Health and Community Services
August 24, 2018

Primary Health Care Services in Bonavista Continues to Thrive with New Community Wellness Centre

The Provincial Government has partnered with the Town of Bonavista, Tip-A-Vista Wellness, the Bonavista Primary Health Care Community Advisory Committee, the Discovery Health Foundation, Eastern Health, and other community partners to continue improving primary health care services on the Bonavista Peninsula and construct a new $2.23 million wellness centre.

Through discussions with the Bonavista Primary Health Care Community Advisory Committee, Tip-A-Vista Wellness, and other partners, the site of the former Cabot Collegiate was selected to be the location for the new wellness centre. The centre will include a gymnasium and exercise room, a community kitchen, and meeting space. It will also be the one main site in the community where people will be able to easily access primary health care services. The focus for these services will be chronic disease management, public health, home and community supports, and mental health and addictions. Work to renovate the space has begun. The centre is scheduled to open in summer 2019.

The new wellness centre will be funded by the Provincial Government and Eastern Health with contributions from the Discovery Health Foundation, the Bonavista Peninsula Dialysis Committee Health Foundation and other partners.

Construction of the wellness centre builds on the successes already happening through the work of the local primary health care team. The team consists of doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, a diabetes educator, dietitian, a pharmacist, a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, a social worker, and public health nurses.

The team is responsible for the creation of a diabetes collaborative and a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease collaborative. Through these collaboratives, people can readily access the services of a variety of health care professionals in one place, at one time and get one-on-one, evidence-based advice to manage these conditions.

Daily walk-in clinics with a nurse practitioner are also available. Patients also have access to improved mental health and addictions services including the Doorways single session service. Patients have much better access to service, enjoy more convenience, and less travel, through the use of Telehealth appointments.

Bonavista is also the province’s first region where an electronic medical record (EMR) is being used by both regional health authority staff and other community-based providers like fee-for-service doctors. An EMR is an example of technology being used to overcome geography. It is the electronic home for all of a patient’s health information. The record is available to all members of that patient’s primary health care team. An EMR provides greater access to information, encourages multidisciplinary teamwork and can be accessed in each provider’s office no matter where they are located. It is using technology to provide better, shared care for patients.

Primary health care delivery in Bonavista is similar to the work being led by other primary health care teams across the province in such communities as Botwood, Grand Bank, Gander, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, and Corner Brook. This initiative delivers on commitments in The Way Forward to deliver better services and better outcomes for residents. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at

“The future of rural health care lies in teamwork and community partnerships, like we see in Bonavista. Co-locating primary care, public health, and mental health and addictions providers bolsters efforts to improve collaboration among health care professionals, which has been proven to lead to better health outcomes for patients.”
Honourable John Haggie
Minister of Health and Community Services

“The primary health care team has been doing excellent work, ensuring accessibility to appointments, and offering much needed services in our communities, particularly around diabetes and COPD. This approach to health care is helping people in our community each day, and I look forward to the opening of the Wellness Centre, which will provide a true community health care space for people in our region.”
Neil King
MHA for Bonavista

“The implementation of eHealth technology such as the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) in Bonavista has provided a ‘home’ for personal health information that is safe, secure and accessible to all members of a person’s primary health care team, when and where it is needed. With comprehensive client profiles that include treatment plans, current medications, point-of-care reminders, and individual health goals, an EMR offers a team-based approach to primary health care, which is especially important in rural areas like Bonavista. Focusing on proactive and preventive health care, and partnering with those we serve in the management of chronic disease, breathes life into our vision of Healthy People, Healthy Communities.”
Dena Trask
Nurse coordinator with the Primary Health Care and Chronic Disease Prevention and Management Program, Eastern Health

“Primary health care has moved forward in leaps and bounds in the Bonavista area, by providing access to the right care, at the right time and in the right place. If we don’t have good access to primary health care and health-care professionals, then population health suffers. Our new approach to primary care has made a big difference to the people of Bonavista, with shorter wait times and better management of chronic diseases. We believe that, going forward, this will help with recruitment and retention of health-care providers.”
Dr. Brenda Penney
Chief of Staff, Family Practice, Bonavista Peninsula Health Centre

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Media contacts
Emily Timmins
Health and Community Services
709-729-6986, 693-1292

Wanda Tremblet
Constituency Assistant to Neil King, MHA for Bonavista

Tracey L. Boland
Eastern Health

2018 08 24                              12:15 p.m.