The Think Tank, which was held on December 9, was attended by those with a broad range of interest, according to Project Coordinator, Jaylene Arnold. Some of those include seniors’ advocates, private and public healthcare practitioners, and members of the public.

“The Think Tank was the first in-person opportunity for people to discuss and answer questions such as: What are Fort Nelson’s greatest healthcare challenges and opportunities?” Project Chair Laurie Dolan says in a written statement. “Having a venue to share their experiences and prioritize some of the potential solutions is an incredible first step in this process.”

Some issues discussed include means in which residents can access primary care, steps being take to support an integrated healthcare model, resources available through Northern Health, communication between care providers, long-term and home support care for seniors, and maternity services.

“We’re pleased to be working collaboratively with the group in Fort Nelson working to help improve primary healthcare in the community,” Northern Health representative in attendance, Mike Simpson writes. “Primary care is an important aspect in all northern B.C. communities, and has seen great initiative created by the local residents.”

A second Think Tank will be hosted sometime in January, and Arnold says more information will be made available in the coming weeks. In addition, a newsletter outlining opportunities for community input will also be distributed to all homes and businesses within the region come February of 2015.

Your opportunity to provide input will be made available through printed and online surveys, community presentations, and through another Community Healthcare Forum workshop in March of 2015.

“I can’t wait to hear from the community again in January,” Dolan adds.

Residents are also encouraged to visit the project website, and share thoughts about primary healthcare in Fort Nelson through email at justask@northernrockies.ca.