debbie tinkness is healing with support fromher primary Care network. Since october
2013, tinkness has worked closely with thehighland pCn in airdrie as she strives toovercome depression and obesity; and torecover from surgery on both of her kneesbecause of painful demobilizing arthritis.
It has been hard work for the 56-year-old—but she’s equal to the task. and she is gratefulto her pCn, in particular her family doctor,dr. luba Kazatchenko.
pCns across alberta feature healthprofessionals working in doctors’ clinicsoffering specialized services to patients,including help with chronic illnesses.
teams include doctors and otherhealth-care providers, depending onpatients’ needs. tinkness’s team consistsof a family doctor, registered nurse,kinesiologist, pharmacist, social workerand behavioural health consultant.
tinkness describes her pCn team as personaland non-judgmental. She credits themfor creating the caring environment thathas helped her make lifestyle changes tolose substantial weight, improve her self-confidence and lift her depression.
“the Pcn made me realize thatthere was no quick fix,” saystinkness. “ i needed to makelife changes over the longterm.”
tinkness is grateful she doesn’t have to continuallyrepeat her evolving story, because the pCn staffall work in one clinic. Registered nurse laurao’hara says having the pCn under one roof offersmore consistent and immediate care.
o’hara works closely with Kazatchenko. Shehas ready access to tinkness’s charts and hasscheduled and impromptu conversations with thedoctor about medications and other decisions.
they keep tinkness’s pharmacist in the loop inreal time. o’hara can discuss tinkness’s exerciseprogress with the kinesiologist and her nutritionand lifestyle goals with the behavioural healthconsultant. a social worker on site providestinkness quick access to community resources.
“We work together on preventive health care,catching issues as they arise through screeningand regular checkups, and by educating andempowering our patients to take achievable stepsto stay healthy,” o’hara says. “In debbie’s case, weexplore barriers that get in the way of achievingher goals and set her up for success by giving herstrategies to tackle them.”o’hara says the team had “big success” withtinkness. “She keeps progressing and feels proudof herself for achieving her goals. It’s so awesometo see.” For tinkness, the support is invaluable.
“For someone who has never had a supportsystem, the pCn has been a major boost,” shesays. “I know they are with me every step of theway.”
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Patient on pathto success withPCN’s support
team creates a caringenvironment for change