Patients with chronic disease, frail seniors, and those with mental illness and substance use issues will benefit from new or expanded programming.
Three areas receiving funds in Vernon include addressing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, assisting seniors to remain at home and providing mental health clients with access to physician services.
“The projects are community-based and have the common goal of improving a patient’s quality of life and keeping people out of the hospital,” said Eric Foster, Vernon-Monashee MLA.
The Interior Health Authority has hired a respiratory therapist to work with COPD patients in the community, to manage symptoms and help avoid unnecessary hospital visits.
There will also be a role for expanded rehabilitation efforts and education.
The Home First initiative will help keep seniors who may be destined for residential care or at risk of hospitalization at home a little longer, through the support of a team of dedicated health-care workers. The team works closely with a client’s physician, and individualized service and care plans help ensure the client’s specific needs are met.
Also, 3.5 full-time equivalent new positions will be added to enure mental health clients have access to physician services.
The initiatives are being rolled out over three years in Vernon.