Community Paramedic Diana Guerin (right) is now running drop-in Wellness Clinics in Clinton every Wednesday morning. Photo: Raven Nyman.

Wellness clinics provide free, drop-in health information

New service in Clinton helps patients manage their health care and stay out of hospital

BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) is offering a new service in Clinton: free weekly wellness checks and health information clinics, which take place from 10:30 a.m. to noon every Wednesday at the Clinton Health and Wellness Centre (1510 Cariboo Highway).

“The sessions just started two weeks ago,” says Clinton Community Paramedic Diana Guerin, who is running the clinics.

“We had to get everything lined up, get the use of the facility, work out a time frame, adjust schedules, and get equipment: just get basic stuff ready.”

Guerin says that BCEHS is encouraging wellness clinics. “Sonja Sullivan, our RN, is very busy, so the clinic gives people an opportunity to check on things.

“Wednesday is lab day at the Centre, so if people are there for something they can pop in. We have a private room, and there’s no charge, and no appointment necessary.”

Those attending the clinic can get their blood pressure, blood sugar, and breathing checked, get tips on living healthier and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and receive information about living with heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and diabetes, and learn what palliative care is all about.

“The goal of the community paramedics is to enhance wellness,” explains Guerin. “We teach people how to look after their own health so they don’t have to go into hospital. We do medical reviews, give encouragement to people, and maybe work on things together.”

READ MORE: Technology helps patients monitor their heart health

People can drop by the clinic weekly for checkups and help, and learn how to do things like manage COPD flare-ups. Guerin says there has been an increase in the number of people suffering from COPD.

“The smoke from the wildfires really made things worse, and we’re seeing lingering effects from that, in younger people as well as older ones. I’m truly concerned about the patients in my 4,400 square kilometre area. I can help people make sure their oxygen works well, that their puffers are up-to-date, and that they have a COPD rescue pack ready to go.

“I also talk about the home health monitoring services from Interior Health, for COPD and diabetes, and we’ll be getting the congestive heart failure monitoring service. The focus is to get people to look after their health better, and this is very, very positive.”

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