Eastern Health implements measures that promote and protect population health and help prevent disease and injury. The primary initiatives in this line of business include: Health Protection; Health Promotion; Disease and Injury Prevention; Health Surveillance and Population Health Assessment.
Health protection includes the regulatory framework, programs and services for the control of diseases and protection from public health threats. Health protection identifies, reduces and eliminates hazards and risk to the health of individuals and communities. Health protection is delivered within the context of current legislation, where applicable.
The major categories of service include:
- Communicable disease surveillance and control
- Environmental Health Services (conducted in cooperation with Government Services Centre (GSC))
- All hazards emergency preparedness
Health promotion is the process of enabling individuals, families and communities to increase control over and to improve their own health. Health promotion programs and services involve the work of many internal and external partners working together to focus on:
- Building healthy public policy (e.g., smoke-free policies)
- Strengthening community action (e.g., Regional Wellness Coalitions)
- Creating supportive environments (e.g., safe walking routes within communities)
- Supporting development of personals skills (e.g., child and family health programs)
- Re-orienting health services to focus on prevention and early intervention (e.g., through partnerships with community agencies, engaging the public)
- Re-orienting health services to focus on population health as well as individual health outcomes
- Supporting health service delivery (e.g., Healthy Baby Clubs, Child Health Clinics)
Disease and injury prevention
Many illnesses can either be prevented or delayed and injuries can be avoided. Actions include programs and services that are focused on eradicating, eliminating or minimizing the impacts of disease and disability. Programs and services vary depending on the incidence or potential for disease, illness or injury identified in particular areas of the region.
The major categories of service include but are not limited to:
- Screening (e.g., breast screening, cervical screening)
- Falls prevention
- Chronic disease prevention and management
Health surveillance involves the systematic and ongoing collection, analysis and dissemination of public health data. Intended for early detection and control of outbreaks and identification of disease trends that cause illness, this assists with our understanding of the impacts and efforts to improve health and reduce the impact of disease.
Population health assessment
Population health assessment identifies the factors that underlie good health and those that create risks. These assessments lead to better services and policies. Initiatives include community health needs assessments and health status reports.
Eastern Health offers residential care options, community-based support, special assistance and continuing care, home support, personal care home and nursing home care for individuals based on assessed needs. These services are provided in select locations and in some cases may be income-tested and/or criteria-based. There is occasionally a relationship with other Provincial Government agencies such as the Department of Immigration, Skills and Labour for subsidized funding to supplement programs.
Individual, family and community supportive services
These programs provide financial and supportive services and case management for individuals of all ages with clinically assessed needs. The Community Supports Program focuses on supporting individuals, families and caregivers and promotes community inclusion, independence, safety and well-being. Services are limited and are based upon both a clinical and financial assessment which identifies an individual’s ability to pay for such services.
The main categories of services are:
- Alternate residential options, home support, medical supplies, assessment and placement services for nursing homes, personal care homes, palliative care (no financial assessment required) and behavioural supports.
- The Neglected Adults Service investigates and follows up on referrals of neglect as defined under the Adult Protection Act.
- Community Behavioural Services is a behavioural support and training program offered to individuals with developmental challenges.
- Direct Home Services offers a family-centered, home-based, early intervention program for families of infants and preschool children who have delayed development.
Short-term adult residential care
Eastern Health offers short-term programs such as convalescence and respite care. Respite care enables caregivers to avail of respite for defined periods with potential for extension in specific circumstances. Respite care is offered in nursing care homes and personal care homes.
Long-term adult residential care
This long-term program provides residential nursing home care for individuals who require ongoing support due to their disability, frailty or chronic illness. This involves a single-entry system where an individual’s needs are assessed and matched with available placements as appropriate.
The major categories of services involve the following:
- Eastern Health has a number of operating arrangements with its long-term care beds for people assessed as having high level needs. In certain areas of the region, beds are part of nursing homes while in other areas they are part of hospitals. Eastern Health also has a contract with a private nursing home to deliver Level III nursing home care to clients.
- Personal Care Homes are operated by private owners but are licensed and monitored through Eastern Health. These homes provide care for residents assessed as having low level needs.
- Through Alternate Family Care Home Placements, Eastern Health approves caregiver homes and monitors and supports placement of individuals who require care.
- Eastern Health owns and manages a limited number of supportive housing units, for seniors and adults with disabilities, in Placentia, Old Perlican, Grand Bank and Bonavista.
The organization investigates, treats, rehabilitates and cares for individuals with illness or injury. The clinical intent is to apply interventions that will reduce the severity of an illness or injury, preserve and improve the health of the individual, provide comfort measures and to educate and inform patients. Additionally, we provide care at the beginning of life (newborn care) and at the end of life (palliative care).
