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Community Updates (Updated 10-26-2012)


  • 10-23-2012: How does the CEC Work?

    Annapolis Community Health Centre officially became a Collaborative Emergency Centre (CEC) on September 17, 2012. AVH has provided this overview of how the new CEC will operate. View PDF

  • 09-04-2012: AVH Community Meeting Set for Sept 10.

    Plan to attend a community conversation about your new Collaborative Emergency Centre. This is an opportunity to ask questions; meet and learn about the health care providers who will support your care; and to learn about how the Collaborative Emergency Centre can benefit you and your family. View the poster from AVH

  • 08-31-2012: Presentation Notes Regarding Forthcoming CEC

    A brief meeting was held at ACHC August 22, 2012 to provide some information regarding the CEC that is coming to Annapolis. Dave Tinker has provided a transcript of his notes and the physicians of the OCECC have included additional details to provide further clarification. Read complete summary

  • 08-30-2012: Program Waives Ambulance Fees for Low Income Nova Scotians

    Some Nova Scotians will be able to have their ambulance fees waived under the new Ambulance Fee Assistance program, which takes effect Saturday, Sept. 1. Read the release

  • 06-21-2012: The Friends of the Annapolis Community Health Centre
    Seek Your Participation

    For over 2 years, a group of volunteers has worked hard to advocate for the professional and caring atmosphere of the Annapolis Community Health Centre (“the Health Centre”) as a permanent and necessary aspect of our sustainable community.

    By maintaining open communications with the community, health care professionals, Annapolis Valley Health, and the Department of Health and Wellness, the Friends identifies the community needs for citizens who are served by the Health Centre and advocates to have these needs met by the public health care system with the Annapolis Community Health Centre as their key health care facility. Read complete statement

  • 03-01-2012: PR - Friends of the Annapolis Community Health Centre Monitor Implementation of Collaborative Emergency Centre

    The Friends of the Annapolis Community Health Centre (FACHC) continue to monitor the progress of the implementation of a Collaborative Emergency Centre (CEC) for the Annapolis Community Health Centre (ACHC). Read complete statement

  • 01-27-2012: Reduction to Lab Staff & X-ray services at ACHC
    Important Meeting February 2, 2012

    On January 23, 2012 at a meeting of the Steering Committee of the Friends of the Annapolis Community Health Centre, following recent announcements from Valley Health. The FACHC decided to send a letter requesting a meeting with the Hon. Maureen MacDonald, Minister of Health.

    It was also decided that we should call a meeting of the general membership on 2 February and a public meeting at King's Theatre as soon as possible thereafter.

    We understand that we are now looking at the reduction of specialist lab staff and the proposed transfer of lab equipment and a reduction of X-ray services. There was no public consultation regarding these decisions, decisions that violate earlier assurances that the lab would not be closed and that full services would continue to be provided.

    There is now widespread public concern as a result of these announcements, especially regarding the effect these cuts will have on the viability and sustainability of our local economy – an effect that we feel runs counter to the declared priorities of the present government of Nova Scotia. 

    The Friends now feel we are in a crisis situation and need to review what our mandate is to be given these recent developments are going on at the facility. This is what we plan to address at the two forthcoming meetings.  

    Please plan to attend this important meeting:
    Thursday, February 2
    7 to 9 pm
    Granville Ferry Hall with a snow date of February 7.

  • 11-18-2011: Province’s Fifth Collaborative Emergency Centre will open in Annapolis Royal

    Transcript of announcement made by Health and Wellness ministerial assistant Gary Ramey.
    Read complete announcement

    Re: Emergency centre in works for Annapolis Royal
    The Chronicle Herald (11-19-2011)

    Dear Editor –

    There was a feel-good announcement at the Annapolis Community Health Centre (ACHC) on Friday, November 18 to celebrate the fact that the Department of Health and Wellness had accepted the proposal by Annapolis Valley Health (AVH) District Health Authority for a Collaborative Emergency Centre (CEC) at the ACHC.  The Friends of the ACHC look forward to a smooth transition to the new CEC.

    The next day an article in the Chronicle Herald painted a different picture External link.  Saying that the emergency department was closed for 1,512 hours in 2010 /11 suggested there was a long-term problem with our ER.  But this was emphatically not the case.  Those hours had more to do with AVH decision-making than doctor shortage.

