What is primary care?

Primary care is the first point of contact a person has with the health system - the point where people receive care for most of their everyday health needs. Primary care is typically provided by family physicians and health care professionals such as nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, mental health professionals, therapists and others.

Primary care includes the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of various health conditions. It also includes referrals to specialists and diagnostic services such as laboratory tests or X-rays. Examples of primary care include regular checkups, care for pregnant women, care for chronic illnesses and counselling.

What is a Primary Care Network?

Primary Care Networks (PCNs) were established to improve access to family physicians and other frontline health providers in Alberta. Each network develops programs and services that meet the local health needs of patients in its area. PCNs are established within the framework set by Alberta Health, the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) and Alberta Health Services (AHS). There are currently 39 PCNs in Alberta, and the CWC PCN is one of the largest.

What are the benefits of having a family doctor who is part of the CWC PCN?

Our goal is to strengthen both the care that you receive and your relationship with your family doctor through teams, programs and services. Your family physician's practice should feel like a home for managing all of your health needs. We are an extension of community practices – think of us as part of the neighborhood.


  • Through regulated health professionals, including nurses, psychologists, and social workers.
  • Through patient care coordination that helps doctors gain a better understanding of their patients’ needs. This includes arranging well-organized visits for when patients need to be seen and helping to track achievements in improved patient care.
  • Through access to a doctor at an appointment-based clinic (Primary Care Centre). Open seven-days-a-week and year-round to provide care when your physician is unable to see you.
  • These programs enhance access by connecting you to your family doctor. The benefits include improved disease prevention and enhanced patient satisfaction through screening, follow-up and tracking.
  • The CWC PCN has been providing services and programs to family physicians in your community since 2006. Our programs and services are helping to meet the future needs of a growing and aging population.
When was the Calgary West Central PCN established?

The CWC PCN was established in 2006 and has grown to include over 475 family physicians providing comprehensive, community-based primary care to patients.

What is the geographical boundary of the CWC PCN?

The CWC PCN is bounded on the north and east sides by the Bow River, on the south side by Anderson Road and to the west by the city limits.

What if my physician is outside the boundary?

Some of our physician members have clinics outside of the southwest boundary. Click here to check. Your physician may be a member of another PCN.

Click here for a list of other Calgary area PCNs

What if my physician is not a member?

All family doctors, whether or not they are members of a Primary Care Network, have access to specialized health services and the ability to make referrals. The difference is that in a PCN such as the CWC PCN, patients have ready access to health professionals on the Patient Care Teams.

What is the Primary Care Initiative?

In 2003, Alberta Health and Wellness (now Alberta Health), the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) and Alberta’s Regional Health Authorities (now Alberta Health Services) established the Primary Care Initiative (PCI) to improve access to family physicians and other frontline health care providers in Alberta. The purpose of the PCI was to develop Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and support them in meeting the objectives of the program. To date, there are 39 PCNs in Alberta.

Become a physician member
If you are a physician interested in becoming a member of the CWC PCN, please contact our memberservices [at] cwcpcn [dot] com team. We are dedicated to supporting physicians, patients and primary care with clinical practice tools, patient care resources and Patient Medical Home support.