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Primary Care Network introducing new programs for youth and women


5 minute read

By Mark Weber 

New programs at the Red Deer based Primary Care Network are geared specifically to bolster the well-being of youth and women.

“We have our regular collection of workshops that we continue to offer,” explained Julia Vallance, one of the PCN’s Program Managers.  “But the two new programs that we are bringing this month are a Menopause Series for Women and a Youth Anxiety to Calm program which is for youth ages 12 to 17,” she explained. The youth program goes for six weeks.

And while it might be too late to join this month, both programs will continue to be offered, she said.  In regard to the youth program, the inaugural session is being offered virtually.

Vallance said the PCN team is also working with Red Deer Public Schools, which will offer this program to students. The program is similar to the PCN’s Anxiety to Calm program which has been offered for several years. But this program will focus on youth-related themes, including the impacts of social media.

“This program isn’t only being offered in Red Deer. It’s also being offered through other PCNs across the province.

“So if people are interested, I would suggest that they contact their local PCN or they can go to the Alberta Find a Doctor website where we try to keep up-to-date details on what’s happening (with programs) across the province,” she said.

The PCN’s website describes Youth Anxiety to Calm as a means to, “Practice exercises to help manage anxiety, understand your thoughts, behaviours and emotions more deeply, and learn healthy lifestyle choices that will benefit you for years to come.”

“We are super excited to be bringing this program in. We haven’t worked with youth before so this will be a great new opportunity for us to learn what their needs are, and to try and tailor programs for them.”

Meanwhile, the Menopause Series for Women begins this month as well.

“This will be a four-week series, and it will be an in-person series,” said Vallance.  Down the road, both in-person and virtual opportunities will be available. “It will vary throughout the years.”

Vallance said women don’t necessarily have to be going through menopause to register for the series.

“For those going through perimenopause, (when the body is making the natural transition to menopause), it’s a great time for them to learn about their bodies and what they may experience as they go through menopause.

“We will also be talking about perimenopause and what to expect with that as well,” she said.

“We will also be looking at a variety of things that can go on throughout that menopause journey including some health conditions that can affect women after menopause as well.” Vallance noted there will also be discussions about various pharmacological treatments and other ways to manage symptoms.

“I think it’s been something that people don’t really want to talk about but it’s so important. So we are really looking forward to having that opportunity to discuss this and give them more information.

“Sometimes there is misinformation about menopause, or people are seeking support and don’t know where to go. We want to make sure that they are also reaching out to their healthcare professionals and knowing when to reach out.”

Primary Care Networks are made up of groups of family physicians working with other healthcare professionals such as nurses, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, exercise specialists, social workers, and mental health professionals.

Red Deer PCN supports the communities of Red Deer, Blackfalds, and Penhold.

For more information about these programs, call the local PCN office at 403-343-9100 or check out

Born and raised in Red Deer, Mark Weber is an award-winning freelance writer who is committed to the community. He worked as a reporter for the Red Deer Express for 18 years including six years as co-editor. During that time, he mainly covered arts and entertainment plus a spectrum of areas from city news and health stories to business profiles and human interest features. Mark also spent a year working for the regional publication Town and Country in northern Alberta, along with stints at the Ponoka News and the Stettler Independent. He’s thrilled to be a Todayville contributor, as it allows him many more opportunities to continue to focus on the city and community he not only has a passion for, but calls home as well.

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Red Deer family rocked by cancer diagnosis seeks support from the community

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From the Facebook page of Nicole Maurier

With permission from Abby Marie Maurier I am reaching out to you today to let you know that my beautiful daughter Abigail has just been diagnosed with cancer. She has Lymphoma, which is cancer of the lymphatic system and she also has a large mass on her right lung.
What I’m asking for is a variety of support in these ways:
1. Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with cancer, specifically Lymphoma and do you have information you can share about treatement, top clinics etc.
2. Are you someone that has information that you can share towards her holistic healing? She will require postive lifestyle changes such as nutrition, meditative yoga, massage, etc.
3. Can you help support Abigail’s journey by contributing towards her fundraiser in order to help her prior to treatments, during and afterwards.
4. Your prayers, intentions, love and support is greatly appreciated
5. Please share this post so we can reach as many supporters as possible
I am a warrior Mama Bear on a mission to heal my daughter and I won’t stop at anything. I believe healing is possible, I believe in the power of community and love and I believe that together, all of us will help heal her in some special way.

