WRITTEN BY DAN JAMES
PHOTOGRAPHED BY GEORGE WEBBER
Name: Laura Young, 61
Health conditions: Irritable bowel syndrome
(IBS); pre-diabetic; back, knee and hip pain.
Health goals: Become healthier and
more active to improve my conditions
and feel better.
Together with her family doctor, Dr. Mina
Derakhshan, and registered nurse Dawn
Redmond at the Calgary West Central PCN,
Laura developed a health plan specifically
tailored to her. She meets with Dawn
monthly and was referred to the Alberta
Healthy Living Program ( ahs.ca/ahlp).
How Laura feels now: I feel much better.
When I see the results—my 4. 5 kg ( 10
pounds) weight loss or being able to
increase exercising—I can set different goals
and start introducing a variety of things to
see what works. Through the courses, I’ve
learned what vegetables to add, not to use
canned and that raw is better than cooked.
So, small things have made the difference.
To have Dawn as a resource is wonderful.
I have an elevated sort of feeling, and it’s
given me more physical and mental energy.
It’s all about quality of life and even the
slightest improvement is very encouraging. I
am extremely grateful.
Nurse Dawn Redmond: I really commend
Laura for following through, especially
with her diabetes and IBS classes. There
is often so much information for patients
to learn that it is difficult to deliver all at
once. Meeting over time allows us to add on
other elements of self-care. The trust and
rapport builds up, too, and it gives Laura the
opportunity to ask questions. It’s all patient-driven based on her needs.