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Community Planning in the Cypress Health Region Assessing how Primary Health Care Services can be Delivered

In September of 2010, the Ministry of Saskatchewan began consultation with various stakeholders across the province to assess how primary health care services are delivered and accessed. During this consultation process, communities in Saskatchewan voiced that they would like to have a greater say in the design and delivery of health care services for their residents. The fi nal draft of this framework will be available to the public in March of 2012.

In response to the communities’ voice, Cypress Health’s Primary Health Care department plans to consult with communities in the region through the Community Planning Process to help design how their health services are delivered. Primary Health Care has recently hired a 2-year temporary Community Planning Facilitator, Melanie Warken, to help meet this objective.

Communities that the region hopes to consult and collaborate with in 2012 have been identifi ed by the region’s Senior Leadership Team. The communities that have agreed to collaborate with the region for this process include the communities and their surrounding area of Ponteix and Cabri. The Town of Ponteix is already engaged in the Community Planning Process and the next community to participate will be Cabri. The Community Planning events are scheduled for Cabri and area on March 28 and 29, 2012. The region has an aim of carrying forward with this process in another four communities in 2013.

Participants in the Community Planning Process in Ponteix, SK were engaged throughout the Community Planning Forum held in November 2011

Participa tn s in th Ce omm ity Pla inn ng Process ti i unit

The third step of the process involves developing working groups for each of the top three identifi ed health priorities. Each working group meets separately to develop an action plan and a timeline to address the health priority.

An annual community forum is then recommended where each working group would present their progress and learnings to all members of the communities served.

In consultation with each of these communities and surrounding areas, Primary Health Care will assist with the development of a community steering committee. This steering committee is a group made up of individuals who are representative of their community’s demographical make-up who agree to work with local primary health care providers. The goal is to work together to refl ect on the determinants of health and to achieve greater success in improving the overall health of our communities. The determinants of health look beyond health services to refl ect on other elements affecting our health such as income, genetics, education, community belonging, family and social supports, safe communities, lifestyle choices, housing, the environment, culture, and spiritual connections.

The purpose of the Community Planning Process is to • Have the communities identify their health needs in the area.

• Have the communities prioritize these identifi ed health needs.

• Engage community members to participate in addressing the priority activities.

This Determinants of Health graphic shows the connection and scope of all factors that determines ones health


Health priorities that are identifi ed through the Community Planning process are valid for approximately three years. After three years, it is recommended that communities re-engage in another Community Planning Process to identify current health priorities.

To fulfi ll this purpose, the Community Planning Process involves three steps. The fi rst step includes organizing a Community Planning event. This is a fi ve hour participatory meeting where a representative sample of community members (ideally 25 to 35) gather in one room. During this event the participants create a vision of what they want to achieve, they identify their health needs, and they prioritize the identifi ed health needs.

The second step of the Community Planning Process involves organizing a Community Planning forum. The forum is a two hour participatory meeting open to all members of the communities served. The fi ndings from the Community Planning event are reviewed and participants have the opportunity to add to the existing report. The goal of the forum once again is to build community awareness, engagement and advocacy for their health.

Community Planning Process in Ponteix, SK

Ponteix and its surrounding communities were the fi rst area to embark on this Community Planning process. The Ponteix and Area Community Steering Committee was formed and discussions regarding the Community Planning process began in August 2011. A Community Planning event was held on October 3, 2011 where over 50 community members from Ponteix, Cadillac, and the Rural Municipality of Auvergne participated in identifying 15 health priorities. A Community Planning forum was then held on November 23, 2011 where community members gathered to review and confi rm the 15 health priorities. The creation of working groups to address the top three health priorities began. Currently, each working group is meeting to participate in developing an action plan and timeline to address each health priority.

Robert Carignan, the Economic Development Advisor for the area, comments on his experience as a Community Steering Committee member: “the consultation process on Community Planning for Ponteix and area has offered a perfect opportunity for the community members to voice the health needs of the community and establish the priorities of actions to be addressed in the short and long term based on the input received during a series of well-coordinated meetings.”

The Ponteix and Area Primary Health Care Community Planning Report is now available (in English and French) to the public at www. and www.cypresshealth. ca.

This community development initiative

supported by the Cypress Health Region reinforces the World Health Organization & Unicef published statement: “Primary Health Care focuses on individual and community strengths (assets) and opportunities for change (needs); maximizes the involvement of the community (1978).”

The Cypress Health Region looks forward to engaging in the Community Planning process with other communities in the region.

Please contact Melanie Warken, Manager of Community and Primary Health Care Development, at (306)778-5144 for more information.

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