Case Example

Case Example #1
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A primary health care centre was established in a far northern community with a large percentage of Inuit people. The community health centre is staffed by a team of primary care and public health providers. The team decides to offer a chronic disease management clinic to better support the growing number of people in this population with diabetes.

In the planning phase, primary care providers highlighted the extent of specific chronic conditions that they were seeing and noted a high incidence of diabetes among the Inuit clients and patterns of non-compliance with their therapy. The public health providers shared information that would help to shape how the clinic would operate and what roles team members would play.

Public health staff were aware from having made newborn home visits in the community that the Inuit family homes were multigenerational. Few aging people in this culture were receiving any outside assistance as the families tended to care for one another and they all lived together. Many of the older generation were unilingual using only Inuktitut language. Use of traditional remedies was common but not readily talked about because of fear of non-acceptance by western medicine.  To best meet the needs, the team decided to hire a medical interpreter, to invite family caregivers to attend appointments, to inquire about specific traditional practices which might interact with prescribed medications, and explore alternative traditional therapies that could be safely used with clients and their families.

The primary health care team applied for a grant to expand the support component of their program and services. They are successful in getting the necessary funding for a volunteer family visitor program coordinated by public health. Upon their agreement to participate in the family visitor program, each family was assigned a trained public health visitor.  The family visitor checked regularly and was able to report back to the public health-primary care team on how the family was coping and any signs that might have indicated that a follow-up appointment was needed.

Case Example #2
Example IconA case example of a community health initiative in a geographically dispersed rural setting illustrates how community engagement and flexibility of service delivery facilitated successful collaboration and significant client outcomes.

The goals for this initiative were to reduce health inequities, provide timely and low threshold access to mental health and addiction services, create seamless network connecting primary care, community-based providers, and formal mental health system, improve care processes, and conduct local data collection and analysis.

The project included a physician in solo practice working with community agencies including public health, researchers, a community-based steering committee, community members, local and regional governments, national and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), First Nation communities, as well as, parks and recreation. Community members and service providers worked together on a community-based steering committee to support this successful collaboration.

Case Example #3
Example IconThe case example of an urban child health promotion and family outreach initiative clearly demonstrates how strong interprofessional team structures and a client-centred approach enables successful collaboration between public health and primary care.The collaboration provided access to services for women and children with developmental challenges who were marginalized in a large urban centre.

The collaboration was unique in that it involved a tertiary care centre involving specialist services at various community locations (i.e. schools) to families with children and referred to public health and other social and health services as required. It was the integrated and coordinated approach to programs and services between public health and primary care that provided the leverage for success in this particular collaboration.