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New 1-800 health-care number expanded to the East Kootenays

Residents can call the number to be connected to home and community care and chronic disease management services

Interior Health is making it easier for seniors and others in the East Kootenay region to access and navigate health-care services.

Residents throughout the region can now easily connect to health-care services in their community Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (MST) by calling 1-800-707-8550.

Communities in the East Kootenay region are the latest to see implementation of the new 1-800 number. The communities included in the expansion are Brisco, Canal Flats, Cranbrook, Creston, Edgewater, Elkford, Fairmont, Fernie, Golden, Invermere, Jaffray, Kimberley, Moyie, Panorama, Radium Hot Springs, Sparwood, Spillmacheen, Wilmer, Windermere, and Yahk.

The number was launched as a pilot project in South Okanagan in September 2020, and later expanded to the Kootenay Boundary, Central Okanagan, and the Cariboo Chilcotin.

Those will call the new 1-800 number will reach a central intake office. Calls will then be connected to the appropriate services including:

• Care management services:

· Community nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, dietitian, social work, speech language, and respiratory therapy

· Support in your home to assist your daily living needs, such as personal care, special exercises, medication assistance and in-home respite

· Adult day services (personal care services and therapeutic activities in a community setting)

· Eligibility assessment for funded assisted living and long-term care homes

• Chronic disease management

• Palliative care services:

· Community nursing

· Social work

· Hospice care

• Acquired brain injury services

This service does not replace existing contact numbers, including the Interior Health crisis line (1-888-353-2273), acute or emergency services, or 911.

The 1-800 phone line was developed in response to feedback from the public, in order to make it simpler for residents in the East Kootenay region to find and access the services they need.

Similar improvements to access have been initiated for community mental health and substance use, with the new phone line at 310-MHSU that launched earlier this year.

READ MORE: Interior Health connects people to mental health resources amid COVID

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