    It is unclear why there were 104 hours of ER closure from July to October 2011.  It was not due to doctor shortage, as one might infer from reading the article.

    Now that AVH’s submission has been accepted, it should be made public.  The Annapolis community has a right to know what data have been submitted.  And the community has a right to know what general parameters the Department and AVH will use in their planning for the ACHC.


    Wayne Boucher
    Friends of the Annapolis Community Health Centre (FACHC)

  • 10-17-2011: AVH Proposal for Collaborative Emergency Centre at ACHC

    Collaborative Emergency Centre (CEC ) UPDATE
    Annapolis Valley Health has submitted a proposal to the Department of Health and Wellness for a Collaborative Emergency Centre at Annapolis Community Health Centre. This proposal builds on Dr. John Ross's Emergency Care in Nova Scotia Report, Better Care Sooner Provincial Report, local community conversations and Community Health Board Plan.

    A CEC provides care using a team approach that delivers:
    - Access to primary health care, including doctors, nurse practitioners, family practice nurses and other health care providers (i.e. dietitians, physiotherapists, mental health professionals, etc.) to provide comprehensive care, including health promotion and chronic disease management for patients and families

    - Same-day or next-day access to medical appointments

    - Access to 24/7 coordinated emergency care

    The CEC model established in the Parrsboro community includes a nurse and paramedic working together, in collaboration with a doctor to provide care in the overnight hours. During the day patients are encouraged to have appointments scheduled with their own family doctor/nurse practitioner, but if a need for more urgent care occurs the team working in the CEC assesses and determines the care plan, which may include a same day appointment with the primary care team or care being received in the CEC.

    (The above information supplied by AVH)

    A Message from the Physicians at ACHC regarding the above announcement:

    The medical staff of ACHC are committed to safe and timely health care for our community. We remain concerned that hurried and poor planning of a CEC (Community Emergency Centre) might threaten the sustainability of both the emergency service and primary care provision in Annapolis Royal. We do believe that we have, at ACHC, the very elements required to make a successful CEC, one which could become a model for the province and, indeed, other similar rural areas of Canada.

    Our reservations concern proposed operational changes and the resulting potential for limited access and unsafe patient care at ACHC.

    We continue to be engaged in a consultation process with the Department of Health & Wellness and the District Health Authority to address and clarify these issues. We hope that we will be able to evolve into a patient care facility that can meet both the primary healthcare and emergency care needs of our community.

    We would like to clarify that none of our reservations about a CEC model have anything to do with “loss of overtime pay”. Indeed, AVH are appearing to be faithful to the recommendations in John Ross's report, and the suggested reconfigured care delivery model would see no change in physician earnings at all.

  • 09-07-2011: AVH Annual General Meeting

    The FACHC and AVH encourages everyone to attend the AVH AGM in Berwick on September 12 at 6:30 pm. You can register for tickets on line at http://healthyfuturetogether.eventbrite.com/

  • 12-08-2010: NDP Releases Emergency Care Plan

    The days of emergency departments staffed round the clock by doctors will be over in many communities, according to the NDP government's emergency-care plan released Dec. 7. Under the plan, called Better Care Sooner, some rural emergency departments would be replaced by collaborative clinics. View/Download

  • 12-07-2010: Community Meeting Survey/Questionnaire Results

    The Community Meeting held at Kings Theatre was attended by 240 people. Each person was given an agenda as they entered the lobby. The agenda package contained survey information. There were oral presentations provided by community groups and local doctors in the first part of the meeting. At intermission questionnaires were distributed on separate small 4"x 5" cards. View results

  • 11-24-2010: ER Returns to 24/7, Tuesday, December 14

    The ACHC ER will be re-opening on Tuesday's effective Tuesday, December 14 beginning at 0800 hrs. Dr. Simon Bonnington will be joining the on-call schedule.

  • Community Meeting Video

    To all who attended and joined in the continued effort to maintain services at Annapolis Community Health Centre, many thanks for your support.

