Originally published by Niagara Region.

Niagara Region congratulates Dr. Karl Stobbe, Medical Director of Regional Essential Access to Connected Healthcare (REACH) Niagara, for being recognized with the Community Leader Award for the Ontario region as part of the Canada Volunteer Awards program.

Niagara Region Community Services submitted the nomination for Dr. Stobbe to the Canada Volunteer Awards program in order to showcase his role in addressing the barriers faced by vulnerable populations. In 2018, Dr. Stobbe created REACH to make healthcare services more accessible for those who traditionally have very little access and trust in systems of healthcare. REACH provides shelter-based primary care medical clinics that are staffed part-time by a family doctor, a nurse practitioner and a community paramedic.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Stobbe and REACH collaborated with Niagara Region to provide vital medical services to the homeless population. This work included:

  • ​Primary medical care, on-call medical supports and video or phone clinics for shelters within the emergency shelter system
  • Administering COVID-19 screening tools and managing COVID-19 testing results
  • Collaborating with the Niagara Assertive Outreach Team to provide healthcare supports to individuals who are living on the street or are not accessing emergency shelters
  • Working with Niagara Region Homelessness Services and Niagara Region Public Health to provide multiple first and second dose COVID-19 vaccination clinics, in various emergency shelter locations across the region, for individuals living in shelter and on the street
  • COVID-19 related supports for individuals that access services at Positive Living  Niagara

Through Dr. Stobbe’s perseverance, he has mitigated severe health outcomes and hospitalizations for the homeless population, bettered the overall health and well-being of vulnerable individuals to live longer more fulfilling lives, and built their confidence and trust with healthcare providers to continue their healthcare journey. His work and contributions have ensured that vulnerable populations in Niagara have continued access to barrier-free, trauma-informed, quality healthcare.

The Government of Canada’s Canada Volunteer Awards (CVA) Program recognizes the outstanding contributions of volunteers, businesses and innovative not-for-profit organizations in improving the well-being of people and communities. Twenty-one awards are given every year, consisting of one national award and 20 regional awards. The Community Leader Award category is for outstanding individual volunteers or groups of volunteers who have taken a lead role in developing solutions to social challenges in communities.

We’re pleased to congratulate Dr. Karl Stobbe on receiving the Community Leader award in Ontario as part of the 2020 Canada Volunteer Awards.


“Congratulations are in order for Dr. Karl Stobbe for being the recipient of the Community Leader Award as part of the Canada Volunteer Awards program through the Government of Canada. Dr. Stobbe has played an integral role in providing critical healthcare to homeless individuals in Niagara, especially during the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. We owe Dr. Stobbe a sincere ‘thank you’ for all his hard work.”
~ Jim Bradley, Regional Chair

“On behalf of the Niagara Region Community Services team and those we serve, I send our congratulations to Dr. Karl Stobbe for being the successful recipient of the Community Leader Award. We are incredibly grateful for his service, partnership, compassion and leadership as he provides vital healthcare services for some of the most vulnerable residents in our community. We thank you as a champion for those we serve and look forward to the continued service partnership that is planned for the days ahead.”
~ Adrienne Jugley, Commissioner of Community Services

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