Why ESPCN?

Primary Care Network doctors and health care professionals work collaboratively to provide integrated care for all of your health care needs.

The Edmonton Southside Primary Care Network (PCN) was the first primary care network in Alberta. Over the past 16 years, the ESPCN has grown to become the largest PCN in Edmonton and consists of a team of medical professionals who are passionate about creating healthier communities. Each member of our team of healthcare providers plays a specific role in improving, coordinating and delivering primary health services. Our team is composed of nurses, nurse practitioners, behavioural health consultants, social workers, registered dietitians, exercise specialists, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, quality improvement and administrative staff.

Research shows that having an ongoing relationship with a family doctor and team helps you live longer, receive better care, make fewer visits to emergency rooms, and become hospitalized less. Your family doctor and your Primary Care Network are working together to give you and your family a home base for a healthier future.

When you have a regular family doctor, your health history, ideas and preferences are valued and you are more actively involved in decision making. Evidence shows you will be more satisfied with your care.

Top 5 reasons why seeing a regular family doctor is important:

  1. Live longer
  2. Receive better care
  3. Overall better health
  4. Fewer hospital admissions and visits to emergency departments
  5. Happier with your care

Our impact


Over 300 family doctors

Over 100 member clinics

Almost 200 ESPCN staff members

Over 363,000 patients are supported by ESPCN physician members

In 2021/22:


72,792 patients received care from ESPCN healthcare professionals.

3,017 patients participated in virtual group workshops.

Almost 50 different languages are spoken by our family doctors and healthcare professionals.

Research shows that having an ongoing relationship with a family doctor and team helps you live longer, receive better care, make fewer visits to emergency rooms, and become hospitalized less. Your family doctor and your Primary Care Network are working together to give you and your family a home base for a healthier future.

When you have a regular family doctor, your health history, ideas and preferences are valued and you are more actively involved in decision making. Evidence shows you will be more satisfied with your care.

Top 5 reasons why seeing a regular family doctor is important:

  1. Live longer
  2. Receive better care
  3. Overall better health
  4. Fewer hospital admissions and visits to emergency departments
  5. Happier with your care

Your health care team

Family doctor
  • Family doctors specialize in providing lifelong care for you and your family. As your first point of contact with the health care system, family doctors are experts in diagnosing and treating the whole person.
  • A family doctor provides care for you when you are sick and encourages preventative health care. This means that they will do tests so that problems can be found and treated early before you get sick (for example, blood tests, blood pressure checks, and pap smears).

Most family doctors in Alberta are members of Primary Care Networks which means you are supported by a team of healthcare professionals. This team includes the following members:

Registered Nurses & Nurse Practitioners
  • Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioners provide comprehensive nursing services and care to patients in primary care.
  • They provide assessment, screening, healthy lifestyle support, education, self-management support, and chronic disease management across your lifespan, with a goal of improving health outcomes and facilitating access to services.
  • The role involves a comprehensive, holistic, patient-centred approach, and may vary based on the needs or population we serve.
Behavioural Health Consultants
  • Behavioural Health Consultants, usually a registered social worker or a registered nurse, work to address chronic health and mental health concerns through evidence-based behavioural interventions.
  • Any patient whose health is impacted by their habits, behaviours, thoughts, and emotions would benefit from a referral to a Behavioural Health Consultant.
Exercise Specialists
  • Exercise Specialists promote and prescribe physical activity to prevent and manage chronic health issues.
  • They can work with patients with diagnosed chronic conditions, as well as supporting patients through the behaviour change needed to improve or change their physical activity.
Registered Dietitians
  • Registered Dietitians are uniquely trained to advise on food and nutrition for overall health and wellness.
  • They are recognized as nutrition experts who are qualified to provide medical nutrition therapy for the prevention, delay, and management of disease and illnesses.
Respiratory Therapists
  • Respiratory Therapists are skilled in assessing and managing people living with a respiratory illness. They assist in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of respiratory care plans.
  • They are knowledgeable on the current treatment guidelines and medications for chronic lung disease.
Social Workers
  • Social Workers support patients of all ages to address barriers and access appropriate services. They assist in connecting patients with financial, housing, employment and health services.
  • They provide assistance with personal directives, enduring power of attorney documents and capacity assessments for guardianship or trusteeship.
Quality Improvement Team
  • Our quality improvement team assists each clinic with developing their own goals and suggesting actionable processes based on the unique needs and priorities of each clinic.

Other programs that patients of ESPCN family doctors have access to include:

How do I access my healthcare team?

Schedule an appointment with your family doctor or find a family doctor to receive supports from your Primary Care Network team.

Learn more about ESPCN.