    Video Highlights
    Thanks to Tim Wilson / personamedia.com for donating his time and expertise to document the presentations at last night’s Community Meeting. The full 2 hour DVD of Thursday night’s meeting will be available for loan in the coming days through the FACHC:
    - FACHC Position Statement - Nancy Bird MP4 Video
    - Ross Report CARE Program, Ambulances and RESTOR - Dr. Ken Bucholz MP4 Video

    Complete Video
    Thanks to Trish Fry for providing equipment that enabled the Community Meeting to be recorded for internet broadcast.
    - Welcome Message: Wayne Currie
    - Community Presentation: Wayne Boucher and Nancy Bird
    - Annapolis West Health Foundation: Wayne MacDonald and
    - Annapolis Community Health Centre Auxiliary - Pauline Lowen

    - Annapolis Digby Economic Development Association: Mike Gushue
    - 24/7 ER, Palliative Care & Inpatient Care beds: Dr. Bob Barkwell
    - Ross Report CARE program, Ambulances and RESTOR Part I: Dr. Ken Bucholz
    - Ross Report CARE program, Ambulances and RESTOR Part II: Dr. Ken Bucholz
    - Ross Report CARE program, Ambulances and RESTOR Part III: Dr. Ken Bucholz

  • 11-18-2010: Community Meeting November 18, Annapolis Royal

    The Annapolis West Health Foundation and Friends of the Annapolis Community Health Centre will host a Public Meeting at the King's Theatre on Thursday, November 18 at 7 p.m. to hear community responses to the organizations' continued efforts to have a 24/7 Emergency Room at the Annapolis Community Health Centre and to seek input on how to respond to the preliminary information contained in the Ross Report. This will be a community meeting featuring community representatives along with local doctors, who will update the status and the direction of the health centre and answer questions. Mark your calendar and bring a friend.

    Big News from November 16 Meeting with AVH

    24/7 ER at ACHC
    There was a meeting at the AVH board room yesterday, Tuesday November 16, with Wayne Boucher (Friends of ACHC), Wayne Currie (AWHF) and Rosanne Peach (ACHC Auxiliary) and several members of the AVH Executive, including Janet Knox and Karen Smith (site manager at ACHC).  The ACHC doctors attended by videoconference.  The commitment was made to return to 24/7 ER at ACHC as soon as possible.  It will take some time to get all the Human Resources in place; Karen Smith was unable to predict yesterday when the first Tuesday opening would take place but in September/October this process took two to three weeks.  It is  intended that 24/7 be in place until Ross Report recommendations are implemented; it's hard to say how long this will take, but the best current estimate is 6 months to two years.

    How this Happened
    Many individuals and groups were involved and it is clear that the efforts of FACHC were instrumental in effecting this change.

    What this Means about our Meeting Thursday, November 18
    It is essential that the Steering Committee and Working Group show their support for the ACHC by attending the meeting.  Likewise it is important that there be a good turnout from the community.  This will send an important message that this community is committed to the ACHC.  Really the AVH decision sets the stage for a positive tone and a meeting that should bring people together.

    The Ross Report
    Information and discussion about the Ross Report remain important purposes for the meeting.  There are still many challenges coming up with the implementation of the Ross Report recommendations and community involvement will be essential to ensure that the needs of the ACHC and the community are met in the future.

    Your Friends and Neighbours
    Please let people know the latest and encourage them to come to the meeting Thursday night.  Progress is being made and now is the time to keep on working towards enduring support for the ACHC.


    - Download Meeting Agenda, Friends Position Statement and Survey
    - View/download printable version of Meeting Poster
    - Letter to Dr. John Ross, Notification of Community Meeting
    - Letter to Hon. Maureen MacDonald, Notification of Community Meeting
    - Letter to Janet Knox, Notification of Community Meeting
    - The Chronicle Herald: It's now or never for health care, R. Surette
    - Annapolis West Health Foundation (AWHF) response to Dr. Ross Report
    - Annapolis Community Health Centre Auxiliary (ACHCAux) response to Dr. Ross Report

  • 11-02-2010: Annapolis Spectator: Ross report is in

    ER advisor recommends ways to improve access to emergency services . Read the full article External link

  • 10-28-2010: Premier Questioned About Keeping ERs Open 24/7

    Hon. S. McNeil questioned Premier Darrell Dexter in the House regarding promises to keep rural ERs open 24/7. View/Download

  • 10-28-2010: Responding to the report on Emergency care

    Wayne Boucher and Sheila Martin offer their perspectives on the recommendations included the Ross report. Listen to the interviewExternal link

