Major agreement signed supporting primary care in French in New Brunswick

November 25, 2014 – Three important players have struck a major five-year alliance forging a partnership supporting sustainable primary care in French. The Société Santé et Mieux-être en français du N.-B. (SSMEFNB), the Mouvement Acadien des Communautés en Santé du N.-B. (MACS-NB), and Vitalité Health Network have signed a document confirming their determination to work together to bring communities and the health care system closer together. 

This three-year agreement among the partners was signed following the public meeting of Vitalité Health Network’s Board of Directors held in Grand Falls on Tuesday, November 25.

Jean Castonguay, Acting President and Chief Executive Officer of Vitalité Health Network, Gilles Vienneau, Executive Director of the SSMEFNB, and Barbara Losier, Executive Director of the MACS-NB, envisage the future with much optimism.  All three are of the opinion that, with this agreement, the New Brunswick health system’s shift toward primary care has taken a significant step forward.

Gilles Vienneau stated that “the SSMEFNB is pleased to come together with Vitalité Health Network as well as the Mouvement Acadien des Communautés en Santé (MACS-NB) in an agreement designed to strengthen efforts to promote health and prevent disease for renewed primary care. With the community profiles recently produced by the Health Council and the needs studies currently under way, Vitalité Health Network and its partners are well-positioned to be able to intervene effectively on health determinants.”

According to Vitalité Health Network, the population’s health status poses a number of challenges, particularly due to the high incidence of chronic illnesses.  
“With its focus on factors that strongly impact health and wellness, primary health care must be at the heart of our communities,” Mr. Castonguay explained.  The agreement signed today is aligned with the Network’s strategic directions designed to optimize the shift to ambulatory and community care as well as primary care.  “It is important for us to forge partnership with facilities, programs, partners, and communities in order to ensure that the population we serve has access to quality primary health care and services” he said.

As for the MACS-NB, Barbara Losier is convinced that the “signature of this agreement will strengthen and multiply the collaborative links existing between Vitalité Health Network and frontline community groups working to promote health and wellness in French.  As an organization encouraging increased citizen and community participation in health and wellness, the MACS-NB is thrilled to associate with Vitalité Health Network and the Société Santé et Mieux-être en français and join forces in this most hopeful endeavour.”

The agreement will be supported by an annual action plan setting out strategic objectives, specific initiatives, and performance indicators to ensure that the results sought by the three partners are achieved.