Contribute to rural maternity health, and rural practitioner peer support discussions at 2015 RECC

birth_DavidSwift_CC_smThere will be two exploratory meetings taking place at the Rural Emergency Continuum of Care (RECC) conference on May 22 and 23, 2015 in Penticton, BC.

The first meeting – a Rural Maternity Care Development gathering hosted by Perinatal Services BC – is open to all RECC participants. Perinatal Services BC is interested in speaking and connecting with other BC rural maternal health care providers about how we might collectively strengthen and improve maternity services throughout the rural regions of the province.

Registered Midwife Leanne Yates, Primary Maternity Care Lead, PSBC, will be working with Dr. Jeanette Boyd – a GP Obstetrician in Nelson, BC – to organize the framework for this meeting. “We are hoping to meet many of BC’s rural maternity care providers at RECC. It would be an ideal setting to start talking about how we can work more closely to ensure that rural maternal care and obstetrical services are delivered as close to home as possible, and that coverage for rural mothers is available – especially in the remote areas of the province.”

 The Rural Maternity Care Development meeting will take place Friday, May 22, from 7:30 am – 8:30 am at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

On Saturday, May 23, Drs. Jel Coward and Kirstie Overhill will be hosting an exploratory discussion about the interest in developing a rural peer support system for practitioners.

Overhill, RCCbc’s Lead for Mentorship and Peer Supports, notes that RCCbc has been researching peer support as a possible benefit for rural providers, who are frequently isolated from contact with other health care workers. “Even in larger rural communities, practitioners can feel isolated, says Coward. “No one understands this more intimately than other rural providers.” Peer support – either locally or remotely – can be a key component in the recruitment and retention of healthcare workers to rural communities.

Both Overhill and Coward anticipate that this breakfast meeting will build on an impetus to develop an effective, personal, peer-led rural support system for health care providers. At a minimum, the discussion will update RECC participants on RCCbc’s progress in developing peer supports, and will provide an opportunity for practitioners to give feedback regarding what the goals of the program should be and how to best develop any initiatives to help reach those goals. “Your input is important,” emphasizes Overhill, “because the program is ultimately for you. Come and have your say – we would love to hear your contributions.”

 The Rural Practitioner Peer Support discussion will take place Saturday, May 23, from 7:30 am – 8:30 am at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

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