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Agreement paves way toward eSIM lab in Sundre

Contract with Alberta Health Services for use of space in fire hall signed
MVT eSIM lab room renos 11
Carpenters Matt Neaves, left in the background, and Ted Leischner, both from Olds, who work for Dale Erickson Carpentry based out of Sundre, were on the job in April working on renovations to the former town office for the eSIM lab. File photo/MVP Staff

SUNDRE — With the outgoing council’s unanimous approval allowing the municipality’s chief administrative officer to sign a contract with Alberta Health Services (AHS), a dedicated training space at the local fire hall is that much closer to coming to fruition.

Linda Nelson, chief administrative officer, reminded council on Oct. 4 during the last regular meeting before the municipal election, that the municipality had been engaged in discussions with AHS on introducing an eSIM program to the community.

AHS operates the province-wide eSIM simulation program that delivers training opportunities to AHS staff using theatrical techniques including actors and patient simulators, which are computerized mannequins that are used to create realistic scenarios that can be expected in a real-world encounter, said Nelson.

The acronym stands for “educate, Simulate. Innovate, Motivate.”

“The goal is to enable learners to practise and master individual and team skills to improve patient safety and enhance the quality of care,” said Nelson.

Through a collaborative approach among AHS, the municipality as well as Sundre Hospital Futures, the parties have each determined that AHS is in the position to offer certain educational opportunities that naturally arise from the program, she said.

“Discussions have been ongoing since earlier this year,” she said, adding council had already supported the proposal in principal. “We are now in a position to move this forward.”

Administration was therefore requesting formal approval from council to authorize Nelson to sign an agreement for a five-year licence to deliver the service through leased out space at the Sundre Fire Hall.

While AHS is committed to licensing space from the municipality at the fire hall, where it’ll conduct educational activities for health-care staff, it will also foster further educational opportunities made available to town staff as well as members of the fire department, Sundre Hospital Futures, and members of the community at large, she said.

The licence agreement's initial five-year term starts Oct. 15, 2021 and ends Oct. 14, 2026.

“In terms of the specific additional activities to be provided, the parties will agree to establish a simulation operations committee, with equal membership from each of the parties, which will provide oversight and direction with respect to the items agreed to,” said Nelson.

A program lead will be designated by AHS, and that position will be responsible for — among other duties — managing AHS’s use of the space as it pertains to the eSIM program, as well as serving as a point of contact for the operations committee, she said.

“The other parties could discuss and coordinate any additional activity that the parties might agree on," she said.

Coun. Richard Warnock moved the recommended action for council to support the agreement between the municipality and AHS to allow for the lease of space at the fire hall for purposes of the eSIM lab, and that the CAO be authorizes to sign the agreement on behalf of the town.

Coun. Todd Dalke, who expressed full support for the use of the space, wondered whether the municipality could anticipate any expenses relating either to the program or renovations.

“That will be taken care of by AHS and hospital futures,” answered Nelson.

Without any further discussion or questions, council went on to unanimously carry Warnock’s motion.

Simon Ducatel

About the Author: Simon Ducatel

Simon Ducatel joined Mountain View Publishing in 2015 after working for the Vulcan Advocate since 2007, and graduated among the top of his class from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology's journalism program in 2006.
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