Monday, 2 December 2019

December 2019 PCN Newsletter

Our December 2019 Newsletter is now available for your reading pleasure!

Find out about:

  • PCN and Leduc After-Hours Clinic holiday hours
  • How an Exercise Specialist can support you
  • website
  • January - June 2020 health education classes at the PCN
  • Holiday eating tips
  • The Patient's Medical Home and what continuity means
  • How to get your own Naloxone kit
Click here to read the December 2019 PCN Newsletter. Click the blue Subscribe button inside the newsletter to receive future editions right to your inbox. 

Holiday Eating Tips

The holiday season is finally here! That means lots of get togethers with family, friends, neighbours and coworkers. That also usually means food and drink will be present. Here are some holiday eating tips to keep you on your healthy lifestyle journey:

Friday, 29 November 2019

November is Diabetes Awareness Month!

November is Diabetes Awareness Month! 

Eleven million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes. 

What is Diabetes?

It’s a chronic disease where the body cannot make enough insulin or cannot use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that helps to control blood sugars. A high amount of sugar in the blood over a long period of time can damage organs, blood vessels and nerves.  

Are you at risk?

Not much is known about definite risk factors for Type 1 Diabetes but there are quite a few risk factors for developing Type 2 Diabetes. Some we can have some control over, but some we cannot:

• A parent, brother, or sister living with or who had diabetes.

• Being a member of high-risk group (Aboriginal, Hispanic, South Asian, Asian, African descent)

• Given birth to a baby weighing more than 4kg or 9lb

• Had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)

• Prediabetes diagnosis

• High blood pressure

• High cholesterol or high blood fats

• Extra weight around abdomen, overweight

• Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) diagnosis

• Acanthosis nigricans diagnosis

• Obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis

• Diagnosed psychiatric disorders: schizophrenia, depression

If you are over 40 years old or have any of the above risk factors, talk to your doctor.

Take the Diabetes Canada test.

Don’t have a doctor?  Find one here:

Our PCN health care providers offer education through classes and workshops that are open to the public; a referral from a family doctor is not needed to register for these classes.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

Diabetes and the Effectiveness of Regular Physical Activity

Regular physical activity is very beneficial to those living with diabetes. The short-term benefits of increasing physical activity are: 
  • Lowers your blood glucose within one hour.
  • Increases your energy and strength during the day
  • Decreases stress, anxiety and fatigue
  • Improves relaxation and sleep
  • Improves overall well being    

The long-term benefits if activity is sustained: 
  •  Improved blood glucose (sugar) control
  •  Helps with maintaining weight management when healthy eating is involved.
  •  Lowered blood pressure
  •  Stronger bones and muscles
  •  Lower risk of diabetes complications such as eye, heart, and kidney disease
  •  Improved quality of life

One of the most effective aerobic activities with the lowest dropout rate is walking. It can be as simple as going for a brisk walk in your neighborhood.  Here is an example of a walking plan if you are just starting out:   

Sample Walking Plan                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
Both aerobic and resistance exercises are important when it comes to decreasing the risk of developing or advancing Type 2 Diabetes as both help to improve the body’s insulin sensitivity. 

Make sure to interrupt sitting at least every 30 minutes by getting up and walking, standing or stretching.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a very effective form of exercise at a higher intensity for shorter durations, as an option for those who are able to tolerate. 

Tracking your activity/steps throughout the day is another way of monitoring the amount of time you are active and for some it is a strategy for reducing sitting time by staying accountable.

Canadian Diabetes Association information: 
  • Low physical fitness is as strong a risk factor for mortality as smoking.
  • Higher levels of physical activity and fitness level is one of the strongest predictors of all-cause mortality in people with diabetes.
  • Physical activity can be as powerful as glucose-lowering medication… with fewer side effects.
  • Regular physical activity, in conjunction with healthy eating and weight control, can reduce type 2 diabetes incidence by 60 per cent.

