20 years of caring for sick and wounded soldiers

March 5, 2021 - Defence Stories

By: National Team, Canadian Forces Health Services Case Management Program

CFHS Case Management Program
Caption

The mandate of the CFHS Case Management Program and its nurse case managers has remained the same: to assist ill and injured CAF members as they return to work or transition to civilian life.
*Photo taken before COVID-19.

The Canadian Forces Health Services (CFHS) Case Management Program proudly celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Throughout the years, the mandate of the program and its nurse case managers has remained the same: to assist ill and injured Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members as they return to work, or transition to civilian life.

The program was stood up following the observations of the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs (SCONDVA) in 1999, which found that a large number of releasing members suffering from complex physical and mental health challenges received little assistance in their transition from military to civilian life. Given their medical training and holistic approach to care, nurses were therefore identified as being the best able to fill this gap.

The program was implemented in several phases until it evolved to what it is today. From a pilot project in its beginning with five nurse case managers on four CAF bases (Gagetown, Valcartier, Petawawa and Edmonton), this initiative quickly grew into a proven program, currently numbering 57 nurse case managers and 11 team leaders serving 33 clinics and satellite sites. Over the years, the program has been a leader in advocating for improvements in policies and processes. As a result of deficiencies the program identified, it has made a significant contribution to refining the services and benefits available to CAF members and their families.

CFHS nurse case managers have worked with a number of partners both inside and outside the CAF to assist members as they transition, since the inception of the program. Cooperation and continuing education with partners has contributed to the physical and mental health of all CAF members. CFHS nurse case managers are the primary partners in coordinating care and support for injured and ill members. As a member of the CFHS Health Care Team, nurse case managers coordinate military and civilian health care, educate members about their health condition, and promote the principles of health and wellness. As a result of their nursing education and solid knowledge of the various services, nurse case managers provide a personalized approach to enhance member experience while they are transitioning back to work or to civilian life.

Through evidence-based data and quality improvement initiatives, the CFHS Case Management Program has evolved over the past 20 years to adapt to the changing reality of CAF members’ experiences and intends to continue to fulfill the mandate which serves ill and injured members with professionalism and dedication.

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