  • 10-26-2010: Dr. Ross Final Report Released

    A doctor tasked with examining Nova Scotia's troubled emergency room system will release his final report today. Dr. John Ross was appointed by the NDP government last fall to help address the chronic problem of emergency room closures in rural communities and overcrowding in its largest emergency departments. (See page 58 for the ACHC recommendations) View/Download

  • 09-29-2010: Community Update

    24/7 Emergency Room, an essential service. Dr. Ross's report is nearly completed. We worry if it will be good news or bad for small centres like our own. Read | View/Download

  • 09-21-2010: PSA - ACHC Resumes 24/6 ER Service

    The Emergency Room at Annapolis Community Health Centre, Annapolis Royal (ACHC) will re-open for regularly scheduled 24 hour service on Thursdays beginning  October 7, 2010.

    The ACHC emergency room had previously been closed for 24 hours on Tuesday and Thursdays since September 8, 2009 due to physician shortages. Read complete announcement

  • 09-20-2010: PR - McNeil: One Year Later and Still No Ross Report
    (Halifax, NS) Liberal leader Stephen McNeil says Nova Scotia communities still struggling with emergency room closures need to know if the NDP's yearlong look at ERs is on schedule. "There have been over 1200 hours of emergency room closures in the Annapolis Valley since Dr. Ross' interim report was given to the Minister of Health on April 7, 2010," says McNeil. "The ER at Soldiers Memorial Hospital has been closed twice in the last three days. The problem is growing - it's time the NDP started addressing it." McNeil is concerned that Dr. Ross' report may be delayed. Ross is scheduled to meet with the Pictou County Health Authority and spend a shift at the Aberdeen Hospital emergency room on Tuesday, September 21. The one year anniversary of Dr. Ross' contract is September 30. "Apparently, with his tour of the province's ERs still not completed, Dr. Ross remains in the information gathering phase - does this mean the final report will be delayed?," McNeil asks. "Our communities need answers." The Liberal leader believes hospital administrators are being handcuffed by the status of a report that's still up in the air. "We know that in the case of the Annapolis Community Health centre, there are doctors willing to work the ER - however, regular weekly Tuesday and Thursday closures continue as the DHA states it is waiting for the Ross Report," explains McNeil. "Is the report on time? Does Dr. Ross require an extension of his contract? When will the NDP get around to keeping its promise to keep all emergency rooms open 24-7?"
  • 09-16-2010: PR - Valley Health Scuttles Plans For 24/7 Emergency
    Coverage At The Annapolis Community Health Centre
    In spite of overwhelming community support and the solid commitment of local physicians and staff, plans to resume 24/7 emergency care at the Annapolis Community Health Centre (ACHC) have been vetoed by the Annapolis Valley District Health Authority's Executive Committee. They have decided to keep the ER facility closed two days per week. Read complete statement
  • 09-02-2010: AVH Denies Access to 24/7 Emergency Services
    Access To 24/7 Emergency Services Denied by District Health Authority Despite Doctors’ Wishes
    Earlier this summer, news circulated that the Annapolis Community Health Centre would return to 24/7 emergency care beginning sometime in September. On Wednesday August 25, Karen Smith, the site manager at ACHC, delivered an announcement from the Annapolis Valley District Health Authority Executive Committee to doctors and staff stating that the emergency room will remain closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays and will not be reinstated September 21 as planned. Read complete statement
  • 08-31-2010: Our ER and our Health Centre are in serious jeopardy!

    On Wednesday August 23, Karen Smith, the Site Manager at ACHC, read an announcement from AVH saying that our ER will remain closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays and will not be reinstated on September 21 as planned.

    Our ER was scheduled to be open 24/7 later in September, but this plan has been thwarted. Our ER has been prevented from opening on Tuesdays and Thursdays by the AVH Executive Committee despite physicians and nursing staff being willing and able to cover. This was the gist of the announcement from Karen Smith on behalf of AVH.

    The Friends of ACHC Steering Committee met with our local physicians August 30 and they confirmed this serious, untenable situation. Access to full 24/7 health care in our area has been denied.

