- Residents can see a family physician, access services at one-stop event
Alberta Health Services - A second health and community services pop-up event is scheduled for Oct. 5, giving residents of north Lethbridge access health services such as home care services, a family physician, lab services, and addiction and mental health services.
Other local agencies will also be on hand to offer information on food and housing supports, recreation subsidies, parenting support and/or access to government services and identification.
The event will be held from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Nord-Bridge Seniors Centre, 1904 13 Ave. N, and is organized by Alberta Health Services (AHS), the University of Lethbridge, the University of Calgary, and the Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research, as part of a research project called IMPACT.
IMPACT is a five-year research program currently working with three Canadian provinces (Alberta, Ontario and Quebec) and three Australian states. One of its goals is to promote access to primary health care for populations vulnerable to poor health outcomes.
The Alberta research focuses on north Lethbridge because data shows these community residents experience limited access to primary health care and other services when compared with other city residents.
“Often, north Lethbridge residents have to seek health and community supports in other parts of the city,” says Dr. Shannon Spenceley, IMPACT co-investigator and assistant professor of nursing at the University of Lethbridge. “We have worked closely with the community, and it is out of that work that we came to the decision to try this alternative model to see how it could work.”
The first community and health services pop-up event in north Lethbridge, held in June, served about 60 people and provided more than 200 services to those who attended.
Plans are in the works to host these events three times a year.
The IMPACT team identified several barriers to health and community service access in north Lethbridge, including transportation, non-traditional hours of work and cultural barriers.
“We recognized it was important to try different approaches to traditional primary health care in this part of the city,” says Cheryl Andres, IMPACT co-investigator and Director of Primary Care and Chronic Disease Management for AHS South Zone. “Our goal is to bring services to where the clients are instead of always asking them to come to us, and then we could evaluate this service model for potential in the future.”
Nord-Bridge Seniors Centre is located on a Lethbridge Transit route, and other transportation options may be available. North Lethbridge residents who require transportation to the event or have questions are encouraged to call research assistant Ryan Mallard at 403-795-3934.
The Alberta IMPACT research team, funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, is led by Dr. Cathie Scott of the Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research and the University of Calgary.
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.