The health-care professionals at the Cranbrook Urgent and Primary Care Centre will provide a team-based care approach at the new clinic, located in the Baker Street Professional Centre in Cranbrook. Nurse practitioner Tara Fiedler-Graham is pictured second from right.
Having been a nurse for nearly 30 years and a nurse practitioner for 10 more, Tara Fiedler-Graham is used to caring for people.
For most of her career, that’s happened in Cranbrook, where she has worked directly with vulnerable populations and helped people suffering from mental health or substance use issues.
And now she is putting her considerable experience towards a new health centre as a nurse practitioner at the new Cranbrook Urgent and Primary Care Centre (UPCC), opening Dec. 8. 2021.
The clinic, located in the Baker Street Professional Centre, will feature a team of skilled health-care professionals, from nurse practitioners and family physicians to social workers, physiotherapists and more.
It’s the team aspect of the new Urgent and Primary Care Centre that has Tara feeling optimistic for her hometown. Once a patient attends the centre, it will be determined which health-care professional is best to support their care.
“I’m most excited about the team-based care aspect, recognizing that people have many different needs when they come to access care,” she says. “We have lots of very skilled health-care professionals who can treat people. It’s going to be good to see.”
The Cranbrook UPCC is the seventh such centre to open in Interior Health, joining those already established in Castlegar, Penticton, Vernon, West Kelowna, Kelowna and Kamloops.
The Cranbrook centre will open in a phased approach. As more staff are hired, the hours of operation will increase. Eventually the UPCC will be open seven days a week including weekends and holidays.
“Providing more access to health care, especially some extended hours beyond the traditional 9 to 5 coverage we have in Cranbrook, will be great for the community,” says Tara, who went to elementary and high school in Cranbrook and started her nursing training in the community as well.
Urgent and primary care centres are designed with input from local health-care professionals and are tailored to the community in which they operate. In Cranbrook, there are plans to have maternity care offered in the future, something that is needed in the area, says Tara. It will also look to connect people to a primary care provider once it is fully up and running.
The Cranbrook UPCC came together with the support of partners from the East Kootenay Division of Family Practice, the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District, and the Ktunaxa Nation along with the Ministry of Health and Interior Health.
Completing the centre on time was challenging due to the damage caused to B.C. travel routes in the recent flooding and the impact on the flow of goods throughout the province. But IH capital projects teams worked through the night in the weeks leading up to the opening, to be sure everything was in place for IH’s seventh UPCC to open.
The new centre will treat people with urgent health concerns, issues that needs to be treated within 12 to 24 hours but do not require a trip to the emergency department.
In Cranbrook, appointments upon opening will be by drop in. Learn more about urgent and primary care centres here.