    The Friends of ACHC Working Group will meet Thursday September 2, to plan our response. If you care about our ER and our Health Centre please contact us at: , we sure could use your help right now in any of these areas:

    - Community outreach
    - Financial support
    - Political action
    - Media strategy
    - Legal options
  • 06-16-2010: Minutes from Community Meeting April 26, 2010

    After a very long wait, AVH finally released a very abbreviated summary of events that took place at the final Community Meeting held at Desmond Piers Theatre. The Friends of ACHC hope to secure a comprehensive transcript for those who were unable to attend the meeting.

  • 06-07-2010: A/R Doctors Response to Dr. Ross Report

    “We have read and re-read John Ross's Interim Report on Emergency Care over the past few weeks. The content is, naturally, of consuming interest to us, since we are among the rural ER's being looked at for a change in role. Dr. Ross tells us that he has been mandated with suggesting changes to the current emergency care system "with the goal of significantly improving the delivery of emergency services in Nova Scotia." He has visited seven of the nine DHA's, including , if our experience is any guide, every site in each. We have had two opportunities of meeting with him: the first while he was visiting the Digby General Hospital site of our westerly neighbour, South West Health; the second during his visit to Annapolis Valley Health. Dr. Ross was very explicit in what he told us: no ER would be ‘closed’, in the sense that the doors would be locked and the lights turned out, but the current 37 24-hour ER's would be reduced to about 25. The others would have a changed role, though he felt that they would "continue to be vibrant and function." Although he may be, as he says, "in listening mode", he clearly came to our area with a preferred solution. He did, indeed, listen, though we are not sure exactly what he heard. We are sure that, whatever he heard, he eventually felt that his original solution was still the best one.” Read the complete response  

  • 06-03-2010: Friends of ACHC, ask more questions of Annapolis Valley Health

    Answers to some questions following the Community Conversation held at the Desmond Piers Theatre. View the questions & AVH’s response

  • 05-24-2010: Friends of ACHC, future plans

    The final Community Conversation held at the Desmond Piers Theatre left many questions unanswered regarding the future of care at ACHC. The Steering Committee of the Friends of ACHC met on Monday May 24, 2010 to determine the next steps that should be taken. Updated information will continue to be posted to this website.

  • 04-13-2010: PR: Annapolis Valley Health to hold Community Meeting

    Annapolis Valley Health (AVH) remains concerned about accessibility to services for the citizens served by Annapolis Community Health Centre (ACHC). We want to work with the community to continue to most effectively meet their health needs. Our goal is for ACHC to continue to be an important resource for the health of our citizens. 

    AVH would like to welcome community members to attend a Community Meeting hosted by David Logie, Chair of AVH Board of Directors and Janet Knox, AVH President and CEO.  We appreciated the community’s participation in our first two community conversations, and plan to share what we heard from those two meetings. This Community Meeting will be set up as a panel discussion and will provide an opportunity for community members to ask questions. Dr. John Ross, Provincial Emergency Care Advisor for Nova Scotia, will be in attendance as well, to hear from the community and participate in the discussion. The Community Meeting will be held on:

    April 26, 2010, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. - Desmond Piers Theatre, 268 Marine Drive (end of Broadway Avenue) Annapolis Basin Conference Centre, Cornwallis Park  http://abcc.ca/uploads/ABCC_FacilitiesMap.pdf  .

  • For more information please contact,
    Public Relations (902) 670-8263 / (902) 538-3468

  • 04-08-2010: Dr. Ross’ Interim Report has been released
    Read the press-release External link | View/Download  
  • 04-07-2010: Health Minister MacDonald questioned about ACHC

    Hon. S. McNeil directly questioned Maureen MacDonald (Minister of Health) in the House regarding concerns about the ACHC, ER’s and the Dr. John Ross investigation. View/Download

  • 04-01-2010: Friends of ACHC Community Update

    Answers to some of the most pressing questions regarding the future of ACHC are distributed throughout the area by the Friends of ACHC. Read | View/Download

  • 03-31-2010: Friends of ACHC Release Position Statement
    Who are the Friends of ACHC? Read the position statement
  • 03-03-2010: Friends of ACHC Launch Blog Postcard, Letter & Email Campaigns to support full-service E/R capabilities at ACHC.



This site has been created by the Friends of ACHC who are a concerned group of citizens working with the Annapolis West Health Foundation (AWHF), Annapolis Community Health Centre Auxiliary (ACHC Aux) and the Town of Annapolis Royal.

Volunteer participation and public comments are welcome, please contact us at: