Parksville resident overseeing health centre construction

Differing camps are alike in one desire: for more from the province

Sheila Cruikshank

Sheila Cruikshank

The site is being cleared for the newly branded Oceanside Health Centre (OHC) this week and it’s future director Sheila Cruikshank is on the job.

Cruikshank, still a registered nurse with an additional masters in nursing, has been the VIHA director of community integration and service development for the Oceanside area since August, 2011. She is overseeing the construction and will manage the new facility when it opens in the summer of 2013.

Cruikshank was the vice president of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Comox and said it was coincidence that she lives in Parksville.

She said when the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) asked her to take the job they were surprised to hear she lived here and said when people in the area hear that they really appreciate her local connection.

She said she is excited about the OHC’s innovative use of technology and other health care workers like nurse practitioners which will tie in nicely with a new provincial initiative.

Several aspects of the new facility, like the use of electronic health records and self-scheduling will become a flagship for all of VIHA, she said.

This will make the system more efficient so patients don’t have to keep repeating all their information and it expedites care.

The facility will also focus on a lot of integrate services for things like home care and various programs like mental health and preventative health, meaning patients have a single point of entry to a team of health professionals.

It will also be closely linked to the Family Place building currently taking shape on the other side of Parksville, which will house services from three provincial ministries, including public health nurses.