The Sun Peaks Community Health Centre (SPCHC) executive director has been recognized for leading community support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Laura Bantock, executive director of SPCHC, recently received a certificate of appreciation from Interior Health. However, she added there is a strong team of physicians and staff at the health centre who deserve to be recognized for their work throughout the pandemic, too.
“Behind me is a team of people who each have an incredible role,” Bantock said. “We’ve tried to represent our community and take advantage of bringing services to our community so that people didn’t have to travel, and the access was fair and equitable.”
Early on in the pandemic, Bantock secured a testing site on the mountain with help from the municipality and a strong relationship with Interior Health. The health authority provided the service itself, but Bantock said the Sun Peaks team played a big role in supporting the site and communicating with patients.
“There were a lot of people in our community who were away from home for the first time, who didn’t have a lot of family supports,” she said.
“If they were unwell, we were asking them what kind of support they needed. Was somebody bringing food? Were they able to isolate away from people?”
Bantock said her team also used social media to provide the community with information and to guide conversations. Once vaccinations were available, SPCHC staff promoted vaccination clinics in Sun Peaks and ensured all appointments were filled.
Bantock added staff also took time to answer questions and have conversations with those who were hesitant about receiving the vaccine.
“I think as a clinic, we were more accessible for those conversations with people,” she said. “[We] advocate for the needs of people here, to make sure that we get the best kind of health care services that we can possibly get.”
Looking forward, Bantock said the pandemic isn’t officially over yet. SPCHC continues to offer COVID-19 PCR testing for symptomatic people on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The health centre is also offering more in-clinic appointments and looking at ways to increase access. Bantock said SPCHC is currently at capacity for taking on new patients and is in the process of trying to recruit physicians, but the clinic is having some challenges due to the shortage of healthcare providers across the province. However, community members should contact the health centre if they are unwell or injured.