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Several people from the community suggested that we provide some information about the “Friends of ACHC” group and how it relates to the various other organizations whose work supports the Health Centre. To that end, I have created a new page on this site that attempts to provide brief descriptions of the various players in local and provincial health care and how they interrelate…

Admittedly, it is a complex picture as there are many groups at various levels who have some role in the future of the ACHC. I’ve learned a lot assembling the information, and am truly hoping I haven’t missed anything, or mis-stated anything!

Check it out at Who’s Who.


If you are anything like me, you are probably wondering just what the “Collaborative Practice” really is. And from what I’ve learned so far, it can be many things, depending on who you are and where you are. So here I’d like to post a description of the ACHC Collaborative Practice as described by one of the physicians there:

What we have currently in the Annapolis Community Health Centre is quite an unusual set-up, which has evolved because of the people who work there, and the way they have all chosen to work together. Each week-day starts at 8.15am with a multidisciplinary team meeting, to which anyone is welcome. It is attended by physicians, nurse practitioner, RN, physio, occupational therapist, palliative care physicians and RN, continuing care coordinators, mental health team, addictions counsellor, diabetes specialist nurse, dietician, pharmacy assistant, public health nurse, medical students, trainee doctors, and administration. It is based around the current inpatients, and also any patients in the community who need input from the team. It typically lasts about 20 minutes, and then often breaks up into smaller groups who need to exchange information, before we all start our day.
Within the same building we offer E/R care, inpatient care, the only two designated palliative care beds in the district, and appointments for routine medical care – with physicians, NP, physio, OT, etc, plus lab and XR services. The people providing this care are the same ones who meet every morning, so this adds up to a complete range of very good quality care, because we all know the same patients, and we work smoothly together. It’s certainly the best place to work, and the best quality of care, that I have encountered.

As a group, the physicians and NP (nurse practitioner) at ACHC saw 10584 individual patients Jan 1/08 to Jan 1/09 and 8211 patients Jan 1/09 to Oct/10 with each physician seeing on average 2300 individual patients yearly.

So that helps me understand the terminology a little better when we are talking about the ACHC and it’s staff. Hope it helps you too.

People have been asking… who is “we”?

The “we” I refer to in most of my posts is an ad hoc group that has formed in the past month, after that memorable “Community Conversation” at AWEC. We call ourselves “Friends of the Annapolis Community Health Centre” or “Friends of ACHC” for short.

We are a group of citizens who care very much about the fate of ACHC, just as you do. We gather at Granville Hall every so often, and work between meetings on various tasks that we hope will lead us all to understand more about what is happening, and to help others understand how much we need to retain all the services at ACHC including a 24 hour ER.

One of the “Friends” has written a brief summary about our group – have a quick read. There is always room for more help, so please be sure to contact us if  you feel you can help, using the contact form below.


I thought I was done Blogging for tonight, and then I stumbled on this press release from September:
Province announces New ER Advisor.

The release talks about such things as “reducing ER wait times”, “improving access to emergency care”, promises to keep ERs open, and commitments to open more beds… the Department of Health SURELY would not issue a release full of Falsehoods, and therefore  it would seem we can all rest assured that our ER will remain in its full 24 hour, 7 day/week capacity under the Dexter government! Right?

This is a unique opportunity to help improve emergency care throughout the province,” said Dr. Ross. “Nova Scotians want timely access to emergency care and my role is to bring forward recommendations to help ensure that.

We’ve stumbled upon a few news items of interest – I’d like to share them with you here. Worth a read in each case.

** The first was in the Herald this morning: NS Doctor Shortage Closes Rural ER

Evidently Dr. Ross is meeting with the good citizens of Tatamagouche to discuss his work. I hope we merit the same courtesy soon!

** Another one passed along is from the Globe & Mail: Teen death ignites debate over emergency room closures.

Rural Ontario emergency rooms at centre of call for inquiry into the fallout of budget cuts

** And the final one for today…  also from the Globe & Mail: Can Canada Afford to be Healthy?

Here’s a quote from the article: “Even as a budget exercise, opponents say, converting the emergency rooms has failed. Niagara Health will save more than $1-million, but area municipalities and the province will spend an additional $3.1-million on ambulance service.”

Is this where we are headed? How can we turn this train around?

We want to make it as painless and convenient as possible for everyone to “Make Some Noise”  and to demonstrate support for keeping our Annapolis Community Health Centre with all the services we currently enjoy.

To that end, we have a number of tools for you to voice your concerns:

Online Petition at – simply enter your name and community and “presto!”.

Letter templates for those who are happy with the wordings supplied – just print, sign and mail.

Addresses for your own letters to all the “powers that be” .

Letters from others to give you some ideas.

Printed Postcards are currently being distributed (as of today): stamp & mail. Too easy! Look for them at local store checkouts.

To share your ideas and comments with the public:

Join our Facebook group (now at 770 people and counting) and participate in the ongoing conversations. Once you’ve joined, be sure to invite all YOUR contacts to also join. The more the merrier!

Leave Comments on this Blog, especially on the Idea Exchange page, set up specifically for this. Once again, share this Blog address with your contacts.

Follow us on Twitter and retweet to all your friends.

There is now a website that has an online petition – you can sign up and an email will be sent on your behalf to Health Officials (the decision makers!). It only takes a minute and you can add your voice to the growing outcry!

Let’s Make Some Noise folks!

Fill out the online petition at

And please spread the good word. The more that participate, the more NOISE we make!

South West Health (the equivalent of Annapolis Valley Health, but for Digby, Yarmouth & Shelburne Counties) is holding an Emergency Department Public Consultation in Digby on March 4 at 5pm (Digby High School).  They’ll be discussing the challenges with Digby’s ER closures and assumably the measures they are taking to ensure better ER service in Digby.

While this meeting is not specifically about the ACHC, anything that happens in Digby is of course of interest to us and vice versa.

Download Information here.

If you want a little inspiration… some great thoughts about the ACHC and about Annapolis Royal… read Jane Nicholson’s letter to Premier Dexter, sent February 7, 2010. It’s a great one.

If any readers would like to share excerpts from your letters to government regarding the future of the ACHC, please post them using the comment window.

And if you haven’t written yours yet, visit our Make Some Noise page for more information.

Sometimes an appropriate article comes your way that should be shared. Today, a supporter of ACHC forwarded a link to the Ottawa Citizen, where writer Larry Schruder wrote about rural hospitals and how they can become models for health care delivery. It’s a great piece, with many points pertinent to our situation. Have a read…

Ottawa Citizen – February 10, 2010 – “Small Hospitals can be Beautiful” by Larry Schruder


With all the rumours and controversy regarding the future of the Annapolis Community Health Centre, and its Emergency Room, this blog is a forum for community participation and sharing of information.

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