Mothers-to-be and new moms in Hope now have better access to pre- and post-natal care closer to home.

Thanks to enhancements to the scope, services and capacity of the program made through the work of the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice, women now have more frequent access to COG’s general practitioners before and after delivery. In the past, mothers living in Hope had found it difficult and time-consuming to access the care they needed. Eight family doctors founded COG in 2007 because they wanted to increase the region’s obstetrical expertise and support. They began with a once-a-month offering, but in its expanded format, the program now runs for a half-day, bi-weekly.

Each patient is matched to one of the doctors in the group for prenatal and postpartum care. The doctors take turns delivering the babies; and a woman may expect that any one of the eight will be in attendance for her delivery.

“Prior to the outreach program that is now in place, it was very difficult for patients living further east of Chilliwack to access prenatal care,” says Dr Alison Henry. “While some were able to drive to Chilliwack, the majority of patients in Hope and area did not have access and now they do.”

The program’s increased frequency and improved capabilities reduced driving time for patients by about three hours a month.

Dr Henry adds, “Women in their second or subsequent pregnancies, who have young kids at home to care for, are thankful for being able to avoid the long drives out for their appointments.”

“We’ve eliminated about 160 minutes of driving a month per patient, along sometimes treacherous roads. It’s heartening to see our work making a real difference in the lives of our patients.”