East Kootenay residents will have better access to community care and chronic disease management thanks to an expanded Interior Health (IH) phone service.

IH said its 1-800-707-8550 line is open for calls between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Monday to Friday to connect people to health care services they may need.

The East Kootenay is the latest addition to see this new line implemented.

The line was initially launched as a pilot project in South Okanagan in September 2020. It later expanded to the Kootenay Boundary, Central Okanagan and the Cariboo Chilcotin, and now the East Kootenay.

People calling the number will reach a central intake office and will be connected to the appropriate services, including:

  • Care management services:
    • Community nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, dietitian, social work, speech-language, and respiratory therapy
    • In-home support to assist daily living needs, such as personal care, exercises, medication assistance and in-home respite
    • Adult day services (personal care services and therapeutic activities in a community setting).
    • Eligibility assessment for funded assisted living and long-term care homes.
  • Chronic disease management
  • Palliative care services:
    • community nursing
    • social work
    • hospice care
  • Acquired brain injury services

IH said the new phone line does not replace its existing contact numbers, including the crisis line (1-888-353-2273), acute or emergency services, or 911.

A similar number was developed for community mental health and substance use phone number, 310-MHSU, which launched earlier this year.