Primary Care Networks governance

Improving Primary Care Networks (PCN) governance and Albertans’ access to team-based primary health care will help provide Albertans more community-based health care closer to home. Through this vision, Albertans’ health and well-being will be improved by an integrated health system that involves planning and structuring the way we deliver health care around people and their community.

A new PCN governance structure is being created that includes a Provincial PCN Committee and five Zone PCN Committees. The Provincial PCN Committee will provide governance, leadership, strategic direction and priorities for the PCNs. The Zone Committees will work to align planning across PCNs in their zone, create and implement a zone-wide service plan, optimize service delivery for populations across zones, and create efficiencies through shared services.

The new PCN governance structure is a collaboration between Alberta Health, the PCN Physician Leads, Alberta Health Services (AHS), and the Alberta Medical Association.

PCN governance changes to improve primary health care

The new PCN governance structure will improve the delivery of integrated health and community care for Albertans. It will:

  • improve integration between PCN services, AHS programs, and services provided by community-based organizations (for example, less duplication and more comprehensive care for homebound seniors);
  • increase alignment of services across communities within a zone through zone-wide service planning (for example, addiction and mental health services provided in the right places, at the right times, by the right providers across the zone, leading to better access and easier navigation for Albertans); and
  • share administrative services across the zone, where deemed appropriate by mutual agreement between joint partners, leading to more PCN resources applied to direct patient care.

For example, many PCNs and AHS have duplicative home care services. By integrating and/or aligning AHS home care and PCN seniors’ services, Albertans can be supported to live at home longer with appropriate services, and avoid long-term care and acute care admissions.

PCN Framework updates

Provincial PCN Committee

A goal of the Provincial PCN Committee is to provide governance, leadership, strategic direction and priorities for the PCNs. It will provide a forum for PCNs, through their zonal leadership, to raise opportunities and issues to the provincial level. Another goal is to strengthen the relationship between PCNs and Alberta Health Services (AHS), and better align primary community services with community population health needs.

The committee will seek feedback from, and provide direction to, the Zone Committees regarding PCN policy and objectives, areas of PCN priorities, areas of standardization, and zone-level service planning.

Members of the Provincial PCN Committee are:

  • Andre Tremblay (Chair) – Associate Deputy Minister, Alberta Health
  • John Cabral – Alberta Health
  • Kim Wieringa – Alberta Health
  • Leann Wagner – Alberta Health
  • Shannon Berg – Alberta Health
  • Helen Akosile-Xulu – PCN Physician Lead Executive North Zone
  • Justin Balko – PCN Physician Lead Executive Edmonton Zone
  • Jordan LaRue – PCN Physician Lead Executive Central Zone
  • Ernst Greyvenstein – PCN Physician Lead Executive Calgary Zone
  • Jeffrey Bratvold – PCN Physician Lead Executive South Zone
  • Gregory Cummings – Chief Zone Officer, North Zone, Alberta Health Services
  • Chris Sikora –Medical Officer of Health, Edmonton Zone, Alberta Health Services
  • Andrea Thain Liptak – Executive Director, Public Health, Primary Care, Chronic Disease Management, CRS and Allied Health, Alberta Health Services
  • Mike Spady – Clinical Department Head and Medical Leader, Community Health, Alberta Health Services
  • Grant Walker – Senior Operating Officer, Community Programs, Alberta Health Services
  • Ted Braun – Vice President and Medical Director, Central and Southern Alberta, Alberta Health Services
  • Richard Lewanczuk – Senior Medical Director, Primary Health Care, Alberta Health Services
  • Doug Stich – Alberta Medical Association

Zone PCN committees

Through a staged approach in 2018, the Provincial PCN Committee will create five Zone PCN Committees that will align with current AHS zones.

The five Zone PCN Committees will support the alignment and integration of care planning and delivery across PCNs, AHS and community partners in the zone by:

  • providing bi-directional communication between the Provincial Committee and PCNs;
  • identifying population health needs and priorities;
  • standardizing delivery of primary and community health services where appropriate; and
  • integrating primary and community services to better meet the health needs of Albertans.

