Virtual Care Support Added as Part of a Team-Based Health Care Model

EDMONTON, Alberta, Sept. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Maskwacis Mobile Mental Health, an entity of Maskwacis Ambulance Authority, and 143 HealthCARE Consulting, Inc (143 HCC) have teamed up to bring virtual care solutions to the Maskwacis community in central Alberta. The project aims to provide patients and care teams with new tools to increase access to care and care continuity to drive positive health outcomes for the Maskwacis community. Maskwacis Mobile Mental Health proudly serves the 18,000 members of the Maskwacis territory which includes Ermineskin Cree Nation, Samson Cree Nation, Louis Bull Tribe, and Montana First Nation.

Maskwacis Mobile Mental Health Services provide mental health assessment, specialized intervention, and stabilization for individuals experiencing emotional distress relative to addiction and mental health. Often during these visits, the team identifies other immediate primary care needs and are unable to access the Maskwacis Health Services Centre in a timely manner. Traditionally, the Mobile Mental Health team may access the Maskwacis Ambulance Authority to assist these patients with transport to surrounding acute care centres for further assessment and treatment.

Maskwacis Mobile Mental Health Services observed additional resources were needed to increase access to timely primary care and support, and improve continuity of care to patients seen by the Maskwacis Mobile Mental Health Team. To address these gaps, 143 HCC initiated a virtual care project with Maskwacis Mobile Mental Health Services, providing timely access to primary care services for the Maskwacis community.

“Engaging in a project of this nature has many benefits for not only the patient, but the healthcare system as a whole. Utilizing a team who know and understand the people and culture creates an atmosphere of trust, which is a great enabler to ensuring care is appropriately accessed in a timely manner,” said Colleen McKinstry, co-Founder of 143 HCC. “Increasing patient access to proactive care by qualified nurse practitioners in the comfort of their own home reduces strain on the healthcare system and has the potential to decrease costs as well. This is beneficial for all parties.”

The project employs an Alberta-based virtual care platform, Wello, allowing the Maskwacis Mental Health team to provide additional primary care access through internet and cell phone services. The platform connects patients with nurse practitioners who are able to assess ambulatory needs and provide immediate attention. If need for other medical assessment is identified during a mental health assessment, timely access is made to a virtual nurse practitioner through Wello’s virtual care platform to assess, treat, arrange follow-up, and inform the patient’s primary care provider of the occurance should the patient desire. This allows patients and providers to securely access resources at all times and reduce the need to employ ambulatory services for ongoing care support, as using ambulatory services to assist with primary care needs can lead to disruptions in continuity of care due to the transitory nature of emergency care.

“Fragmented and siloed service delivery is a well-documented barrier to health,” said Stew Schmidt, General Manager of Maskwacis Mobile Mental Health. “However, this virtual health care solution can help connect the right patient to the right resource at the right time. In this time of physical distancing, finding safe and secure applications for virtual health connection simply makes sense. Moreover, this connection is not just for our patients but also is a tool for our team to support themselves and their families.”

Randy Wetmore, Vice President of sales at Wello, added, “We are excited to be able to support the Maskwacis people in providing an innovative approach to healthcare for their community through our partnership with 143 HCC. Together, we believe Virtual Healthcare is uniquely positioned to remove barriers in accessing care and support better health outcomes for indigenous communities throughout not only the province but the entire country.”

About 143 HealthCARE Consulting

143 HealthCARE Consulting is a shift-disturbing, Alberta-based consulting company which engages and collaborates with healthcare entities and community stakeholders to help them understand the ever-changing healthcare landscape. With a mission to deliver impactful and meaningful outcomes, we leverage our experience to help patients address key strategic and operational issues they face, enabling them to achieve their goals and objectives.

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About Maskwacis Mobile Mental Health

Maskwacis Mobile Mental Health is a registered charitable foundation serving members of Samson Cree Nation, Louis Bull Tribe, Ermineskin Cree Nation, Montana Cree Nation and Pigeon Lake First Nations. We make a difference in the lives of those in our community by providing compassionate support around the clock. Our team helps children, youth, and adults in distress through intervention, short-term crisis management, information, referrals, and mobile response.

Visit our website for more information:

Media Inquiries:

143 Healthcare Consulting
Colleen McKinstry
Phone: 780.281.0044

Maskwacis Mobile Mental Health Services
Stew Schmidt
Phone: 780.585.4018

Randy Wetmore
Phone: 604.323.4318

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