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New UPCC opens on Wednesday

Cranbrook residents will have increased access to health care thanks to a new urgent and primary care centre (UPCC) opening on Dec. 8.

Adrian Dix, B.C.’s Health Minister, said the clinic will serve two purposes.

The first is to provide care for people experiencing non-life-threatening conditions, such as an ankle sprain or a sore throat.

The second is to connect people in the community to a regular primary care provider if they don’t already have one.

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B.C. government officials hope to connect more than 5,000 patients to a consistent primary care provider.

“The new UPCC in Cranbrook will offer people better access to team-based health care and allow them to receive treatment in their community,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.

“Working in collaboration with community partners and with the support of local health care teams, we are strengthening primary care services throughout the province. In Cranbrook and the region, this will mean regular, ongoing access to a team of primary care providers.”

The centre will be opening with 15 full-time health care providers, including registered nurses, physiotherapists and social workers.

The clinic is supposed to be fully operational by April 2022 and will have approximately 28 full-time health care professionals.

“The Cranbrook Urgent and Primary Care Centre will increase same-day access to local health services and will make a significant impact for patients and families living in the community and surrounding area,” said Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health.

“The care provided by family physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and allied health professionals means there is added support for the immediate and long-term health needs of people throughout the region.”

The UPCC is a collaboration between Interior Health, the Ministry of Health, the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District, the East Kootenay Division of Family Practice and the Ktunaxa Nation.

Kathryn Teneese, council chair of the Ktunaxa Nation, said the clinic will include culturally relevant care and strengthen trust between Indigenous people and health care providers.

“By incorporating culturally relevant care, including trauma-informed primary care services, the Cranbrook UPCC will strengthen the relationship and trust between Indigenous people and health-care providers, in addition to improving health outcomes for all people in the region.”

The clinic will be open for urgent care only to start and hours will open in phases.

The first phase will run from Dec. 8-10 and will be open from 1:30-5:30 p.m.

The second phase will run from Monday to Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Once the clinic is fully staffed the hours of service will increase and the centre will begin offering long-term care.

The Cranbrook UPCC is located at 1311 2nd Street Unit 230 in the Baker Street Mall.

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