Whistler 360 Health Collaborative Society’s pillars are designed to address the issues that deter doctors from choosing full service family practice, improve the health of our community and deliver excellence in the provision of primary care.
A convenient central location with ease of access for patients to lab, imaging and other services offered at the Whistler Health Care Centre.
The Society owns and operates the medical practice with governance from the community. The Society’s Board directs what services are made available.
Under the direction of the Society’s Board, its Executive Director manages all aspects of day-to-day administrative operations. This includes medical office assistant hiring/training and on-going management, scheduling, billing, accounting, information technology, electronic medical records and using data to provide services the community needs.
Family doctors and nurse practitioners work at the Whistler 360 Health, paying a portion of billings back to the Society to cover overhead. Patients have a primary care provider that they and their families can have a relationship with throughout their lives.
Whistler 360 Health is structured to provide patients team-based care across a number of health care disciplines. The mix of skills would vary, depending on community needs.
Whistler 360 Health takes a leadership role in working with other groups in the community, such as Whistler Community Services Society and schools, to address social determinants of health.
Everyone in the community can access Whistler 360 Health, including seasonal staff and visitors that may have a non-emergency health need.
Whistler 360 Health will also provide opportunities for medical students, nurses, other allied health professionals and medical office assistant training, as well as supporting on-going learning for the team. This not only gives the learners access to experience best practices in medical care, but also aids in recruitment and retention going forward.
Whistler 360 Health and medical practice operations reflect that a healthy environment underpins healthy people and healthy communities.
After a community forum co-hosted by the Whistler Health Care Foundation and the Sea to Sky Division of Family Practice in 2019, a group of Whistlerites formed the Primary Care Task Force to respond to the closure of multiple clinics and a rising number of people without a family doctor. The complexity and financial challenges of running a practice as well as the lack of support for team-based care had many physicians leaving family practice.
After several years of collaboration, research into other models, and discussions with community partners, the Task Force developed the model to pursue for Whistler. The result is the Whistler 360 Health Collaborative Society, which was incorporated under the BC Societies Act in 2021 and received its charitable status from Revenue Canada in 2022.
Whistler 360 Health Today
Thanks to the determination and dedication of the medical community, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and Whistler 360 Health Collaborative Society volunteers, and many donors there are now two renovated treatment rooms at the Lorimer Road location (located on the second floor of the Whistler Health Care Centre building), as well as a new satellite clinic on Main Street, with three updated exam rooms.
In January 2023, Whistler 360 Health took over the management of the Whistler Medical Clinic and its space rented from VCH. The administrative workload that burdens many physicians in family practice is now handled by a dedicated executive director, leaving medical staff free to focus on delivering health care.
Vision for the Future
Whistler 360 Health will continue to focus on its mission: to create a team-based, professionally managed, community-governed centre of excellence where health care professionals provide patient-focused longitudinal care. Whistler 360 Health also works to provide leadership in healthcare to the community and collaborates to improve social determinants of health.
The Whistler 360 Health model of innovative healthcare leadership addresses the issues that deter doctors from choosing full-service family practice while working to improve the health of our community. This cutting-edge model offers an opportunity for Whistler to create a solution that fits the needs of the community, aligns care with more comprehensive health services, and supports doctors and nurse practitioners to continue to work in full-service, relationship-based primary care.
New physical space will be needed, and this will require the Whistler 360 Health Collaborative Society to raise significant funds and work closely with its partners.