Residents encouraged to provide input at health-care open house
Airdrie and area residents will have another opportunity to share their stories and views about health care.
Highland Primary Care Network (HPCN), in partnership with Airdrie Regional Health Foundation, is hosting a public input session in Airdrie Echo Room at Genesis Place on Sept. 11 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Several other discussion sessions have been held during the month of August, and Joe MacGillivray, executive director of the HPCN, which includes a number of Airdrie, Didsbury and area physicians, said the group is hoping to complete a draft form of its findings by the middle of September.
MacGillivray said more input is needed to help shape a vision for the future of health care in the community.
“We don’t often say, ‘what do we need?’ as the people of Airdrie,” said MacGillivray. “We are looking for up to 20 to 25 people to have the chance to (share their experiences). The summary of those (experiences) will help us shape what are the common themes.”
So far, the quality of what people have been sharing has been good, according to MacGillivray.
“I am already really happy with what I am hearing,” he said. “People understand the system and their needs fairly well.”
MacGillivray said he is also impressed with the calibre of those represented in Airdrie’s health foundation, including local politicians, concerned residents, health-care professionals and community groups.
He added he is confident Airdrie citizens can have their health-care needs addressed, but that open discussion about the good and bad in our current system are necessary.
MacGillivray encourages people with a story to tell to attend the upcoming meeting.
“I think those that have had significant experiences with the health-care system (should provide input),” he said. “Those themes are what is going to help us articulate a vision.”
Michelle Bates, vice chair of Airdrie Regional Health Foundation, said the group is trying to think outside the box when it comes to providing options for Airdronians.
“I think a lot of people believe that talking about health care in Airdrie just represents 24-hour-care need,” said Bates. “We are looking for more than that.”
Bates encourages people to share their stories not only about emergency health care, but about pre- and post-care, transportation and support services.
“If we know what we are going to Calgary for, we know what we need here in Airdrie,” she said. “We are listening to all of that information, and whatever Airdrie needs, we are going to try to (address).”
Bates added the foundation needs volunteers for a number of committees.
For more information about the foundation or to volunteer, contact the group at Airdriehealthcare@hotmail.com