Com­mu­ni­ties fo­cus of ru­ral health study

The Compass - - NEWS -

Dr. Jill Al­li­son wants to hear from peo­ple liv­ing in ru­ral parts of the prov­ince about their ac­cess to health care.

The Me­mo­rial Uni­ver­sity post­doc­toral fel­low will be trav­el­ling to a num­ber of com­mu­ni­ties over the com­ing weeks, speak­ing one-on-one with res­i­dents. She will be dis­cussing is­sues such as the bar­ri­ers they face in gain­ing ac­cess to care, what prob­lems peo­ple face with re­spect to con­fi­den­tial­ity in smaller com­mu­ni­ties and what kinds of med­i­cal technology peo­ple feel they should be able to ac­cess.

Dr. Al­li­son will also be speak­ing with health care prac­ti­tion­ers and com­mu­nity lead­ers.

“I will be trav­el­ling to a num­ber of com­mu­ni­ties across the prov­ince in or­der to cover a broad range of is­sues and fac­tors that might help me cre­ate a so­cial pic­ture of the con­cept of health care in ru­ral New­found­land and Labrador.”

Dr. Al­li­son, a for­mer nurse, ob­tained both her masters of Arts and PhD in an­thro­pol­ogy from Me­mo­rial, and is also a lec­turer at the uni­ver­sity.

She is plan­ning to visit Burin, Bell Is­land, Trepassey, Bon­av­ista, Lewis­porte, Flower’s Cove and Cartwright in the com­ing weeks. She is also hop­ing to travel to Grey River and Fran­cois.

Dr. Al­li­son said her goal is to speak with as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble in com­mu­ni­ties and from a va­ri­ety of back­grounds – peo­ple who can of­fer her a blend of opin­ions. She is look­ing to hear from men, women, young, old, the sick and healthy re­gard­ing their health care ex­pe­ri­ences.

“I am try­ing to pre­serve con­fi­den­tial­ity by keep­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion in the project as pri­vate as pos­si­ble. I will be con­duct­ing fo­cus groups in com­mu­ni­ties if peo­ple would like to par­tic­i­pate this way.

“I will be putting to­gether a sched­ule in the com­ing weeks but peo­ple can con­tact me any time and I will give them the dates for in­ter­views and fo­cus groups in each com­mu­nity.”

She hopes to start this work later this month, visit most com­mu­ni­ties once in early sum­mer and again in Au­gust or Septem­ber.

“ This re­search is im­por­tant be­cause it ad­dresses the pol­i­tics of health care in this prov­ince. It will pro­vide peo­ple, both res­i­dents and med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers, in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties the op­por­tu­nity to de­scribe what health care means to them and how it is de­liv­ered and re­ceived.

“In ad­di­tion, this project will pro­vide in­for­ma­tion on the way peo­ple in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties de­fine their so­cial, po­lit­i­cal and gen­dered iden­ti­ties based on ac­cess to health­care.”

Res­i­dents in­ter­ested in speak­ing with Dr. Al­li­son can con­tact her at (709) 737-7239 or by e-mail­ing ‘jill.al­li­son@med.mun.ca’.

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