The Cranbrook Urgent & Primary Care Centre (UPCC) is marking one year of expanded access to services and team-based health care in the community.
Between Dec. 8, 2021, and Oct. 31, 2022, there have been 25,095 appointments provided, and 6,522 unique patients have been served at this location.
“It’s exciting the Cranbrook UPCC is celebrating this significant anniversary. Throughout the past year, the centre has provided more people with better access to team-based health care while receiving crucial treatment in their community,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.
Urgent and primary care centres support people who are experiencing non-life-threatening conditions and need to see a health-care provider within 12 to 24 hours, but they do not require an emergency department visit.
“We have been trying to improve access to care for the community, and I hope that people without a family doctor or nurse practitioner have been able to receive quality comprehensive care,” said Dr. Paula Dubois, UPCC family physician.
The UPCC is part of the East Kootenay Primary Care Network (EK PCN), a group of regional health care providers who work together to offer comprehensive, person-centered health care that is equitable and culturally safe.
“The care centre, and the partnership that supports it, is beneficial to the Ktunaxa Nation. It’s vital to our people to have access to these services and to culturally safe care. We’re establishing that here, including bringing in Ktunaxa language and respecting our cultural values,” said Jared Basil, Ktunaxa Cultural Safety Educator with Ktunaxa Nation Council.
The Cranbrook UPCC currently has 24 employees, including a social worker, two physiotherapists, an occupational therapist, six registered nurses, three nurse practitioners, three family physicians and seven medial office assistants. Interior Health and the EK PCN are continuing recruitment efforts so that the centre will be fully staffed in the near future.
The UPCC is located in the Baker Street Professional Centre at 1311 2nd St. N., the former Cranbrook mall downtown. The UPCC is a team based environment that currently offers urgent care, maternity care and allied health services.
The team-based approach to care means more people have added support for their immediate and long-term health needs.
“All members of the health care team are integral to providing comprehensive care. Through a collaborative approach, we regularly communicate with each other, along with patients, regarding how best to support those with complex medical and social needs,” said. Dr. Dubois. “I think patients benefit greatly from having access to the team.”
“The UPCC typically has more than 100 visits per day, and patients are connected with the health-care provider that best meets their needs such as a physician, nurse, physiotherapist, social worker and so on,” said Tara Fiedler-Graham, nurse practitioner. “We are fortunate to have PCN community services housed within the centre. These services provide timely and affordable access to allied health.”
Cranbrook resident Katy Fedorchuk recently accessed PCN physiotherapy services at the UPCC after her family doctor referred her to the PCN physiotherapist to treat golfers’ elbow. PCN services are available to all Cranbrook residents either by referral through a family doctor or referral through a primary care provider at the UPCC.
"On my first visit with the physiotherapist, I was provided information on the problem, as well as instructed on exercises that would be beneficial to the healing process," said Fedorchuk. "Being taught when and how to properly do these exercises resulted in a significant improvement over the two-week period between my appointments. I found the process all very straight forward, supportive and timely -- the UPCC is in a good location, staff are friendly, and I was happy to have access to this health care service."
The UPCC is currently open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on statutory holidays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The Cranbrook UPCC is a collaboration between Interior Health, Ministry of Health, Kootenay East Regional Hospital District, East Kootenay Division of Family Practice and Ktunaxa Nation.