CCAC award for family health team

CCAC award for family health team

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PHOTO: Michael McBride, a training supervisor with the North West Community Care Access Centre, presents the CCAC Organizational Community Ambassador Award to Atikokan Family Health Team staffers Candace Green and Kiera Lacosse (missing is Lisa Campbell). It recognizes the family health team for excellent work developing and promoting self-management programs (chronic pain, diabetes, chronic disease) here.

The North West Community Care Access Centre saluted the Atikokan Family Health Team last week for its work developing and promoting self-management programs here.

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“Your organization has been an outstanding ambassador, consistently going above and beyond our expectations promoting and facilitating these programs,” said Michael McBride, the CCAC’s training supervisor for the self-management programs.

The programs aim to give those suffering from chronic disease and/or chronic pain the tools to maximize their quality of life by better managing their conditions. (There is also a specific program for those with diabetes.) Most are led by volunteers who are dealing condition themselves, and have found some relief through better self-management of the condition. They generally involve six weekly two-and-a-half hour sessions.

The hospital ran the first program here, covering chronic conditions generally, in 2007. The family health team picked up the ball in 2012-13, and has made them a core part of its service. There are usually six different programs held here every year.

The ambassador award recognizes the way the family health team has promoted the programs at health fairs and other information sessions, had a staff member speak about the program at a health conference, given talks to community groups, made key media contacts, and supported the start of new sessions.

“It is because of your organization that we are able to help so many people in  Northwestern Ontario better manage their chronic health conditions,” said McBride.

He went on to note the CCAC has recently added a fourth program, Cancer: Thriving & Surviving.

Like the other programs, it was developed as part of the Steps to Healthier Living Program at Stanford University. “It is the process in which the program is taught that makes it effective,” says Stanford. “Classes are highly participative, where mutual support and success build the participants’ confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives.”

The new cancer program will cover:

  • techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain, isolation, poor sleep and living with uncertainty
  • appropriate exercise for regaining and maintaining flexibility, and endurance
  • making decisions about treatment and complementary therapies
  • communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals
  • nutrition
  • setting priorities, and
  • relationships.

“As far as I know, we are the first – and currently only – organization providing this workshop in Ontario,” said McBride. The first session was held via the Ontario TeleMedicine Network, with participation from Thunder Bay, Terrace Bay, and Schreiber.

A fifth program, Getting the most out of your health care appointment, is also now available through the North West CCAC. It’s a much shorter (ninety minutes), one-time session; no word on when it, or Cancer: Thriving & Surviving, will be offered here.

Contact the Family Health Team for further information on any of the programs.


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