“We try to get our council members to go out into the communities and talk with the organizations, physicians, the primary care networks, the churches and the service groups so that we have their input,” she said. “We hold public meetings in different areas to get feedback. We want to get an understanding what the communities’ views are on health and the health system.

“What we need to do is get our voice out to the different communities. We want people to realize we are here and that we are a conduit to get their voices heard.”

To get involved, members of the public can log on to AHS website and search for the health advisory council link.

“They can also call any AHS facility and ask them how to get in touch with us,” Doze said.



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
City and County of Wetaskiwin COVID-19 numbers continue to drop

Fruition of provincial restrictions coming to light as active cases decline locally.

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the province still hopes to bring the hospitalization number down before relaxing restrictions. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
14 new deaths, 366 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta

Province nearing 100K COVID-19 vaccine doses administered

Black Press file photo
Leduc RCMP investigate serious collision involving train

Leduc RCMP were called to a collision between a train and truck on Centre Street in New Sarepta.

Elder Muriel Lee. (Photo submitted)
Maskwacis Elder Mentoring Program connects Elders with young parents

By Chevi Rabbit For Black Press Media The Maskwacis Elders Mentoring Program,… Continue reading

(Kraft Dinner/Twitter)
Kraft Dinner launches candy-flavoured mac and cheese just in time for Valentine’s Day

Sweet and cheesy treat will be here just in time for the cheesiest holiday of the year

In this undated image made from a video taken by the Duke of Sussex and posted on @SaveChildrenUK by the Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, shows the Duchess of Sussex reading the book “Duck! Rabbit!” to their son Archie who celebrates his first birthday on Wednesday May 6, 2020. The Canadian Paediatric Society is reminding families that the process of raising a reader starts from birth. (Duke of Sussex/@SaveChildrenUK)
Canadian Paediatric Society says raising a reader starts from birth

CPS says literacy is one of the strongest predictors of lifelong health outcomes

Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Minister Carla Qualtrough responds to a question during a news conference Thursday August 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Easing rules for parental benefits created inequities among parents, documents say

Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough’s office says the government will make any necessary changes

People walk along a pedestrianized zone of Sainte-Catherine street in Montreal, Monday, May 18, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. Newly released statistics point to a major drop in police-recorded crime during the first eight months of the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Crime down in first 8 months of pandemic, but mental health calls rise: StatCan

The agency says violent crimes such as assault dropped significantly

(Photo submitted)
Central Alberta researchers recognized for studies in agricultural sciences

Jessica Sperber of Ponoka and David MacTaggart of Lacombe awarded prestigious scholarship

FILE – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers his opening remarks at a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine CEO ‘very, very clear’ that Canada’s contracts will be honoured: Trudeau

Trudeau says he spoke to Moderna CEO on the morning of Jan. 26

A ground worker wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 unloads lobsters from a WestJet Airlines flight at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday, January 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Trudeau teases stricter travel measures; Canadians flying to U.S. now need COVID test

Prime minister says measures need to not hurt imports and essential trade

(Photo submitted)
Ponoka RCMP receives new police puppy trainee

Detachment says goodbye to ‘Maja’ and welcomes ‘Neutron’

Most Read