Services are offered in a variety of locations throughout the region, depending on factors such as the level of care required (primary, secondary or tertiary), access to health professionals and access to appropriate facilities. Certain services are self-referred, while others require a referral from a health professional. The organization offers services through a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings.
The key aspects are outlined as follows:
- Outreach Services offer selected clinical services throughout the region and some parts of the province. These include outreach clinics for cancer care, mental health and specialized children’s services (e.g., physiotherapy).
- Throughout the region, people have access to Primary Care. The main form of primary care is through fee-for-service physicians who operate their own offices independently of Eastern Health. In many other cases, both salaried and fee-for-service physicians and salaried nurse practitioners work within one of Eastern Health’s facilities to provide primary care. There are also a growing number of primary healthcare projects in which physicians and other health professionals work in a coordinated manner to offer care.
- Through Community Health Centres, health professionals provide assessment and care in a medical clinic setting within certain areas of the region.
- Regional Cancer Centres are staffed by Eastern Health employees and patients are visited by specialists of the Cancer Care Program who work closely with local physicians. These centres are located in Gander, Grand Falls and Corner Brook.
- Regional Hospitals throughout the Eastern Health catchment area provide both primary and secondary level care. The primary disciplines are ambulatory, emergency, diagnostic imaging, general surgery, gynecology, laboratory medicine, obstetrics, psychiatry and medicine. These services are provided by multidisciplinary teams of health professionals.
- Tertiary Hospitals are located in St. John’s and provide primary, secondary and tertiary-level services. These tertiary facilities are academic healthcare facilities that accept referrals and transfers from all parts of the province for both inpatient and outpatient services. The majority of these specialty services are listed in the footnote.
- Throughout the region, Rehabilitation Centres provide patient rehabilitation following an illness or injury. The Miller Centre (for adults) and the Janeway Children’s Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre provide specialized rehabilitation services.
- Patient Transport provides both ground and air transport of patients. These services are conducted by both public and private operators and include ambulance and client transport for medical services.
- Mental Health and Addictions Services are offered to those who are experiencing mental health problems, mental illness or difficulties with alcohol, drugs, gambling, or are affected by someone else’s use. These services range from health promotion-based programs to diagnosis and treatment (both inpatient, outpatient and residential) to follow-up services. There are strong links with community-based partners such as advocacy groups, self-help groups, employment and housing.
- Home visits are another mechanism for health professionals to deliver care within the community setting.
Eastern Health is dedicated to advancing research, education and knowledge dissemination. The organization plays a key role in ensuring that the next generation of health professionals has opportunities to gain relevant educational experience. Staff and physicians are encouraged to seek the best information and knowledge from multiple sources and to incorporate evidence into their practice. As well, the organization is committed to ensuring that the issues faced in daily practice bring about innovative research and learning.
Education and research are collaborative endeavours and overall success depends upon partnerships with affiliated organizations, particularly Memorial University of Newfoundland, including the faculties and schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing and Social Work. Eastern Health also has close ties with the College of the North Atlantic and has affiliation agreements with numerous other post-secondary institutions across the country and further abroad to provide student placements within clinical settings. Additionally, Eastern Health has permanent representation on the Board of Directors of the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research (NLCAHR) and the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information (NLCHI).
The main categories within this area are listed below:
- Education of the next generation of healthcare providers is offered through affiliation agreements with numerous educational institutions. These arrangements enable students to study and participate in fieldwork experiences. Eastern Health’s primary educational partnerships are with Memorial University of Newfoundland and College of the North Atlantic, in addition to various universities who educate many of our allied health staff.
- The Patient Research Centre provides for the coordination and implementation of clinical trials.
- The Centre for Nursing Studies (CNS) offers Practical Nursing, Bachelor of Nursing, Nurse Practitioner and various continuing education programs.
- Continuing Education is offered throughout Eastern Health in various formats. We also partner with other health boards and community agencies to offer training to health professionals and the general public.
 Medical, Surgical and Radiation Oncology; Cardiac and Critical Care; Specialized Diagnostics – Laboratory Medicine, Imaging, Nuclear Medicine, Pathology; Children and Women’s Health – Specialty Pediatrics, Gynecology, Obstetrics, Pediatric Critical Care, Perinatology; Medicine – Allergy & Immunology, Emergency Medicine, Endocrinology & Metabolism, Family Medicine, Gastroenterology, General Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, Haematology, Nephrology, Pharmacy, Respirology, Rheumatology; Surgery – Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, Cardiac Surgery, Dentistry, General Surgery, Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedics, Otolaryngology, Plastic Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, Urology, Vascular Surgery; Psychiatry – child/adolescent psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, adult and general psychiatry, forensic psychiatry.