      If you require help with getting started on an exercise or physical activity plan, ask your family doctor for a referral to the Exercise Specialist at the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Penguin Walk

It's getting slippery out there! Winter is here in Alberta and with that comes a risk of falls on slippery streets and sidewalks. Here are some precautions to take:

See this video from our friends at Alberta Health Services on keeping safe this winter.

Please help keep your neighbours, friends and family safe by keeping your sidewalk clear of ice and snow. 

Friday, 18 October 2019

New website makes it easier for Albertans to find a doctor

New website makes it easier for Albertans to find a doctor lists almost 1,000 physicians accepting patients

CALGARY (Wednesday, October 16, 2019) – Albertans looking for a family doctor can now find one at the click of a button, thanks to the launch of a new provincial Find a Doctor website.

About one in four family doctors throughout the province – 956 in total – are currently accepting new patients. Alberta’s Primary Care Networks (PCNs) have joined forces to make it quicker and easier for those looking for a doctor to connect with physicians, in both rural and urban areas.

Albertans can visit on their mobile device, tablet, laptop or desktop computer to find out which doctors are taking patients in their community.

“This website is a great tool to help Albertans find a family physician,” said Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health. “There are nearly 1,000 family physicians willing to take on new patients and this site will help connect them with patients who need them. Congratulations to the PCNs and Alberta Health Services for collaborating to strengthen primary health care in Alberta.” 

Visitors to the website can search for doctors by location, using a Google Maps search tool. They can also specify physician gender and languages spoken. Once the patient decides which doctor or clinic works best for them, they can call the clinic to request an appointment.

“The Find a Doctor website makes it easier for all Albertans to find a doctor and health team to help them build a healthier future,” said Calgary family doctor Dr. Ernst Greyvenstein, Primary Care Networks Physician Lead for the Calgary Zone. “Patients who have a long-lasting relationship with a family doctor and team are healthier as they age, make less visits to emergency departments and spend less time in hospital. This new service is about connecting families with doctors who are taking patients – and ultimately improving the health of Albertans.”

The service is free to use and in addition to being available online, it can be accessed by calling Health Link at 811.

“I used the website to help me find a doctor when I moved to Alberta from Cranbrook, B.C.,” said Divya Laxmi, who recently relocated to Calgary. “I searched for someone who met all my needs, so I looked only for female physicians. It was very easy – the whole process only took 10 to 15 minutes. I’ve already recommended the website to friends.”

Because the new website is interactive, there are no delays or long waits. The listings are updated regularly to ensure the data is as up-to-date and as accurate as possible.

“Access to a family doctor is a very important part of our healthcare system. Family doctors and teams play a major role in keeping Albertans and our communities well,” said Dr. Linda Slocombe, Senior Medical Director for Alberta Health Services’ (AHS) Primary Health Care program. “AHS continues to work together with Primary Care Networks on exciting initiatives, such as this new provincial website, to help connect patients to the care they need.”

Alberta Find a Doctor brings together services that previously existed in Calgary (, Edmonton ( and some other parts of the province.

“We believe every Albertan should have access to a family doctor and a medical home,” said Edmonton family physician Dr. Justin Balko, Primary Care Network Physician Lead Executive for the Edmonton Zone. “Four or five years ago we were dealing with severe doctor shortages throughout the province and although the situation is much improved, there’s still a perception that it is very difficult to find a family doctor. The Alberta Find a Doctor website gives Albertans a single, simple and reliable way of finding a doctor and where possible, one who is close to home, work or wherever is most convenient.”

In Alberta, most family doctors are members of Primary Care Networks. PCNs develop programs and services to help meet the everyday health needs of the patients and communities they serve. They work alongside more than 3,800 family doctors and 1,400 other health professionals – including nurses, pharmacists, mental health professionals and social workers – to provide team-based care. Information about how patients can find their PCN and access free programs and services is also available via the website.

“The new website will help Albertans who have a family doctor to make the most of that relationship, by explaining how to access health teams and programs and services that are available through their PCN or family doctor,” said Dr. Greyvenstein. “It’s a one-stop resource for patients who need a family doctor or have a doctor and want to learn more about how they can access the best possible care for their families.”

