MIRAMICHI (GNB) – The province's first family health team was officially launched today in Miramichi.

Family health teams bring physicians together with other health professionals to provide better access, shorter wait times and improved health outcomes by managing chronic disease and improving care co-ordination.

“Implementing family health teams is a key strategy of A Primary Health Care Framework for New Brunswick,” said Health Minister Hugh Flemming. “The Miramichi Family Health Team began as a pilot project in 2010 and has been very successful. It will serve as a model for the implementation of other health teams around the province. I commend the physicians involved with this project for their leadership and innovation.”

The Miramichi team has about 9,000 patients and includes six physicians, two nurses and a clinical care co-ordinator. Other health-care professionals integrated into the team from the community and hospital include dieticians, respiratory therapists, and the zone diabetes case manager. The team also continues to develop linkages with community mental health and addiction services staff.  

“The type of team-based care we have been providing through this family health team pilot has led to a high degree of satisfaction among our patients,” said Dr. Robert Boulay, a family physician participating in the health team. “We certainly are not reinventing the wheel here, but we are creating a template that can be reproduced for all New Brunswickers.”