New Salvation Army Health Clinic Serves Those Most Vulnerable

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The first of its kind in St. John’s N.L., the New Hope Clinic is making it easier for people who struggle with their day-to-day lives to get medical care at a convenient location.

In partnership with Eastern Health, The Salvation Army New Hope Clinic opened its doors in the city’s downtown core in March 2011. Located in the Army’s New Hope Community Centre, the clinic gives increased access to primary health care for individuals not connected to a health care provider in the community i.e. those who don’t have a regular GP.

The clinic is open two days each week. A nurse practitioner works collaboratively with GPs from Newfoundland’s Mental Health and Addictions Program to provide services such as health promotion and illness prevention activities, referrals to specialized support services, the management of chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma, and men’s and women’s services such as breast and prostate exams.

New Hope nurse practitioner Gerri Dalton has been involved in the program since its inception. “The clinic exists to protect the health of people with low incomes, no fixed address, and those who suffer with mental illness or addiction,” says Gerri.

“I’ve had women come who haven’t had a general physical for more than 15 years and others with mental health issues who haven’t been managed for six or seven years. We also deal with issues related to poor hygiene and malnutrition such as skin diseases, anemia and bone diseases.”

Major Hedley Bungay, Executive Director of the Army’s New Hope Community Centre says the program has been well received by the community.

“Regardless of their appearance, lack of address, or inability to pay for items not cover by provincial medical or drug insurance, clients at the clinic find a welcoming, supportive environment where they can discuss their health issues and get regular care,” says Bungay.

“Our goal is to continue to break down barriers to good health by offering possible solutions. All while treating our clients with dignity and respect, something we all deserve.”

 

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