Above: Aitchelitz Chief Angie Bailey (centre) smiles during the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Primary Care Centre in Chilliwack on Friday, May 13, 2022. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
The new Primary Care Centre set to open May 17 in Chilliwack will provide faster, team-based health care in a unique way to the people of Chilliwack and Fraser Health Rural region.
“We’re going to see something that is going to be a part of healing in the community for a long time,” said B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix.
The Chilliwack and Fraser Health Rural Primary Care Centre will also be known as Momíyelhtelaxwt in Halq’emeylem, which means “helping one another.”
“Today represents a significant step forward for health care in our province,” said Dix. “Opening a primary care centre servicing Chilliwack and surrounding rural communities means more patients, including First Nations, and those with complex needs, will have increased access to comprehensive primary care.”
It will provide same-day health care every weekday at 7955 Evans Rd., and focus on providing culturally safe care by incorporating traditional wellness mentors, as well as integrating resources that reflect traditional teachings by Indigenous communities.
“I am grateful that the primary care centre is offering this new site to support health and wellness services within our community,” said Aitchelitz Chief Angie Bailey.
The new centre will:
- Provide primary care for people with non-life-threatening conditions who need to see a health-care provider within 12 to 24 hours but do not require an emergency department, for sprains, cuts, high fevers and minor infections.
- Work with the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice to attach patients with a regular primary care provider, and provide wraparound care for unattached patients until they are connected to other local practices.
- Facilitate mental-health and substance-use services.
Once it opens, the new centre measuring 13,000 square feet will replace the Chilliwack Primary Care Clinic at Chilliwack General Hospital, including reception, waiting, exam space, office spaces, multipurpose rooms, counselling rooms and a sacred space.
The centre will serve Chilliwack, Agassiz/Harrison and Hope as well as communities in the Fraser Canyon. Service extends to Boothroyd and also includes 22 regional Indigenous communities, Sunshine Valley and Manning Park.
The project was a collaboration between Fraser Health, the Ministry of Health, the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice and First Nations Health Authority, operating as part of the North Chilliwack, South Chilliwack and Fraser Health Rural primary care networks.
The centre will boast 40 full-time-equivalent staff, including family doctors, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, clinical pharmacists, traditional wellness mentors and other allied health professionals, will work as a team at the centre.
The Fraser Health Intensive Case Management mental-health and substance-use program will operate inside the centre, including the opioid agonist treatment clinic.
The centre will be open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Ministry of Health will provide approximately $11.5 million in annual funding to the Chilliwack and Fraser Health Rural primary care networks once established, as well as $5.3 million in capital costs. The Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation contributed $1 million for the centre.