Today on National Physicians’ Day; Regional Essential Access to Connected Healthcare (REACH) Niagara is recognizing the important role doctors have in providing care. As part of a multidisciplinary team, seven physicians treat patients at REACH clinics across Niagara providing primary medical treatments and helping to connect the homeless and marginalized to local family practices and community health centres.

“I am thankful for the unwavering dedication of the physicians who work with us to provide care to those who need it most,” says Dr. Karl Stobbe, REACH Niagara Medical Director. “They are helping patients get and stay healthy, even through the challenging times presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Niagara has more than 50,000 individuals living below the low-income measure, who face barriers to accessing mental health, primary healthcare and social intervention services. REACH Niagara is making healthcare more accessible by bringing it where the need exists, operating clinics in four shelters across the region, as well as providing care at 11 locations on the REACH Niagara Mobile Health Clinic, powered by TELUS Health. 

“Those experiencing homelesness deserve access to high-quality care,” says David van Velzen, REACH Niagara Executive Director. “Together, our care teams and community partners are helping to create a friendlier future for the communities we live and work in.”

Physicians improve the well-being of patients by treating conditions they may not otherwise receive care for. Common health conditions seen by the REACH team include mental health and addictions, chronic pain; skin conditions; contraception requests; injuries such as cuts, bruises, sprains, broken bones; chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and lung disease; abdominal pain; headaches; and arthritis.

Supporting REACH Niagara

If you are a physician wanting to make a difference in your community by working with REACH, please contact

If you are a community member, you can make an impact in a numbers of ways:

About Doctors’ Day

Doctors’ Day is celebrated across Ontario each May 1 to recognize the province’s doctors and their commitment to improving the health of all patients. May 1 was chosen to mark the birthday of Dr. Emily Stowe, the first woman to practice medicine in Canada and a founder of the country’s women’s movement.


About REACH Niagara 

REACH Niagara works with and operates primary care medical clinics staffed by healthcare professionals. They primarily serve people who do not have a regular family doctor, or who cannot see their doctor, with a goal to put healthcare within REACH for the homeless and marginalized in Niagara. They connect people with local family practices or Community Health Centres, mental health services, required specialist services, foot care, wound care and dental assessments. Their initial “Out REACH” began with the establishment of 2 clinics in St. Catharines shelters with regular schedule times for patient drop-ins. REACH represents a new and growing collaborative between primary care, key stakeholders across the health and social care sectors, people with lived experience, and several academic institutions, including McMaster University, Brock University, University of Waterloo & Niagara College.

Share This