There are currently 956 doctors in Alberta taking new patients. Of those, 403 are in Calgary and 316 are in Edmonton. There are 120 doctors accepting patients in the north, 51 in central Alberta and 66 in the south. The Government of Alberta announced last month that nurse practitioners are set to be hired to work in PCNs and medical clinics in communities where patients have difficulty accessing a family doctor. Patients will soon be able to visit to search for nurse practitioners who are taking patients. A report released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) in September 2019 showed that the number of family physicians in Canada grew by 12 per cent between 2014 and 2018. Statistics Canada estimates that about 18 per cent of Albertans don’t have a family doctor.

ABOUT PRIMARY CARE NETWORKS: Primary Care Network services and programs are developed in partnership with family doctors and Alberta Health Services. They are designed to meet the everyday health needs of patients in the communities they serve.

-          30    -

For inquiries, contact:
Keith Bradford                                                                                   Candra Tinis
Senior Advisor, Communications                                               Communications Lead
Calgary Zone Primary Care Networks                                      Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network
403.620.2362                                                                                      780.980.8810                                                   

Monday, 30 September 2019

2019 Annual Report

Our 2019 Annual Report has been released. Read about the successes of our PCN from this past fiscal year (April 1, 2018 - March 31, 2019), here:

Friday, 13 September 2019

Fall 2019 Workshops

Please note of a date change Taking Charge: Daily Management of Type 2 Diabetes - it's been rescheduled to October 10th.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

September 2019 Newsletter

Our September 2019 Newsletter is now available! Be sure to subscribe to have it sent right to your inbox.

Monday, 22 July 2019

Fall 2019 Workshops

To register for Grief & Loss, Your Best Weight, Child/Teen Anxiety or Happiness Basics, please visit our website at or call the office at 780-986-6624.

To register for Heart Health, Diabetes Healthy Eating, Taking Charge: Daily Management of Type 2 Diabetes, Better Choices, Better Health Chronic Pain Self-Management, please call Alberta Health Services at 780-401-2665.

Monday, 3 June 2019

Our June Newsletter is here!

Our June 2019 Newsletter is now available. If you want to receive future editions right in your inbox, click the subscribe button inside.

June 2019 LBD PCN Newsletter

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Local support for those with osteoarthritis

Seven years ago, Pat Elmes was living in constant pain. Osteoarthritis (OA) had taken hold of the joints in both hips. According to the Arthritis Society, osteoarthritis is a progressing disease of the joint that breaks down cartilage and can affect the joint capsule, ligaments and underlying bone.  It can cause pain and swelling in the affected joint.  It used to be referred to as the "wear and tear disease" however this led people to believe they should not be physically active.  It is beneficial to keep active as the cartilage needs moderate load through physical activity in order to regenerate itself.  There is no cure for OA; managing the symptoms and improving function is achievable through neuromuscular strengthening and proper loading activities.

Pat's pain was so severe, she could only walk very short distances by using a cane; simple, everyday chores like getting groceries was a task that her husband had to take over as Pat was no longer able to walk around the store. In her own words, Pat said she felt like an "invalid" and her husband had to take care of her. It was not the life she expected. Pat eventually had both hips replaced through invasive surgeries.

"The GLA:D program has changed my whole way of life."

Within a few years, Pat's knee was struck by OA as well; she is now facing yet another surgery. As part of the preparation, her family doctor referred her to the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network (PCN) to see a registered dietitian. During their initial appointment in December, the dietitian recommended Pat enter an 8-week program that was new to the PCN called GLA:D Canada, which is based on the successful GLA:D (Good Life with osteoArthritis in Denmark) program and focuses on education and exercise for knee and hip OA. GLA:D is an 8-week education and exercise program for those with osteoarthritis of the knees and/or hips. Taught by the PCN Exercise Specialist and held at the Leduc Recreation Centre, the program is open to anyone who has an LBD PCN family physician and is accessed through a referral. There is a nominal fee to attend. During the 8-week program, participants will learn about osteoarthritis, the risk factors and symptoms, treatments available and how to manage symptoms.  They will learn strategies on how to cope with the difficulties of living with osteoarthritis. Participants will then be led through twice-weekly exercise sessions where they will learn how to control movements through proper alignment and build muscle strength around the joints through neuromuscular exercise.  There are specific stations they will work through to increase function, strength, mobility and core strength.  Most patients will see an improvement in at least mobility and/or strength and an improved quality of life after completing the 8-week program.