Once they’re up and running, the Zone Committees will work to align planning across PCNs in their zone, create and implement a zone-wide service plan, optimize service delivery for populations across zones, and create efficiencies through shared services. PCNs will provide information to their respective Zone Committees to support zone-wide service planning.

Learn more

Partner resources

Contact information

Send questions about the PCN governance framework to the PCN Provincial Secretariat at:

Questions about the new leadership work can be directed to:

  • Alberta Health – Shannon Berg, Executive Director, Primary and Community Health Branch:
  • Alberta Health Services – Rob Skrypnek, Senior Program Officer, Primary Health Care and Senior Provincial Director, Primary Health Care Integration Network,
  • Physician Leads Executive:
    • Dr. Justin Balko, Edmonton Zone (co-chair)
    • Dr. Ernst Greyvenstein, Calgary Zone
    • Dr. Helen Akosile-Xulu, North Zone
    • Dr. Peter Bouch, Central Zone
    • Dr. Jeff Bratvold, South Zone

PCN support

PCNs can get help to support work and manage change related to the implementation of the PCN Framework from:

  1. North Zone: Zone Leaders – Helen Akosile-Xulu, Gregory Cummings
    • Meghan Belland (AHS), Wendy McLean (AHS), Roger Osborne (PCN Support Programs), Meddie Mayanja (Alberta Health)
  2. Edmonton Zone: Zone Leaders – Justin Balko, Chris Sikora
    • Stephen Smithbower (AHS), Stephanie Donaldson (AHS), Andrea Atkins (PCN Support Programs), Leanne McGeachy (Edmonton North PCN), Brittany M Wiebe (Alberta Health)
  3. Central Zone: Zone Leaders – Peter Bouch, Andrea Thain Liptak
    • Louise Verklan (AHS), Dana O’Brien (AHS), Amie Dowell (PCN Support Programs), Julia Rudzitis (Alberta Health)
  4. Calgary Zone: Zone Leaders – Ernst Greyvenstein, Mike Spady
    • Andrew Kennedy (AHS), Rod Iwanow (AHS), Kari Remington (PCN Support Programs), Pritam Chordiya (Alberta Health)
  5. South Zone: Zone Leaders – Jeffrey Bratvold, Grant Walker
    • Cheryl Andres (AHS), Shantel Farncombe (AHS), Sheena Visser (AHS), Sean Miles (PCN Support Programs), Julia Rudzitis (Alberta Health)

Provincial PCN Committee meeting highlights

December 12, 2018

Provincial PCN Committee meeting highlights from December 12, 2018:

  • Endorsed the 5 Zone PCN Committees’ revised Terms of Reference and Codes of Conduct.
  • Received the Zone PCN Committee Service Plan Executive Summaries and provided feedback.
  • Tasked the Zone PCN Committees with moving forward on development of their full Zone PCN Committee Service Plans, to be submitted in September 2019.
  • Commended the work of the Zone PCN Committees and their supports in achieving this milestone.

November 14, 2018

Provincial PCN Committee meeting highlights from November 14, 2018:

  • Endorsed the development of provincial guidelines and measures for home to hospital to home transitions. The PCN Coordinating Committee is tasked with determining oversight, linkages to other existing committees and structures, and timelines.
  • Directed the PCN Coordinating Committee to create a task group to oversee work related to established goals for chronic condition/disease prevention and management.
  • Received a presentation by Alberta Health on the current state of PCN funding, how variations due to PCN panel changes are managed, and expectations of PCNs related to funding.
  • Received updates from Zone PCN Committees.

October 10, 2018

Provincial PCN Committee meeting highlights from October 10, 2018:

  • Agreed that the Zone PCN Committee representatives will present Zone PCN Service Plan executive summaries at the December 2018 meeting.
  • Agreed on function and membership of the PCN Coordinating Committee, with an intent to re-evaluate in 6 months. The PCN Coordinating Committee will be established and hold its first meeting by the end of October.
  • Endorsed, in principle, a high level process for evaluating the PCN Governance Framework. The committee will provide feedback on the initial approach to the Secretariat.
  • Zone Committee representatives presented their views on the highlights, challenges and progress during the first year of the Zone PCN Committees.

