Cool Aid has a new way to provide primary healthcare to vulnerable people who often face barriers to receiving the care they need and deserve. Earlier this summer, Cool Aid, in partnership with Telus Health for Good, launched its fully equipped mobile health clinic to provide care to people on the streets, in hotel sheltering sites, and at partner locations like Our Place Society.
The clinic provides a full range of primary healthcare services including wound care, sexually transmitted infection testing, over-the-counter medications, safe supply, opioid agonist therapy, vitamins, harm reduction supplies, foot care, and contraceptives. Since its launch, the clinic has made 31 outings and has provided 32 doctor consultations. Many people on the streets would not have access to healthcare if not for the mobile service.
“This service allows us to provide timely, accessible, trauma-informed, primary healthcare to a greater number of people who face multiple barriers to healthcare in our community,” said Mary Chudley, the director of health and support services at Cool Aid Community Health Centre.
“Meeting people where they are, whether on the streets, in the growing number of hotel sheltering sites, or in longer-term supportive housing, is the key to providing truly comprehensive primary care to those who need it most.”
In 2019/20, (before COVID) there were 5,003 healthcare outreach encounters by Cool Aid Community Health Centre doctors and nurses. That number grew to 9,823 encounters in 2020 with outreach extending to hotel sheltering sites.
Cool Aid’s Palliative Outreach Resource Team (PORT) also provides outreach services to patients nearing end of life who have complex needs due to mental health and/or substance use challenges, poverty, homelessness or other barriers to accessing palliative care services.
The TELUS Health for Good program is active from coast-to-coast with clinics operating in Vancouver, Surrey, Edmonton, Ottawa, Mississauga-Peel Region, Waterloo Region, Montreal, Halifax and Toronto.
To view the Clinic’s current schedule, please click here: https://coolaid.org/how-we-help/health-services/
Additional information about TELUS Health for Good can be found here: https://www.telus.com/en/social-impact/innovating-healthcare/health-for-good?INTCMP=VAN_healthforgood