"I want all the doctors and surgeons to know about this program."

The program was starting in January and Pat was accepted as a participant in the first group. Through the program, which is facilitated by the LBD PCN exercise specialist, Corinne, Pat and the other participants were provided with group education on OA along with going through the specific exercise stations. The program works on building the muscle up to support the joint and working on building core strength for improved posture and alignment, all essential to improved function and mobility. After living with the pain of OA for year, Pat thought that sounded too good to be true but this past week, she came to the LRC to talk to the second group of GLA:D participants about the "tremendous difference" the program has made in her life. "The education part is huge, to understand why this works really resonated with me. I couldn't believe exercise could do this."

"The GLA:D program has changed my whole way of life," Pat told the group during one of their education sessions. Pat enthusiastically demonstrated how fast she can walk now, without a cane and without pain. Prior to the GLA:D program, Pat said her daily pain level was around a 5 or 6, depending on the day. Now she says she's between 0-3, depending on how much exercise she's done. "I cannot believe attending the GLA:D program is not a requirement before having surgery," she says, astonished.

When Pat had her hip surgeries, she was recommended to see a physiotherapist at the hip and knee clinic in Edmonton but the long drive into the city (Pat lives in Leduc County) made it hard to go. "There, they always told me to 'walk through the pain', but that's not possible! The physiotherapist there is not nearly as knowledgeable as Corinne," Pat says, referring to the specialized education the PCN exercise specialist has obtained through GLA:D training. "Having this program offered locally is fabulous."

Through partnership with the LRC, the PCN exercise specialist offers the educations sessions in one of the LRC meeting rooms and then takes the participants through the exercise stations.  A bonus to being at the LRC is being able to use the equipment in the fitness centre as well as use of the indoor walking track. The LRC recently decided to offer free access to the facility to those 60 years of age and over on weekday afternoons, which makes continuing attending the gym for Pat and other GLA:D participants a non-issue.

Pat was excited to tell the group, "I tell no less than 100 people a day about this program. I want all the doctors and surgeons to know about this program."

Pat speaks with the newest intake of GLA:D participants about her experience while PCN Exercise Specialist, Corinne Cutler, looks on. 

If you would like to be referred to the GLA:D Canada program, please talk to your PCN family doctor.

Candra Tinis
Communications Lead
Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network

Monday, 6 May 2019

May is full of health care promotions!

May 6th is #STOPCleanYourHandsDay. Have a clean care conversation with your healthcare provider, patient, or colleague and help stop the spread of infections. Listen to the podcast created by our friends at the Canadian Patient Safety Institute:

May 6-12 is National Nursing Week

May 6-12 is Mental Health Week:

Our PCN is so fortunate to have several registered nurses and mental health professionals providing exceptional care to our patients. For more information:

Monday, 11 March 2019

March is Nutrition Month!

March is Nutrition Month! This year, learn how to unlock the potential of food.

Click each page to enlarge.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

What is continuity of care and why is it important?

Our PCN friends in the Calgary Zone wrote this great article on continuity of care and why it is so important. Take a minute to read it in this month's edition of Apple Magazine.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Beat the seasonal blues

We are in the thick of the winter blahs in Alberta. Check out this great article from Apple Magazine on how to beat the seasonal blues: 

What is SAD?

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer.

Read more about SAD, it's symptoms and risk factors at the Mayo Clinic website

Friday, 4 January 2019

New Year, Healthy You!

Join the Edmonton and area Primary Care Networks for a Health & Wellness Challenge, starting January 7, 2019. 
Each day has a different challenge for you to complete and post a picture on social media, with the hashtag #PCNCHALLENGE. If posting on Twitter or Facebook, tag us and we will be sure to share your posts!