Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority (RHA) officially launched a new service on July 30, providing mobile outreach in the community every Thursday at several locations in and around Selkirk (Visit https://is.gd/bh3KEm for times and locations).
Public health program staff created the service after consulting with a number of community agencies and people who use the region’s services, including the harm reduction community network and the peer advisory council.
“The new outreach van is a great example of how the community sees a need, and then works together to address that need,” said Shannon Montgomery, regional director of public health and wellness for Interlake-Eastern RHA. “People in Selkirk now have more support for their own health care and that of their loved ones. Thank you to everyone who has made this possible.”
The new service will help people in Selkirk and surrounding areas whose health and wellbeing may be affected by complex factors such as living with chronic illnesses, poverty, poor housing, inadequate transportation or lack of supportive networks.
Public health nurses working out of the van will be able to provide parenting support and well child assessments, pregnancy testing and emergency contraception supplies, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, harm reduction and supplies, the initiation of referrals to other community agencies, and health and social services when needed.
Many local businesses have shown support for the new service, including No Frills who made the inaugural donation to establish a new harm reduction fund with the Interlake Eastern Health Foundation. The timing of the donation with the launch of the outreach van was perfect, according to Pamela McCallum, executive director of the Interlake Eastern Health Foundation.
“We’re so grateful for the support from No Frills,” said McCallum. “When our community partners work together with staff for the betterment of health, everyone wins. We look forward to growing this new fund to support harm reduction efforts across the region.”
Anyone wanting to speak with a public health nurse but unable to make it to one of the stops along the van’s route can call 204-485-1454 to book a home visit—the van will come to you!
Photo L-R: Lisa Hrynyk CTM for Public Health, Pamela McCallum executive director Interlake Eastern Health Foundation and Aaron & Chanel from No Frills.