TELUS launches newest Health for Good mobile clinic to support citizens of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside
The Kílala Lelum Mobile Health Clinic, powered by TELUS Health, is a specially-equipped mobile van to provide primary healthcare and Indigenous Elder-led cultural care in Vancouver
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 21, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, TELUS announced the expansion of its innovative mobile Health for Good clinic program with its community health partner, Kílala Lelum Health Centre. Enabled by technology and fueled with human compassion, the Kílala Lelum Mobile Health Clinic, powered by TELUS Health, is a specially-equipped clinic on wheels that will provide trauma-informed, culturally-sensitive primary medical treatments, Indigenous Elder-led cultural care, mental health services, and addiction support directly to the underserved citizens of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
“At TELUS, we believe that everyone should have access to healthcare when and where they need it, regardless of their socio-economic status. Through our partnership with Kílala Lelum, we are removing many of the barriers facing underserved populations by providing Indigenous and non-Indigenous residents of the Downtown Eastside and surrounding areas with access to critical healthcare and social support,” said Darren Entwistle, President and CEO, TELUS. “As we continue to navigate the global pandemic, today’s expansion of our Health for Good program will enable us to care for our citizens at a time when access to high-quality, compassionate healthcare, including vital support for mental wellness, has never been more important.”
“Many people living in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside experience significant barriers to accessing effective primary health care,” said Dr. David Tu, MD, CCFP, FCFP, Physician and Board member of Kílala Lelum. “These barriers stem from poverty, homelessness, and experiences of exclusion and racism. Simultaneously, these same people often have the greatest healthcare needs and typically only present to care when there is an extreme health crisis. Through partnership and support from TELUS, we hope that this well-equipped and expertly staffed mobile health clinic will be able to meaningfully connect with people to provide timely, culturally safe and trauma informed care that can prevent health crisis from ever happening, and promote greater health, wellness, and social stability.”
Approximately 2,223 citizens experience homelessness in the city of Vancouver on any given night, and Indigenous peoples represent a disproportionate 39 per cent of the homeless population. The ongoing overdose crisis in Vancouver has been further magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic, and by facilitating better continuity of care, the program will help those who cannot easily access traditional medical care yet are in urgent need of support and resources.
Backed by a $10 million commitment from TELUS, Health for Good is already active from coast-to-coast with clinics operating in Victoria, Vancouver, Surrey, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Mississauga-Peel Region, Waterloo Region, Montreal, Halifax and Toronto. These state-of-the-art mobile health clinics operate in communities where frontline care is urgently needed and act as a vital link between the community and local health authority. Through a combination of drop-in primary care and individually targeted follow up visits, the mobile outreach team builds rapport and enables a continuity of care for people who have been underserved by the traditional clinical care model. In 2020, several mobile health clinics supported COVID-19 response efforts, operating as assessment and testing centres and offering support to people leaving isolation and recovering from COVID-19. Since the program’s inception in 2014, TELUS Health Mobile Clinics have supported over 50,000 patient visits.
All mobile health clinics are equipped with TELUS Health electronic medical records (EMR) technology and TELUS LTE Wi-Fi service, enabling skilled practitioners to collect and store health data, examine results over time, and provide better continuity of care to patients who may have undocumented medical histories. The medical clinic is divided into two main areas: one for patient reception and mental health care, and a second private, but more spacious area with an examination table and a physician/nursing workstation. This design helps to improve patient privacy and allows the team to treat patients with the dignity and respect they deserve.
For more information about TELUS Health for Good, visit telus.com/healthforgood.
About TELUS Health for Good
Since 2014, TELUS Health for Good has been helping to remove many of the barriers Canadians living on the streets face in receiving medical care and reconnecting thousands of patients to the public healthcare system. Mobile Health Clinics, powered by TELUS, were originally inspired by the work being done by Doctors of The World. The Mobile Health Clinics provide essential primary medical care, including electronic medical records, generating over 50,000 patient visits since the program’s inception. Today, through numerous partnerships, volunteers, and the power of technology, TELUS Health for Good is an efficient and innovative mobile healthcare delivery tool to reach communities in need by bringing healthcare directly to the people that need it most.
TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is a dynamic, world-leading communications and information technology company with $15 billion in annual revenue and 15.4 million customer connections spanning wireless, data, IP, voice, television, entertainment, video and security. At TELUS, we leverage our world-leading technology’s potential to enable remarkable human outcomes. Our long-standing commitment to putting customers first fuels every aspect of our business, making us a distinct leader in customer service excellence and loyalty. TELUS Health is Canada’s largest healthcare IT provider, and TELUS International delivers the most innovative business process solutions to some of the world’s most established brands.
Driven by our passionate social purpose to connect all Canadians for good, our deeply meaningful and enduring philosophy to give where we live has inspired our team members and retirees to contribute $736 million and 1.4 million days of service since 2000. This unprecedented generosity and unparalleled volunteerism have made TELUS the most giving company in the world.
About Kilala Lelum
Kílala Lelum is a non-profit Indigenous Health organization that has been operating in Vancouver’s inner city since 2018. The Kílala Lelum Health Centre offers an inter-professional team based primary care home and is composed of family physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, counselors, social workers, outreach works, nutritionists, peer community health workers, Indigenous Elders and Indigenous Cultural Workers. The mandate of Kílala Lelum is to provide culturally safe and effective care to patients of all nations. Specifically, the centre has the mandate to enact the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action in Health (Health Actions 19-23) and to specifically recognize, respect, and address the distinct health needs of the Métis, Inuit, First Nations, and off-reserve Indigenous peoples. For more information visit, https://kilalalelum.ca/.
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