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
  • Kathleen Ness – Alberta Health
  • Kim Wieringa – Alberta Health
  • Camille Bailer – Alberta Health
  • Shannon Berg – Alberta Health
  • Helen Akosile-Xulu – PCN Physician Lead Executive North Zone
  • Justin Balko – PCN Physician Lead Executive Edmonton Zone
  • Peter Bouch – 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
    • Support team – Meddie Mayanja (Alberta Health), Meghan Belland (AHS), Wendy McLean (AHS), Roger Osborne (PCN Support Programs)
  2. Edmonton Zone: Zone Leaders – Justin Balko, Chris Sikora
    • Support team – Meddie Mayanja (Alberta Health), Melissa McKenzie (AHS), Stephanie Donaldson (AHS), Andrea Atkins (PCN Support Programs)
  3. Central Zone: Zone Leaders – Peter Bouch, Andrea Thain Liptak
    • Support team – Sanjaya Dhakal (Alberta Health), Louise Verklan (AHS), Andrea Thain Liptak (AHS), Michelle Tobias-Pawl (PCN Support Programs)
  4. Calgary Zone: Zone Leaders – Ernst Greyvenstein, Mike Spady
    • Support team – Sanjaya Dhakal (Alberta Health), Andrew Kennedy (AHS), Rod Iwanow (AHS), Bill Kreutzweiser (PCN Support Programs), Lori Choma (PCN Support Programs)
  5. South Zone: Zone Leaders – Jeffrey Bratvold, Grant Walker
    • Support team – Sanjaya Dhakal (Alberta Health), Andrew Kennedy (AHS), Cheryl Andres (AHS), Mark Watt (PCN Support Programs), Sean Miles (PCN Support Programs)

Provincial PCN Committee meeting highlights

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.