Province begins partial coverage of specialized baby formula
May 2, 2016. As of Sunday, government-sponsored benefit programs began providing partial coverage for Neocate infant formula, needed by an infant because of a complex food allergy or a specific medical condition and who cannot tolerate common infant formula. The average cost of Neocate is about $690 each month. “After speaking with these parents and hearing about the financial strain they are under, our government decided this coverage should be provided. It’s the right thing to do,” said Associate Minister of Health Brandy Payne, in a statement. To be eligible for coverage, Neocate must be prescribed by, or in consultation with, a pediatrician, a neonatologist or a pediatric gastroenterologist. Families must apply for government’s non-group coverage to get this benefit. A monthly premium ranging from $82 to $118 and a co-payment of up to $25 per prescription will also be required.
Bones found near Brooks confirmed to be human
May 2, 2016. RCMP have confirmed that bones found in a field 10 km west of Brooks are human remains. However, further examination is required to determine the gender, age and identity of the individual. An autopsy was conducted Monday by the Medical Examiner and the Forensic Pathologist. Last Thursday night, members of the Brooks RCMP detachment received a report that a local man, who was tending his cattle in a field, had found what was believed to be human remains. The RCMP’s Forensic Identification Section from Calgary and a member of the RCMP’s Police Dog Services processed the scene. On Friday, a thorough search of the area was conducted with the assistance of Medicine Hat Search and Rescue. Police are continuing their investigation with the Brooks RCMP detachment working with the RCMP’s Major Crimes Unit from Calgary and the Office of the Medical Examiner, also in Calgary.
Swann calls for “drastic overhaul” of front line mental health system
May 2, 2016. Referencing the release last month of the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate investigative report on First Nation’s youth suicide and saying “suicide is the most tragic outcome” of the stigma of mental health, Liberal Leader David Swann marked the beginning of Mental Health Week on Monday by calling on all Albertans to “share the responsibility for compassion and support” when it comes to dealing with family members, friends or co-workers who are affected by mental illness. Swann also called on the province to implement the 12 recommendations that came from the OCYA report and the 32 recommendations of the Alberta Addictions and Mental Health report, and urged Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services to find a way to work together effectively. “From changing the way doctors are paid and trained, to increasing the use of Nurse Practitioners in community clinics, to screening in families at risk, to prevention and early intervention, to creating better access for First Nations, our front line mental health system requires a drastic overhaul,” said Swann in a statement. Swann co-chaired the Mental Health and Addictions panel.
Woman, two children killed in fatal highway collision
May 2, 2016. A three vehicle collision on Highway 2 at the Driftpile First Nation on Sunday claimed the lives of a 36-year-old woman, a 12-year-old boy and an 11-month-old girl. All were declared deceased at the scene. The woman was the driver of a van, which caught fire, and the children were passengers. A bystander pulled out a four-year-old girl who was also a passenger in the van. She was transported to the Children’s Hospital. She suffered a broken bone and remains in the hospital. Preliminary investigation has determined that the van, traveling eastbound on Highway 2 was struck by an SUV, traveling westbound on Highway 2, after the SUV struck a car traveling eastbound. The two 17-year-old occupants of the car were treated by EMS on scene and released with minor injuries. The 57-year-old female driver, and lone occupant, of the SUV was transported via STARS to an Edmonton hospital, where she remains in serious, but stable condition. An RCMP collision analyst attended the scene and is currently investigating the cause of the collision. As well, Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation attended to examine the collision site. RCMP are asking anyone who witnessed the collision to contact the High Prairie RCMP at 780-523-3378.
Province restores capital funding for NorQuest expansion, retrofit
May 2, 2016. The province has restored $16 million in capital funding to NorQuest College bringing its investment to $61 million - including $45 million in previously allocated funds - for NorQuest’s expansion and retrofit project. The funding will go toward both the completion of the new Singhmar Learning Centre and renovations to the South Learning Centre, currently the main building at the Edmonton downtown campus. The expansion and retrofit plans include the development of a larger learner centre/library, an enhanced Aboriginal student centre and 49 technologically up-to-date classrooms and lab facilities. In addition to the increased student capacity, more than 6,800 people have worked on the construction project. The expansion and retrofit project supports the college’s 8.9 per cent growth rate, towards 20,000 students by 2025. The expansion will also allow NorQuest to centralize students, employees and programs currently spread across a number of buildings into one downtown Edmonton location.