It has been five years since the maternity clinic moved into the Campbell River Hospital on Nov 5, 2015.
Since 2015, there have been 9,339 patient visits; 8,699 in Campbell River, and 640 in Port Hardy. Providing visits in Port Hardy has saved roughly 298,240 km of travel for families. Indigenous families contribute to approximately 27% of patient visits.
Campbell River Maternity Clinic offers prenatal, post-partum, and newborn visits at the Campbell River Hospital. The clinic has one amazing medical office assisant, six physicians, runs four half-days per week and has served families from 39 communities.
Public Health nurses attend the clinic on Tuesday afternoons (and give plenty of flu vaccines in the fall.)
The Kwakwakawa’kw Maternal Child Family Health Project Health Coaches attend the clinic to connect with families.
Diabetes Education Clinic dieticians and nurses book appointments concurrently with the clinic.
The Healthy Beginnings program meets with patients in the clinic space, with a special focus on providing support and resources to women with substance-exposed pregnancies.
The clinic is part of UBC Strathcona Family Practice Residency Program’s maternity rotation in Campbell River.
Dr. Jennifer Kask was born in Campbell River. She's been a physician in Campbell River since 2005. She and two other colleagues started the Maternity Clinic in 2010, and moved into the old Campbell River Hospital in 2015.
"In time we recognized that patient access would be dramatically improved if we were based out of the hospital," she said. "This is especially important for families traveling from other communities for birth - being able to access lab, medical imaging and other supports all in one spot has reduced stress and improved convenience. We moved in as a pilot project, supported by the Campbell River Hospital Foundation and Island Health. We quickly had the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) come on as a partner as well.
"And caring for pregnant people and their new babies is one of my favorite parts of family practice!"
Kask said the lion's share of the work is done by her colleagues, doctors DeBruin, Davis, Logan, Vanderveen and Jokinen.
"They do the actual work at the clinic more than I do," she said, "as does (MOA) Carole Kommnick. She is the workhorse of the whole endeavor. She started our 'give and take' cupboard."
See story and video about the 'give and take' cupboard here.
Kask praised all the partners involved in the Maternity Clinic, including the Campbell River Hospital Foundation, which provided start-up funds for equipment like a fetal doppler, scale, infant stethoscope, thermometer and continues to fund their electronic medical record charting system.
"The passion and dedication shown by Dr. Kask and her colleagues made it easy for us to support the Maternity Clinic," said Stacey Marsh, Campbell River Hospital Foundation Executive Director. "Our donors saw the need to improve access for expectant families and the support needed following the birth of their babies.
"We are very proud to have been involved from the beginning and to have witnessed the growth of the clinic in just five short years."
Check out their website at crrmaternityclinic.com
See more about North Island Maternity Care here.