Vancouver, BC – Marginalized women now have easier access to health care with the launch of the Mobile Health Clinic on the Downtown Eastside. The specially-equipped medical van will enable Vancouver Coastal Health’s Women’s Intensive Case Management Team (ICMT) to connect with difficult-to-reach women—including sex trade workers—who have traditionally avoided contact with health services.
The Mobile Health Clinic is agile enough to move as women move, allowing health care teams—including nurses, clinicians and peer support workers—to provide services on the street, near parks, at shelters and housing sites, seven days a week.
“Some women of the Downtown Eastside have systemic barriers that prevent them from accessing health services—including trauma, physical, psychological or sexual violence. This is a safe, private space to provide crucial clinical care and have conversations with women who aren’t ready or able to come to a clinic,” says Bonnie Wilson, Director of Community Health Services, Mental Health and Substance Use, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH). “Our goal is to connect these remarkably resilient women to care when they’re ready, and we’re hopeful the presence of the Mobile Health Clinic on the Downtown Eastside will help us do that.”
The Mobile Health Clinic has space for interviews and assessments, and the equipment necessary to provide primary medical care including:
- Exam table
- Interview/counseling space
- Blood pressure machine with thermometer and pulse oximeter
- Otoscope and ophthalmoscope
- Emergency supplies
- Harm reduction supplies
- Vaccination fridge for immunizations and lab specimens
- Locked cabinets for medications; no narcotics onboard
The Mobile Health Clinic is a partnership between Vancouver Coastal Health, TELUS Health and VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. TELUS Health pledged $302,000 to purchase and outfit the van with the latest wireless technology so the onboard health care team stays connected to the Electronic Medical Records platform at all times. The Women’s ICMT Team is supported by a $3 million donation to VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation.
“VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is the philanthropic engine for health care innovation and transformation in BC. The Mobile Health Clinic has been made possible through the power of philanthropy which allows us to go beyond the limits of public funding. We are proud to have partnered with TELUS Health and Vancouver Coastal Health on this initiative to provide accessible access to health care to marginalized women on the Downtown Eastside,” says Barbara Grantham, President & CEO, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation.
At TELUS, we believe that in order to do well in business, we must also contribute to improve the social health of our communities and drive positive human outcomes,” says Juggy Sihota, Vice President-Consumer Health, TELUS. “That is why together, with Vancouver Coastal Health we are leveraging the power of technology to help deliver primary healthcare to vulnerable citizens through the Mobile Health Clinic, powered by TELUS Health, ensuring a connection to the vital care and support needed to live a healthier life.”
TELUS Health is a leader in home health monitoring, electronic medical and health records, as well as consumer health, benefits management and pharmacy management solutions. TELUS Health leverages the power of technology to enable better health outcomes for Canadians with innovative digital solutions that enable collaboration, efficiency and productivity for physicians, pharmacists, health authorities, allied healthcare professionals, insurers, employers and citizens.
Vancouver Coastal Health is responsible for the delivery of $3.3 billion in community, hospital and residential care to more than one million people in communities including Richmond, Vancouver, the North Shore, Sunshine Coast, Sea to Sky corridor, Powell River, Bella Bella and Bella Coola. VCH also provides highly specialized care and services for people throughout BC, and is the province’s hub of health care education and research.
Public Affairs Leader
Vancouver Coastal Health
Office: (604) 708-5338
Cell: (604) 312-1148
TELUS Social and Media Relations
Cell: (778) 868-0235