Smiles were the order of the day last week when an 18-month process to integrate maternity care at the Creston Valley Hospital and Health Centre.
From its location on the lower level of the hospital, Maple Maternity Clinic, a multidisciplinary team will offer prenatal, delivery, postpartum and newborn care to local moms and their families.
“It’s surreal that opening day is finally here,” Dr. Karen Persad told a group before a ribbon-cutting ceremony. “It has been 18months of hard work from our dedicated team of physicians, public health nurses, Interior health staff from the community, public health, and our local site, as well as Interior health administrators, and facility engagement staff.
“It has been no small feat. We started off with several goals, but one of the main objectives of this project were to enhance the prenatal and postpartum supports that we can provide our families by partnering with our public health nurse colleagues. We also heard from our women and their families that it would be beneficial to have the opportunity to meet and get to know all care providers during the course of their pregnancy.”
“The Maple Maternity Clinic is a great example of what can be achieved by working together,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a news release later. “This initiative shows team-based care in action, wrapping quality maternity care around new and expecting parents in the Creston area.”
The clinic is the result of a unique collaborative effort. Eighteen months ago, Creston’s three physicians (Drs. Persad, Crystal Campbell, and Barry Oberleitner) providing maternity services approached Interior Health with a proposal to develop a clinic within the hospital and health centre that would integrate services and include public health nurses.
The name Maple Maternity acknowledges the Ktunaxa Nation’s traditional and medicinal use of the Miçkik, or Rocky Mountain Maple.
The physicians, Interior Health administrators, public health nurses, and staff worked together to transition maternity care from two clinics in Creston to a centralized clinic at the hospital, where families receive collaborative care throughout pregnancy, delivery, and beyond.
“Congratulations to all those who have been involved in the development of this new maternity-care model for the Creston area,” said Interior Health Board Chair Doug Cochrane. “A dedicated multi-disciplinary team, central clinic space, and convenient wraparound services including Public Health combine to provide the best care possible for mothers and babies.”
Persad said that she and her colleagues were inspired to act on what they were hearing from their patients.
“We felt that the way to realize these goals was to create a central maternity home within our hospital where families could access family centred, holistic care from the time they find out they are pregnant until the newborn period. A place accessible and available to all pregnant woman and their families in Creston. A place where families could receive not just physical support during this important time of their lives, but emotional and social support as well.
“We already had physicians and nurses passionate about maternity care, but this project is the first of its kind to integrate public health nursing support with physician care. To my understanding, we are breaking new ground here. I believe that our model of public health nurses and local maternity providers working collaboratively to provide team-based care to pregnant women and their families throughout their pregnancy and birth experience is unique. This exciting initiative required resources, multi-level support within Interior Health, as well as dedicated, creative individuals to problem-solve the many challenges that arise when you try to do something that has not been done before.”
Funding for the collaborative effort was provided by Facility Engagement, an initiative of the Specialist Services Committee and partnership of the Government of BC and Doctors of BC. It supports collaboration between physicians and health authorities towards improvements in the delivery of patient care.
The Maple Maternity Clinic expects to see approximately 50 clients per year. The clinic is open for appointments on Tuesdays from 9 – 11 a.m. and Thursdays from 1 – 3 p.m., and is available to all pregnant individuals. For appointments or more information call 250-428-3873.