NIAGARA REGION – 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 NOHTÉSON’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.”
Community members can learn more about REACH Niagara by visiting its website.