TELUS launches newest Health for Good mobile clinic to support Toronto’s most marginalized citizens
The Parkdale Queen West Mobile Health Clinic powered by TELUS Health, a specially-equipped mobile health clinic on wheels, will provide primary healthcare services for marginalized populations in Toronto’s midwest neighbourhoods
Toronto, ON – Today, TELUS announced the expansion of the company’s innovative Health for Good program with Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre (CHC) and University Health Network’s (UHN) Social Medicine Program. The Parkdale Queen West Mobile Health Clinic powered by TELUS Health, a specially-equipped clinic on wheels, will provide essential primary health and harm reduction services directly to underserved persons in neighbourhoods in the mid-west region of Toronto. In addition, the clinic will enable mobile COVID-19 testing and vaccination efforts at homeless sheltering sites, congregate housing for marginalized populations and in areas with high positivity rates.
“At TELUS, we believe that everyone should have access to healthcare when and where they need it, regardless of their socio-economic status. Through our partnership with Parkdale Queen West CHC and UHN, we are removing many of the barriers facing underserved and at-risk populations in the Parkdale area with access to critical healthcare and social support,” said Darren Entwistle, President and CEO, TELUS. “As we continue to navigate the global pandemic, today’s expansion of our Health for Good program will enable us to care for our most marginalized citizens at a time when access to high-quality, compassionate healthcare, including vital support for mental wellness, has never been more important.”
Estimates show that there are more than 8,700 Torontonians experiencing homelessness each day. In addition, marginalized populations struggling with poverty are often challenged to access primary health care, counselling and mental health support, as well as harm reduction and illness prevention services. Through this collaborative partnership, TELUS, Parkdale Queen West CHC and UHN’s Social Medicine Program’s main goal is to improve the health and wellbeing of these individuals and communities who are at-risk and/or face barriers to accessing high quality health care services and supports.
“Access to healthcare is a right, and opportunities for good health cannot be a privilege for some—it must be enabled for all,” said Angela Robertson, Executive Director of Parkdale Queen West CHC. “The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted structural inequities faced by the city’s marginalized populations, and Parkdale Queen West CHC is thrilled to be in partnership with TELUS Health and UHN’s Social Medicine Program to deliver on our mission of providing healthcare for people when, where and how they need it.”
“The mirage of universality in our healthcare system has cruelly punished people living in poverty for decades. And the COVID-19 pandemic has only deepened the divide in accessing healthcare and imposed even starker social inequities. The launch of a mobile health clinic in partnership with Parkdale Queen West CHC and TELUS is exactly the sort of innovation we need, not only to respond to the pandemic, but in building lasting partnerships that shift care to the centre of communities that need it most,” says Dr. Andrew Boozary, Executive Director of UHN’s Social Medicine Program.
Backed by a $10 million commitment from TELUS, Health for Good is already active from coast-to-coast with clinics operating in Victoria, Vancouver, Surrey, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Mississauga-Peel Region, Waterloo Region, Montreal, Halifax, and now Toronto. These state-of-the-art mobile health clinics operate in communities where frontline care is urgently needed and act as a vital link between the community and local health authority. Through a combination of drop-in primary care and individually targeted follow up visits, the mobile outreach team builds rapport and enables a continuity of care for people who have been underserved by the traditional clinical care model. In 2020, several mobile health clinics supported COVID-19 response efforts, operating as assessment and testing centres and offering support to people leaving isolation and recovering from COVID-19. Since the program’s inception in 2014, TELUS Health Mobile Clinics have supported over 50,000 patient visits.
This mobile health clinic, and others across the country, are equipped with TELUS Health electronic medical record (EMR) technology. The TELUS Health EMR will enable clinic staff to collect and store health data, examine results over time, and provide better continuity of care to patients who previously had undocumented medical histories. The clinic is also equipped with TELUS LTE Wi-Fi and TELUS Mobility services.
The medical clinic is divided into two main areas: one for patient reception and mental health care and a second private, but more spacious area with an examination table and a physician/nursing workstation. This design helps improve patient privacy and allows the team to treat patients with the dignity and respect they deserve.
For more information about TELUS Health for Good, visit telus.com/healthforgood.
About TELUS Health for Good
Since 2014, TELUS Health for Good has been helping to remove many of the barriers Canadians living on the streets face in receiving medical care and reconnecting thousands of patients to the public healthcare system. Mobile Health Clinics, powered by TELUS, were originally inspired by the work being done by Doctors of The World. The Mobile Health Clinics provide essential primary medical care, including electronic medical records, generating over 50,000 patient visits since the program’s inception. Today, through numerous partnerships, volunteers, and the power of technology, TELUS Health for Good is an efficient and innovative mobile healthcare delivery tool to reach communities in need by bringing healthcare directly to the people that need it most.
TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is a dynamic, world-leading communications and information technology company with $15 billion in annual revenue and 15.4 million customer connections spanning wireless, data, IP, voice, television, entertainment, video and security. At TELUS, we leverage our world-leading technology’s potential to enable remarkable human outcomes. Our long-standing commitment to putting customers first fuels every aspect of our business, making us a distinct leader in customer service excellence and loyalty. TELUS Health is Canada’s largest healthcare IT provider, and TELUS International delivers the most innovative business process solutions to some of the world’s most established brands.
Driven by our passionate social purpose to connect all Canadians for good, our deeply meaningful and enduring philosophy to give where we live has inspired our team members and retirees to contribute $736 million and 1.4 million days of service since 2000. This unprecedented generosity and unparalleled volunteerism have made TELUS the most giving company in the world.
About Parkdale Queen West CHC
Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre (Parkdale Queen West CHC) is a non-profit registered charity, community-based health and wellness service organization, governed by a Board of Directors. Parkdale Queen West CHC offers a broad range of services work to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities who are at risk and/or face barriers to accessing high quality health care services and support. This includes primary health care, dental care, health promotion, counselling and mental health supports, HIV and Hepatitis C supports and education, anonymous HIV point of care testing, wellness group programming, practical supports (legal, employment and housing), harm reduction and illness prevention, advocacy, and community engagement and development.
Parkdale Queen West CHC works to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities who are at risk and/or face barriers to accessing high quality health care services and supports, including populations such as newcomers, racialized communities, people who are homeless or street-involved, people living with mental health issues, people who use drugs, people living with disabilities, isolated seniors, LGBTQ communities and people living in poverty. To learn more visit, www.pqwchc.org
About UHN’s Social Medicine Program
The Social Medicine Program and Gattuso Centre for Social Medicine Innovation at University Health Network (UHN) works alongside people experiencing marginalization, community organizations, UHN clinicians, and the city to address gaps between health and social services and improve health outcomes and experiences for marginalized populations in Toronto. UHN consists of Toronto General and Toronto Western Hospitals, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, and The Michener Institute of Education at UHN. The scope of research and complexity of cases at University Health Network has made it a national and international source for discovery, education and patient care. It has the largest hospital-based research program in Canada, with major research in arthritis, cardiology, transplantation, neurosciences, oncology, surgical innovation, infectious diseases, genomic medicine and rehabilitation medicine. University Health Network is a research hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto. To learn more visit, www.uhn.ca.
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