Patient and family advisors gathered on Friday afternoon with representatives from Team 2 of Saskatoon Health Region’s Better Every Day 14 day Challenge to learn about and provide feedback on the exciting community initiatives the team is pursuing.

The focus of Team 2 is to review the community services that can be provided to prevent the need for acute care admissions to hospital, as well as to provide greater supports in the community to facilitate the transition from acute care to home.

“We want to make sure everything we’re doing is focused on the patient and family,” said Tammy Vornbrock, co-lead of Team 2. “It’s important for us to share the ideas generated and get feedback to make sure we’re going in the right direction.”

At the meeting, the patient and family advisors were informed of a pilot project that has been approved. The six-month pilot at Shirley Skelton Place facility will ensure that clients have access to supportive transitional mental health housing by providing the necessary in-house recovery supports. The absence of such supports has resulted in emergency department visits, police intervention and unnecessary ambulance calls.

“It’s nice to see progress being made and ideas being tested so that things can come to fruition. I would like to see a lot more of this happening,” said Patricia Yeudall, patient and family advisor.

Linda van der Kamp, another advisor,  agreed.

“I appreciated the opportunity to have a voice. It’s been a long time coming,” said van der Kamp.

The patient and family advisors also learned about the team’s initiatives to increase the hours of the mental health transition team to weekends, increase the capacity of the mental health approved home program, and enhance support to and optimize use of long-term care capacity, as well as to expand home care capacity through the Home First program and intravenous therapy program.

For more stories and information about the Better Every Day 14 Day Challenge, visit www.saskatoonhealthregion.ca/news