Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Prescription program helps patients to Get Active

The nine Edmonton and area Primary Care Networks (PCN) are encouraging patients to get active as a new prescription program with a focus on physical activity launched yesterday.

Prescription to Get Active provides an opportunity for PCN family physicians to write a prescription for their patients who would benefit from increased activity. The PCNs have partnered with local recreation facilities where these prescriptions can be used. Participating communities include Ardrossan, Beaumont, Devon, Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, St. Albert, Sturgeon County, Sherwood Park, Spruce Grove and Thorsby.

“The idea is for physicians and other allied professionals to provide patients with a written exercise prescription. This serves to provide a strong message to patients that participating in physical activity is extremely important for their health; it’s not just something that physicians and care providers say trivially. I am so pleased that this program has now been expanded to the greater Edmonton area and constitutes an incredible partnership between nine Edmonton-area PCNs and 22 recreation facilities,” said Len Frank, Executive Director of Leduc Beaumont Devon PCN.

“This initiative is a great opportunity for our organizations to work together towards a common goal of engaging individuals and families in lifelong active living,” says Rob Smyth, Branch Manager, Community and Recreation Facilities, City of Edmonton. “Our participation in the program ties into the City’s vision of creating a healthy, vibrant city and also gives us an opportunity to increase awareness of what City recreation and leisure facilities have to offer.”

“This program kicked my butt in gear to get me to start getting more active,” said patient Regine Gross.

Prescription to Get Active is based on the Green Prescription program from New Zealand and was launched locally in 2011 in Leduc by the Leduc Beaumont Devon PCN, the City of Leduc and the Leduc Recreation Centre. Based on the success, it was decided to expand the program to the Edmonton area.

The launch was held at partner facility, Don Wheaton YMCA. Please see the links below for media coverage:

Friday, 14 February 2014

Do as I do; not just as I say.

The Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network has a team of healthcare professionals that help people living with various chronic conditions such as diabetes, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and other nutritional concerns. A smoking cessation program is also offered. Our team, which includes registered nurses, a registered psychologist and registered pharmacist, registered dietitians and an exercise specialist, works with patients through the S.M.I.L.E. Healthcare Program to help them learn strategies to improve their ability to manage their health.

S.M.I.L.E. - Self Manage to Improve your Life Everyday

The S.M.I.L.E. Healthcare team provides education and counselling to patients everyday, but do you ever wonder if they practice what they preach?

Your S.M.I.L.E. team was asked, “What is one thing you do every day that keeps your living healthy and staying active?”  Here are their answers.

Exercise Specialist: Corinne Cutler

"I do martial arts training three times per week.  Not only is it a great physical workout, the stress relief is unbeatable.  I find hitting and kicking the pads repetitively a great way to let off some steam, as my partners in training sessions can attest to!!  I also do Yoga classes twice a week to maintain my flexibility and Pilates as much as possible in my home studio, to keep my core strong."

Registered Pharmacist: Nandini Desai
"I am trying to walk up the stairs when I arrive at work each morning to help start my day off, rather than taking the elevator."

Registered Dietitian: Sally Ho
"I’ve been trying to focus on increasing my insoluble fibre intake lately, and would try to have whole grain bread at breakfast and brown rice/whole wheat pasta at lunch or dinner – aiming for whole grains/high fibre grains for 2 out of my 3 meals per day."

Registered Dietitian: Ginette Markham
"I play with my kids every day. We enjoy tobogganing, skating, dancing or a good ol’ game of mini-stick hockey in the basement (this is usually a daily ritual, and my son even lets me win sometimes!) It’s a great way to bond with my family, provide some laughs and increase my physical activity."

Registered Psychologist: Sheila Gothjelpsen
"I use deep breathing, meditation, visualization and/or self-hypnosis almost every single day to manage tension and stress.  This may even include just reminding myself to take a few slow deep cleansing breaths while driving to manage any escalating road rage (Arg!) or even using visualization (e.g. a calming scene) to slow down troublesome thoughts while trying to fall asleep at night."

Registered Nurses: Christina Vesty
"I’ve changed my thinking about why I go to the gym.   Instead of thinking how it might help my weight only, I really think how it helps my heart, my lungs and my bones and how I become a stronger person."

Registered Nurses: Cheri deBoer
"My friends and I have formed a Tupperware Dinner club.  At our individual homes, we cook a meal one night, then package the leftovers in Tupperware to give to each other the next day.  It helps to take the pressure off from cooking a different dinner each night, increases the variety in my diet, and gets rid of the leftovers quicker!"

Administrative Assistant: Penny Garton
"I try to eat breakfast every day (I'm not perfect with this but working on it) and I get up from my desk every hour and do a quick stretch."

Executive Director: Len Frank
"I run 3-4 times per week.  Running is a stress release valve for me – the monotony allows me to think about life without any distractions. If I don’t feel like running – I force myself to just get out there and tell myself that even 5 or 10 minutes of running (or even walking) is better than nothing.  Often times my longest runs start out with me “not feeling up to it” but once I get going I just keep going."

Monday, 10 February 2014

Screen Test Mobile Mammography Clinic coming to Leduc

Women 50 and over are recommended to be screened every 2 years, and do not need a referral. Women 40-49 can also be screened with a referral for their first mammogram.

Breast cancer will affect 1 out of every 8 women in Alberta. The majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer (over 80%) will be between 50-74 years old. Screening mammograms can detect a cancer 2-3 years before it can be felt, when treatment options are better. This is one of the reasons that most women are now surviving their breast cancer diagnosis, and why it’s so important for women 50 and over to have regular mammograms. 

For more information on breast cancer screening, visit

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Winter Walk Day

Due to the extremely cold temperatures today (-39C with the windchill), the City of Leduc will be holding activities inside at the Civic Centre today from 11:30am - 1:30pm. Join them inside!

Winter Walk Day is almost upon us! On Wednesday, February 5, 2014 lets all get out and get moving. Whatever you are able to do for physical activity; walk, skate, ski, dance, skip, etc. the idea is to get outside and be active for a minimum of 15 minutes on Winter Walk Day. Get the whole family, office or school involved and get up and get moving!

If you are heading out for a walk then here are some tips to stay warm:

- Listen for the windchill index with the weather forecast. The index likens the way your skin feels to the temperature on a calm day. For example, if the outside temperature is -10°C and the wind chill is -20, it means that your face will feel as cold as it would on a calm day when the temperature is -20°C.
- Dress in breathable layers to keep warm and avoid overheating.
- Wear a hat. Most of your body heat is lost through your head. And wear long john’s under your pants or bring ski pants to work.
- Wear warm, waterproof boots, roomy enough to allow wiggle room for your toes.  And with good non-slip soles.

The Leduc-area forecast for Wednesday is calling for a high of -18 and a low of -29 (brrrr) so it will be a cold one! Dress for the weather (winter jacket, layers, hat, toque, appropriate footwear) and you will be fine. The PCN in Leduc has registered as a team; you can too! Get on board with your group and visit the SHAPE website to register:

Corinne Cutler is an Exercise Specialist at the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network.

Monday, 3 February 2014

February is Heart Month

Heart disease and stroke are a leading cause of death in Canadian men and women. Know the risks and how to prevent heart disease and stroke.


• More than 1.6 million Canadians are living with the effects of heart disease and stroke.
• 9 in 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
• The average Canadian will spend their last 10 years in sickness due to heart disease, stroke and other chronic conditions.
• There are nearly 50,000 strokes each year, many of which are preventable with a healthy lifestyle.
• Every 7 minutes in Canada, a life is taken by heart disease or stroke.

Know your risk factors, what you can change and what you can't.

For more information, please visit the Heart and Stroke Foundation website.