September 12, 2018

Provincial PCN Committee meeting highlights from September 12 2018:

  • Endorsed a sub-committee structure and established a coordinating committee to implement Provincial Committee priorities. The coordinating committee is tasked to:
    • establish a Terms of Reference
    • create a continuity task group that will develop a strategy to communicate the “continuity key messages” as endorsed in the July meeting
  • Reviewed a presentation about primary health care access, including results of a recent survey of PCNs conducted by the PCN PMO, as well draft indicators to monitor progress toward improvement in primary health care access. The Committee endorsed creation of a task group that will confirm principles/indicators for continuity and access.
  • Endorsed in principle a draft Project Plan for implementation of the Central Patient Attachment Registry and Community Information Integration (CPAR/CII), and asked for further consideration of the timelines for roll out of the plan.
  • Received PCN Zone updates that had been submitted.

July 11, 2018

Provincial PCN Committee meeting highlights from July 11, 2018:

  • Accepted recommendations to change the Zone Service Planning process to align with PCN and AHS business planning. For December 2018, PCN Zone Committees will submit a zone service plan summary to the Provincial PCN Committee. From September 2019 onward, PCN Zone Committees will submit 3-year rolling service plans to the Provincial PCN Committee.
  • Endorsed key messages related to continuity that were developed by the PCN Evolution Implementation Committee.
  • Provisionally endorsed provincial continuity measures, with the addition of an indicator focused on the patient (to be determined).  Indicators to be included in PCN Zone Service Plans.
  • Reviewed a proposed structure for alignment of committees to achieve the deliverables of the Provincial PCN Committee. Recommended revisions to be made, and brought back to the September meeting.
  • Received written PCN Zone updates that had been submitted with verbal updates.

June 13, 2018

Provincial PCN Committee meeting highlights from June 13, 2018:

  1. Finalized the “Primary Health Care Priorities and Outcomes for Alberta” document. Alberta Health’s Primary Health Care Measurement and Evaluation Working Group is currently tasked with populating the indicators. These will be included in a companion document to be released at a later date.
  2. Finalized a more user friendly template for the Committee’s work plan that includes agenda management and tracking of priority initiatives. Discussed priorities and milestones to be managed over the next year.
  3. Discussed the sequencing of planning across AHS, PCN Zone Committees and individual PCNs. A subgroup will bring recommendations for alignment across these planning processes.
  4. Discussed the supports, tools and resources that will be required for PCNs and family physicians to successfully implement CPAR/CII. Based on the feedback received, Alberta Health will draft a change management plan for discussion at the July meeting.
  5. Received a status report from Alberta Health and the Alberta College of Family Physicians on the Primary Health Care Opioid Response Initiative. The Committee discussed how this work can be leveraged to meet the goals of the provincial and zone PCN committees with regard to integration and alignment across PCNs and with AHS. The Zone dyads will take this discussion back to the PCN Zone Committees and bring this back to the July meeting.
  6. Received a presentation on areas within the ratified 2018–20 Alberta Medical Association Agreement that specifically impact PCNs.

May 9, 2018

At its May 9, 2018 meeting, the Provincial PCN Committee:

  • agreed to a number of processes and tools to improve Provincial PCN Committee functioning, based on feedback from members
  • agreed to solutions for outstanding issues, including:
    • participation in zone work, which had been raised by the Zone Committees, and
    • receipt of PCN Proxy Panel Reports, which will be requested by Zone Committees of their PCNs
  • received a detailed update from Alberta Health on the history, current state and path forward for the Central Patient Attachment Registry (CPAR), which is alive and well.  A draft “Key Messages and Q and A” document was circulated for feedback
  • discussed a revised draft of the “Primary Health Care Outcomes and Priorities for Alberta” document, that had incorporated feedback from partners. A process to gather further feedback and finalize the document was agreed upon
  • reviewed a new version of a draft committee work plan. A process to gather further feedback and finalize the document was agreed upon
  • received PCN Zone Committee updates

March 14, 2018

On March 14, 2018, the Provincial PCN Committee:

  • discussed the draft Primary Health Care Outcomes and Priorities for Alberta document, and will provide input and feedback,
  • requested the Primary Care Network Evolution Implementation Committee (PCNEIC) to report back on a plan for key messaging on "continuity",
  • received a presentation on Alberta Health’s draft Provincial Health Information Strategy,
  • received and discussed the current state of PCN funding.

