P.E.I. hosts health collaboration conference

Ryan Ross
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Ten projects focus on chronic disease, providing better health care

Health P.E.I. CEO Dr. Richard Wedge and Marilyn Barrett, who works in chronic disease prevention with Health P.E.I., attend a Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement conference in Charlottetown Wednesday. Guardian photo by Heather Taweel

While P.E.I. tries to address issues in health care, the province has been working with people in the other Atlantic provinces to help deal with chronic disease.

That collaboration with the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) involves 10 projects focused on chronic disease and providing better health care.

Dr. Richard Wedge, Health P.E.I.’s CEO, said P.E.I. is a small jurisdiction and was interested in getting involved with a larger organization that had mentors that could help spread some of its innovation to different projects.

“That’s why we’re quite pleased to have this 10-project collaboration occur,” he said.

Those projects include five in Newfoundland and Labrador, two each in P.E.I. and New Brunswick and one in Nova Scotia.

Some of the collaborators were in Charlottetown Wednesday for a conference to share their progress and work with others who made improvements in managing and preventing chronic disease.

Wedge said there have always been committees between the Atlantic provinces, but the recent collaborations were different.

“This is much more formal than we used to do in the past,” he said.

One of the projects in P.E.I. involves helping people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to help them self-manage their illness.

COPD damages the airways that carry air in and out of the lungs and Marilyn Barrett, who works in chronic disease prevention with Health P.E.I., said the province started a

small COPD project in Summerside a few years ago and has since rolled it out across the Island in a second phase.

By collaborating with the CFHI, the people involved with the project are able to get access to mentors and coaches to help build the program, she said.

“Help build some rigour into our program.”

Barrett said that collaboration involves such things as planning and program evaluation, without which it would take a lot longer to achieve the desired outcomes.

“I’m not sure that it would be as strong a program as it will be,” she said.



Organizations: CFHI, Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement

Geographic location: P.E.I., Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick Nova Scotia.Some Charlottetown Summerside

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