From GoFundMe

Hello, my name is Nicole and I am fundraising for my beautiful daughter Abigail. Abigail was recently diagnosed with Lymphoma, which is cancer cells in the lymph system, and she also has a large mass on her right lung.
She is a young beautiful woman, age 24 and she graduated as a Cardio Tech in 2021 and has been enjoying her work at the hospital tending to cardio patients with the utmost love and care. She has just started her journey in life, residing with her long-term boyfriend Gus in their home with their 2 bunnies, Biggie and Peaches. Abigail also has a dog named Kyah, who is with her in the photo.
Anyone who has been blessed to cross paths with Abigail knows how special she is. She radiates light and love where ever she goes and has a heart of gold. Ever since she was a baby, I have called her my earth angel.
With her recent diagnosis and as her mother, I am asking for your help to please contribute what you can towards her journey with cancer. The funds will be used to allow her to take time off work and focus on her health and treatment. We are looking into a variety of cancer clinics in order to offer her the best outcome possible because she is so deserving of a life of longevity and living cancer free.
Another important part of Abigail’s healing is providing her with proper nutrients, wholesome foods, meditative yoga, massage therapy and other holistic treatments to strengthen her body which the funding will help support.
Your contribution is received with gratitude and appreciation and I thank you with all of my heart for your donation to help my daughter.
Nicole Maurier
Red Deer, AB
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Business leaders decide it’s time to reduce the number of homeless in Red Deer

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News release from the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce

Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce to form Task Force on Homelessness in Red Deer

The Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce will be convening a Task Force of community and business leaders to address the issues of homelessness and identify actionable steps which can be taken to tackle this generational challenge in Red Deer.

“With the release of the City of Red Deer’s Point in Time (PIT) Report on homelessness last week we are very concerned and disappointed with the effectiveness of the strategies currently in place, and the urgency by which we need to turn this situation around within our city,” commented Scott Robinson CEO of the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce. “Clearly our current strategies are not enough, and we need to elevate the urgency by which we get things done to reduce the number of citizens who are without a place to live. The growing number of people who are homeless is not sustainable and is impacting on our sense of pride, safety and attractiveness of our city to business and industry.”

“We will share more about this Task Force and the next steps in the coming weeks. Time has run out to act with conviction, courage, and clarity. Our community and citizens deserve that from our community leaders, and we are ready to bring the business community and the urgency required to the table.”

Over the next 60 days, the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce will be reaching out to its business and social agency partners to build the Task Force on homelessness and establish a strategy to address the critical steps that need to be taken to reverse the trends and further our community’s vision as a vibrant and healthy city.

Matt Cassidy, Chamber Board President. remarked “Our Chamber is positioned to be the collaborative leader in connecting our business community, social agencies, and elected officials together, to find tangible progress on this complex issue. All businesses rely on the vibrancy of our community as they strive to be sustainable, innovative, or grow, and the results of the PIT Report indicate that we need to do much more. This task force will help hold our leaders accountable for the actionable progress needed and engage one another effectively.”

“In speaking with our membership, and those working closely with the vulnerable populations there are best practices and models for delivery that are successful in other parts of the world that we need to start  implementing” says Robinson. In addition, we need to look at ways that our private sector can get more involved and bring their expertise and strategic thinking to the table. As a collaborative community we also need to ensure that governments at all levels are delivering on their promises of affordable housing and eliminating barriers to expediting these investments.

Established in 1894 the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce is a non-partisan, collaborative business leader representing over 825 member businesses. As one of Red Deer’s oldest and most established membership organizations we are striving to build a vibrant community that fosters an environment where businesses can lead, be innovative, sustainable, and grow.

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