Charlotte County Collaborative Wellness Centre brings services closer to home

Keeping people off the highways by bringing health care to the community is the basis for introducing a hub and spoke model of care through Horizon’s Charlotte County Collaborative Wellness Centre (CCCWC).

Christine Deveau, Community Health Program manager in Western Charlotte County, said this model of care allows the health care team from the St. Stephen-based CCCWC to extend programs and services across the communities of St. Stephen, Saint Andrews and Campobello Island.

“This is aimed to improve access to community-based programs and services for the clients in Western Charlotte County, bringing programs closer to home,” Christine said. “Our actions are guided by the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) and the priorities that were identified by residents.”

Western Charlotte County includes the communities of St. Stephen, Saint Andrews and Campobello Island.

Saint Andrews

Christine said they are always exploring different ways to improve access to health care services for residents, and one way they did that, was by partnering with the Saint Andrews Health Centre, which is owned by Town of Saint Andrews.

Through this partnership, Horizon has been providing access to health care services since the fall of 2019 at the health centre one day per week.

“The Saint Andrews spoke site is in development and more programs and services will be added based on community need,” Christine said.

Jocelyn LeBlanc, one of the nurse practitioners and a licensed practical nurse from the CCCWC travel to Saint Andrews as a way of reducing the need for clients to travel to St. Stephen to access health care services.

“Jocelyn provides primary care appointments to her rostered patients from the Saint Andrews area, and also provides well-woman visits,” Christine said. “The well-woman clinics are not only for her rostered patients, but also for any patients who wish to have a female provider for that service.”

Campobello Island

The CCCWC also provides support to residents who live on Campobello Island. The team at Horizon’s Campobello Island Health Centre (CIHC) are a spoke site of the CCCWC’s hub site.

Leaving Campobello Island for health care means traveling through the United States, or by two ferries (one of which does not run year-round) to get to mainland New Brunswick.

“That’s something we are always hoping to avoid. We work closely with our colleagues on the mainland to facilitate bringing services to the island either virtually or in person, whenever possible to reduce the burden of travel for clients when seeking care,” Christine said.

In August 2020, the CIHC welcomed Christopher Scalabrin to the team. Chris is a nurse practitioner working full time on Campobello Island, providing care to island residents five days per week.

“Christopher has 25 years of nursing experience, he has worked in the United States, and has been a nurse practitioner for 14 years,” Christine said. “He brings many years of experience and knowledge to Campobello Island.”

For example, he worked in the Orthopedic Department in Calais, Maine where he provided joint injections for pain relief.

“This is a service he will be able to provide to the residents of the island and extend to the other sites in Western Charlotte County if needed,” she said.

On Campobello Island, the health centre team continues to offer programs and services with the goal of reducing the need for islanders to travel to the mainland for care.

These services include: specimen collection, diabetes education, respiratory health screening, mental health services, smoking cessation, methadone maintenance program as well as other programs, always with the goal of supporting community-based access.

St. Stephen

Christine said the goal in Western Charlotte County is to implement programs and services that help people access care in their own community.

“As an example, we had a young patient who needed monthly injections. So instead of having the patient and their mother drive to Saint John on a monthly basis, the service was provided at the wellness centre in St. Stephen – the patient’s home community,” Christine said. “This kept the family in their home community and off the highway to Saint John to receive care.”

Horizon’s CCCWC was established in 2017 after the CHNA identified developing a collaborative model of care to deliver comprehensive, integrated primary health services for the community as a priority.

Located on the third floor of the Charlotte County Hospital, the CCCWC is a one-stop shop for an upstream approach to health care.

The space has been provided by the hospital to implement a health and wellness centre in St. Stephen, which acts as a hub, while the CIHC and Saint Andrews are its spokes.

Christine Deveau

Christine is the Community Health Program manager for Western Charlotte County and the manager of the Sexual Health Program for the Saint John Area.

She has 16 years of nursing experience and has worked in various roles throughout her career, such as rheumatology nurse case manager and bed access coordinator. She graduated with her master’s in nursing in 2016.

Christine is passionate about patient-focused care and loves that her current role directly impacts patient care by molding services and access to care around patients and community needs by working collaboratively in a team environment.