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Didsbury group aids with COVID-19 concerns

Information, idea sharing site

DIDSBURY - A local resident recently started a Facebook group to help those in the area find and share information and resources in these COVID-19 times.

Joyce McCoy started Caremongering-Didsbury Community Response to COVID-19 a few weeks ago in response to all the concern surrounding the pandemic.

She came up with the idea after searching online for a long-term care facility in Ontario for her dad who lives there.

"So I started checking out what was going on in Ontario and found a couple of sites," she said. "I thought the idea of supporting people's concerns including keeping them updated and giving them fun resources to bide their time and stay healthy both physically and mentally would be a great resource. During times like these we need a community, particularly a kind one."

McCoy said the response so far has been very good with over 300 members and another 700 that follow the group.

"It's really about bringing people together, building a community, and a safe place where people can ask questions," she said. "It's about sharing ideas for people to stay healthy and happy during this time of physical isolation."

McCoy said that people have been sharing crafts and other ideas for families to keep active.

"Basically the site is intended to be a place to share ideas, accurate facts from (Alberta Health Services), and bring us together," she said.

• COVID-19 UPDATE: Follow our COVID-19 special section and interactive map for the latest local and national news on the coronavirus pandemic, as well as resources, FAQs and more.

McCoy is a former Didsbury councillor and also sits on the Prairie Mountain Health Advisory Council (PMHAC). She got involved with the council in fall of 2018 after advocating for Didsbury's hospital to become a centre of excellence in care.

"At the time, based on our population, I suggested our area of excellence could be seniors," said McCoy. "I was told I was a few years ahead of Alberta Health Services (AHS) plan and they loved the idea. It was then suggested by senior management at AHS that I apply for the Prairie Mountain Health Advisory Council."

McCoy said the PMHAC council meets monthly with a break over summer. They also meet at an advisory council forum in Edmonton once per year.

"Right now, due to the pandemic, we meet via ZOOM; however, we generally meet in person," she said.

McCoy is also sitting on an the provincial Patients Medical Home Task Force as the patient representative.

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