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Rural Health Action Group
The Rural Health Action Group is a subcommittee of the Memramcook-Tantramar Community Task Force. The Community Task Force was established in 2020 to build on emergency services to residents in need, provided under the former Tantramar COVID Task Force. The Rural Health Action Group was added to the Taskforce with the mandate to better address the future of the Sackville Memorial Hospital and rural health care in the Memramcook-Tantramar region.
The Action Group will offer effective collaboration, which includes holding Horizon and Health Department accountable for their actions. The Group will also seek to offer broader involvement and consistent communications, to the larger community.
Action Group Areas of Focus:
- Community Recruitment & Retention LEAD: Francois Giroux
Take up Horizon’s suggestion of collaborative work, that includes their providing resources; sharing data and information; explores out-of-box ideas; promotes community assets; identifies ties of prospective candidates to area; develops entry point to local contacts for inquiries; and works cooperatively in pursuit of candidates to be hired by Horizon.
- Community Fund & Incentives for Health Purposes LEAD: John Higham
This needs more work on clarity and focus, i.e. why incentives are needed and which areas are priorities for local implementation; determine if a new fund is necessary and if so, how community fund roles and responsibilities would be required; establish agreements on a fund; administration roles; develop a campaign, procedures for appropriate use, and public accountability on it.
- Staff Morale LEADS: Pat Estabrooks and Dr. Ross Thomas
Assist Horizon in rebuilding staff outlook on SMH and careers within it.
- Communications LEADS: Sandy Burnett and Kathy Hamer
Develop and publicize regular communications on progress by Action Group, Horizon, and in SMH. Ensure we are top-of-mind with Horizon to receive timely updates. Retain the ability for any member to offer personal views of related health policy, practices and statements.
- Services Design LEAD: Judy Morison
Rebuilding SMH, and developing different approaches to rural healthcare and preventative health measures, offers us opportunities to “modernize” services and link to others throughout the region to improve health outcomes. This could include research, community consultations, consultations with healthcare providers. Important to compare and contrast with the Healthcare Strategy released in the fall, to identify areas of commonality.
RHAG Updates to Council:
Councillor Matt Estabrooks serves as liaison for the Rural Health Action Group and provides a monthly update at the Regular Council meeting. Residents can view these reports from the current and past liaisons here: