VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 28, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Premier Health Group (CSE: PHGI, OTCQB: PHGRF, Frankfurt: 6PH) (the “Company” or “Premier Health”), a Company focused on developing innovative approaches that combine human skill-based expertise with emerging technologies for the healthcare industry, is pleased to announce the launch of a technology enabled mental health initiative. The initiative will focus on providing app enabled mental health counselling for patients in urban centers and remote and underserved populations. Dr. Tahmeena Ali and Dr. Robert McKenzie are two Vancouver-based family physicians with extensive experience in mental health care and will be championing the initiative.
According to the World Health Organization, mental health disorders are the leading cause of disease burden globally. And studies show that up to half of individuals with a serious mental health illness had not received treatment in the prior year. “It’s disheartening to hear that 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness and due to the lack of accessibility to care providers, we are failing to meet the needs of mental health care provision,” said Dr. Essam Hamza, CEO of Premier Health. “Having the ability to offer virtual mental health counselling services is pivotal to our patient-centric app. Through my own practice I have encountered a significant number of teens and young adults who would much rather use virtual services from the comfort of their home than come in person and wait in a busy waiting room to talk about their mental health. The need is there, and Premier Health, working alongside Dr. Ali and Dr. McKenzie, will develop the tools and framework to be able to overcome the barriers associated with mental health treatment.”
Through private and secure online video, people will be able to easily access and book sessions with experienced professionals when and where they need it. The Company will also be focusing on providing access to mental health to underserved and under privileged communities, which due to geography and the scarcity of mental health professionals, have previously been overlooked
Dr. Tahmeena Ali practices full-service family medicine and contributes regularly to the Vine Youth clinic and Ministry of Child and Family Development. Along with colleagues and representatives from the Surrey School District and the Ministry for Child and Family Development, she created the School Triage Team which provides a much-needed interface between mental health professionals and school teachers. In addition, Dr. Ali is the current chair of the Division of Family Practice of White Rock/South Surrey and previously headed an Acquired Brain Injury unit where she further recognized the power of providing complex psychiatry patients with optimal and supportive follow-up upon discharge.
Dr. Robert McKenzie has been practicing Family Medicine in Richmond since 1990 and has active privileges at Richmond Hospital. He was a board member of the Richmond Division of Family Practice for 6 years and has actively taken on a physician lead role for the Shared Care Psychiatry project – a program bringing Psychiatrists into the Family Practice offices.
“I’ve always had a strong interest in mental health and improving access and services in Richmond,” said Dr. McKenzie. “Through our program, we are aiming to remove the stigma around seeing a psychiatrist and promoting team-based care by bringing them to the patients home medical office. Now, through the virtual care initiative with Premier Health, we will be able to reach an even wider demographic.”
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
“Dr. Essam Hamza, MD”
Chief Executive Officer
About Premier Health
Premier Health is a Canadian company that is strategically poised to take advantage of business opportunities in the global health care industry. We are developing innovative health care approaches that combine human skill-based expertise with emerging technologies, with the goal of setting the gold standard for services in locations of interest worldwide. Premier Health’s subsidiary, HealthVue is focused on developing proprietary technology to deliver quality healthcare through the combination of connected primary care clinics with telemedicine and artificial intelligence (AI). We currently have an ecosystem of over 100,000 active patients and have plans to rapidly increase that number both domestically and internationally. The Premier Health team has a strong track record of successfully creating value in healthcare and technology enterprises. The Management team has deep clinical, financial and operational expertise and a passion for improving healthcare for all patients.
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