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Cranbrook and Kimberley's push for improved pregnancy care

Thanks to a collaboration between the East Kootenay Division of Family Practice, Shared Care, and East Kootenay physicians, expectant parents in Cranbrook and Kimberley will benefit from improved access to comprehensive pregnancy care at Encompass Pregnancy Care Cranbrook (EPCC)

EPCC, which was created in response to the community’s needs, offers an innovative approach to team-based care. Encompass Pregnancy Care Cranbrook implemented a new collaborative care model to maternity care that not only benefits both patients and providers but helps to stabilize and sustain perinatal services in the region.

“When we work together as a team, we learn from each other and are constantly reviewing standards of practice. This helps us to provide high-quality comprehensive care. I feel lucky to work with our patients, and our great group of doctors, midwives, and nurses,” explains Dr Paula Dubois, EPCC family physician.

EPCC is supported by six Cranbrook and Kimberley-based maternity physicians, two Registered Midwives, and staffed with an experienced pregnancy care nurse. Encompass Pregnancy Care was created to be a non-judgemental, inclusive, and culturally safe space in which all patients feel heard, at-ease, and supported.

The clinic also helps to capture vulnerable unattached pregnant patients, filling a service gap in the communities. This gap in care is illustrated in the experiences of patients like Taylor, who struggle with depression and addiction. At 20 years old Taylor found out she was pregnant, but had few supports and was addicted to pills. Taylor sought to find a family doctor, but none were accepting new patients. Taylor gave up on finding medical support and ignored her pregnancy. After a complicated labour, Taylor’s baby was born with medical complications and experienced withdrawal due to the mother’s drug use.

Encompass Pregnancy Care providers are helping to fill that gap, aiming to quickly respond to unattached patients like Taylor, who urgently need maternity health care for themselves and for their babies.

Today, EPCC providers are on track to deliver approximately 275 babies over the year. When surveyed, the clinic’s physicians agreed that communication and coordination had improved and noted they became better advocates for themselves and other maternity providers. Additionally, the majority of respondents agreed their maternity care experience had improved.

Cranbrook’s maternity project continues to evolve, most recently with the full integration of midwives into the practice. Patients will likely see all pregnancy care providers throughout their pregnancy and postpartum journey, enabling them to benefit from the expertise of both midwives and physicians. No matter which pregnancy care provider patients see during their visit, they will be cared for to the same high standards of care and compassion.

Encompass Pregnancy Care is part of the East Kootenay Primary Care Network (EK PCN), a network of team-based care providers in the region. By being part of the primary care network and located in Cranbrook’s Urgent & Primary Care Centre, patients attending Encompass Pregnancy will have one-stop access to team-based care, such as mental wellness clinicians, physiotherapists, social workers, and more.

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