by Anna Rose
Our Community Health Nurse, Mary Donald, was informed on January 31st by her immediate supervisor, Cydney Higgins, that her position will be terminated on March 31st. This represents a drastic reduction in the quality of health care for the East Shore. For nearly twelve years, these are some of the things Mary has done for us:
- been available four days per week for home visits and in-clinic appointments
- given top-quality hands-on nursing care to people with chronic conditions, wounds or burns requiring dressing changes, palliative care patients and others
- advised anyone arriving at the clinic with urgent medical concerns when a doctor was not available whether a trip to emergency services was necessary
- worked cooperatively with everyone in our clinic: doctors, counselor, hospice, lab tech, once-monthly public health nurse from Creston (who does immunizations and baby care), me, Harreson Tanner, and the receptionist, providing a nursing perspective to help decision making and/or directly assisting in care
- provided follow-up care and monitoring between doctor’s visits for people with cardiac or other complicated conditions
- been available for consultation by our home support workers
- organized applications and transfers to residential facilities
Cydney Higgins stated that Mary would be given alternative work in the Nelson. She suggested that nurses from Nelson may be sent here occasionally for some home visits (with IHA now paying their travel time). How does such a meager, inefficient substitution fit with the IHA’s talk of “setting new standards of excellence in the delivery of health services” and their self-congratulations when they put together a “Primary Health Care Centre” like what we’ve had to date, in other places?
Please tell the following people WE NEED OUR COMMUNITY HEALTH NURSE, with no reduction in her role or hours. Kaslo recently saved its emergency services by speaking up – we can keep our nursing service. Act quickly!
1. Cydney Higgins, Community Integrated Health Services Manager (Nelson, Kootenay and Arrow Lakes). Fax (250) 352-1405 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Cheryl Whittleton, CIHS Administrator for Kootenay Boundary. Fax (250) 365-4344 Email email@example.com
3. Dr. Andrew Neuner, VP CHIS, Interior Health Authority. Fax (250) 851-7400 (Kelowna) Email firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Dr. Robert Halpenny, CEO of Interior Health Authority. Fax (250) 862-4201 (Kelowna) Email email@example.com