Feb. 14, 2018

At the Feb. 14, 2018, the Provincial PCN Committee:

  • created the five Zone Committees
  • refined and finalized the Provincial PCN Committee priorities and workplan
  • reviewed currently available provincial data sources including physician/clinic patients panel reports, Community and PCN Profiles and Schedule B indicators.

The meeting in March will focus on:

  • Alberta Health’s strategic objectives for Primary Health Care
  • background and current state of the PCN funding model
  • discussion related to matching provincial and zone priorities
  • Alberta’s Health Information Strategy

Jan. 10, 2018

At its Jan. 10, 2017 meeting, the Provincial PCN Committee discussed a number of items:

  • Ministry changes in the Terms of Reference (TORs) for Zone PCN Committees will be shared and discussed with zones as part of a final review. The final TORs will be tabled at the February meeting. Alberta Health will provide a question and answer document for the sections that were added to assist with interpretation.
  • Discussions advanced on a provincial level work plan framed around the strategic priorities. The Committee will continue collecting input from zones and will incorporate feedback into both the strategic priorities and the provincial work plan.
  • A presentation was received on the Primary Health Care Opioid Response Initiative. The overview included deliverables required of the zones with respect to this initiative, and how supports to achieve deliverables will be structured.
  • Updates were received from zone dyads on the current status of committee work in the zones.
  • The next two meetings will focus further discussions on actions related to the Accountable and Effective Governance, and Patient’s Medical Home PCN objectives.

Dec. 13, 2017

The Committee discussed and agreed on the process to solicit feedback from Provincial and Zone PCN Committee members on draft strategic priorities. They also:

  • reached agreement on an approach to PCN Zone Committee service planning,
  • provided final endorsement of the Zone Participation Policy,
  • received an update on progress of the zone committees’  terms of references within the ministry approval process,
  • received a presentation from the Physician Resource Planning Advisory Committee and provided feedback,
  • received orientation to committees and working groups that are currently supporting provincial work in primary health care and PCNs, and
  • received reports from the zone dyads that regular committee meetings have been set and processes are in place in all 5 zones.

Nov. 8, 2017

  • All 5 zones presented draft terms of reference at the Nov. 8 Provincial PCN Committee meeting. The committee applauded the effort of the zones and was appreciative of their thoughtful approach. The Zone Committees will be provided with feedback for minor revisions. The draft terms of reference for all 5 zones were provisionally accepted by the committee and revised versions will move forward through the ministry approval process.
  • The committee approved a Code of Conduct, and continued to synthesize work on setting strategies and priorities which have been framed under the PCN Program Objectives. A draft document will be compiled and circulated to committee members for discussion and feedback in the zones.

Oct. 11, 2017

  • The second Provincial PCN Committee meeting was held Oct. 11, part of which was held in conjunction with the recently established Physician Resource Planning Advisory Committee.
  • The Provincial PCN Committee had an initial discussion on potential areas of strategic priority. To assist in this work, consultation will occur with the interim Zone Committees and PCN stakeholders.
  • The Provincial PCN Committee and the Physician Resource Planning Advisory Committee agreed to continue collaborating on areas of intersection.
  • The next meeting for the Provincial PCN Committee is Nov. 8.

Sept. 26, 2017

  • The first official Provincial PCN Committee meeting was held Sept. 26, 2017.
  • The committee agreed on values and principles, as well as next steps to establish several strategic goals and identify outcomes within the PCN Governance Framework.
  • There was agreement to support the ongoing work in the zones as framework implementation progresses.
  • The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 11.