The end of July marked the official end of the East Kootenay Brain Injury Association, the organization that had been contracted by Interior Health to provide services for victims of brain injury in this region, Golden included.
Interior Health has announced that the contract will now be fulfilled by the West Kootenay Brain Injury Association (WKBIA), an organization that has a long history with IH and has already been fulfilling services in Castlegar, Trail, Nelson and other communities in the West Kootenays.
The switch was welcome news for Lori Seeley, the practice lead for community integrated health services with Interior Health.
“They’ve got a long history of providing service in the Kootenays…we’re pretty thrilled that we have a provider who knows this business, knows these clients and what their needs are in a general kind of way,” Seeley said.
“I think if we had a really new provider we’d have had a longer orientation period so we’re quite pleased.”
Under the new contact Golden will be paired with Revelstoke, with total hours of service being distributed between the two communities based on need. According to Seeley, the number of total direct service hours provided in the East Kootenays will increase to 2,882 hours from 2,784 under the new contract. She is also confident, given WKBIA’s long relationship with IH, that there will be a smooth transition between the organizations, limiting the amount of stress on patients.
“They know us and we know them. We’ve got a working relationship in the West Kootenays with them that has been working quite well,” Seeley said, adding that IH had decided to provide some additional resources to WKBIA to facilitate the transition for the first three months of the new agreement.
Interior Health typically signs one-year contracts with new organizations, but because of their familiarity with WKBIA, they were able to sign a three-year agreement. The contract officially began on Aug. 1.