Regional Essential Access to Connected Healthcare (REACH) Niagara is further increasing accessibility to healthcare for the homeless and marginalized by providing care at an additional location in the region. Beginning October 17, 2023, the clinic at Birchway Niagara (8903 McLeod Road, Niagara Falls) will offer low-barrier, judgment-free care, including primary healthcare, mental health and addictions counselling, and system navigation.
“The need for accessible healthcare in Niagara is large. The addition of this location is more timely than ever, as the region has recently recognized intimate partner violence as an epidemic,” says Carolyn Dyer, REACH Niagara Executive Director.
“Along with our partners, we are taking action by reducing the barriers to healthcare and taking a trauma-informed approach to care. We know that when people feel safe, it can lead to better health outcomes.”
Healthcare professionals working at REACH Niagara clinics have had approximately 1,300 patient interactions so far in 2023. Common reasons people seek care include mental health, wounds, infections, and assistance with referrals and forms.
The clinics will take place on REACH Niagara’s fully equipped mobile health clinic, powered by TELUS, which travels to homeless shelters and social services agencies to provide care directly to the community. With the addition of Birchway Niagara, REACH now hosts seven clinics across the Niagara region.
“The Cancer Screening Working Group of the Niagara Ontario Health Team-Équipe Santé Ontario Niagara (NOHT-ÉSON) is actively seeking to increase screening rates for cervical, breast, and colon cancers in the region. Spearheaded by REACH Niagara, a physician has been recruited to assist with the new clinic in Niagara Falls,” said Sabrina Piluso, the NOHT-ÉSON’s Director of Planning.
“The NOHT-ÉSON is pleased to have extended financial support to REACH Niagara to make cancer screening available to people who may not otherwise have access to these and other important primary care services.”
Learn more about REACH Niagara here.
Supporting REACH Niagara
If you are a family physician who wants to make a difference in your community by working with REACH, please contact Carolyn Dyer: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a community member, you can make an impact in several ways:
- Sign up for our email list: https://bit.ly/3mD2c2d
- Become an ally by joining our monthly donor program: https://reachniagara.com/about/donate/
- Make a one-time donation to help us provide the care the community needs: https://reachniagara.com/about/donate/
About REACH Niagara
With the mission to work with community partners to provide compassionate care and reduce barriers to healthcare for the homeless and marginalized, REACH – Regional Essential Access to Connected Healthcare – Niagara provides a number of healthcare services including ongoing primary care, select form assistance, connection to supports, counselling harm reduction supplies, preventative care screening, system navigation and referrals. REACH also coordinates Niagara’s Safer Supply Program and, in collaboration with Niagara Region, operates an eight-bed unit that provides ongoing care for individuals who are experiencing homelessness and have been discharged from the hospital.
About Birchway Niagara
Originating in the 1980s with two women’s shelters in Welland and Niagara Falls, Birchway Niagara provides compassionate services to individuals impacted by abuse including a 24-hour support line, safe shelter, and counselling. Formerly known as Women’s Place, the agency evolved in 2022 by consolidating emergency shelter services for women and children at their Niagara Falls location on McLeod Road and continues to offer outreach services at offices across South Niagara. In March 2023, a new name and logo were announced to reflect the growing understanding that abuse is an issue that negatively impacts everyone, and that everyone must be involved and supported to build a community without abuse.
About the NOHT-ÉSON
The Niagara Ontario Health Team-Équipe Santé Ontario Niagara (NOHT-ÉSON) is a steadily growing network of more than 45 health care providers, social service agencies, educational institutions, and patient/client and family/caregiver representatives. We are committed to working as one coordinated team to provide exceptional service, support, and care to you, no matter when or where you need it, now and for our future generations.
Carolyn Dyer (she/her)