November 22, 2016 (Princeton) – The United Way Central and South Okanagan/Similkameen (CSO) recently provided funding for Princeton Family Services for their Community Support Worker initiative. This is a new community fund investment falling under the Building Healthy People, Strong Communities focus area that’s aimed at improving health services in Princeton. The project is a partnership with Princeton Family Services and the South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice.
“This project is an ideal fit for our work with partners to nurture healthier people and stronger communities”, says Ian Gerbrandt, Community Investment Manager with United Way CSO. “It’s a great example of rural health innovation. The community worker receives referrals from physicians to help patients follow care plans and connect them to beneficial services and organizations. Folks that were using the ER as a primary care provider are now redirected and supported in community.”
The Community Support Worker helps rural residents with social supports outside of a hospital setting so people get help navigating their way to, and through, the services and support systems they need. The project supported 40 adults last year and partners have forged an innovative discharge and referral process with physicians at the local hospital. The project originally started as a pilot project in March 2015 under the provincial GP for Me initiative.
“The real beauty of the Community Worker is that she is completely flexible”, says Dr. Colleen Black. “Whatever we need. Whatever the circumstances. The load that is off our system, that’s off the hospital emergency room, is tremendous.”
For more information about the Community Support Worker, visit Princeton Family Services Society at http://www.pfss.org.
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