Medical Clinic Background
The clinic was first established in the early 1990’s in a small store front space where medical care was offered in the evenings only. For several years the clinic operated without funding for support staff. In 1993, funding became available and the clinic was able to expand to daytime hours. Currently, our clinic operates seven days a week and employs a multitude of physicians, nurses and support staff. Medical care continues to be accessible without fees even to those without valid medical coverage.
Due to the growing inter-professional team, the site at 449 East Hastings has run out of room. In early 2011 we were able to expand our clinic space and opened a satellite clinic across the street from our current location. The new space has provided three additional exam rooms and space for two support staff. This expansion has come about with partnership through Vancouver Coastal Health’s STOP HIV program, with the support of Health Canada and the UBC Aboriginal and St. Paul’s Hospital Family Medicine residency programs.
This clinic expansion fits within VNHS' larger vision of expanding it’s services further and we look forward to one day occupying a larger building.
The clinic’s goals are to improve and promote the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health of individuals, focusing on members of the Aboriginal community residing in the greater Vancouver area, with specific attention to those living in the Downtown Eastside. We strive to provide a "one-stop shop” and a wrap-around integrated health care model that provides cultural safety, flexibility and non-judgmental care for all our patients. The clinic’s objective is to improve the access to and the quality of primary health care services. We pay specific attention to HIV, mental health, addictions and chronic diseases, particularly diabetes, COPD and Hepatitis C.
Our patients reside in Vancouver’s poorest neighbourhood with the city’s lowest level of income and education rates, as well as the highest rates of health utilization and hospitalizations. Major determinants of health affecting this population include poverty, substance abuse, mental illness and chronic disease.
In our 2014/15 fiscal year, we recorded approximately 20,500 patient visits with 2,500 individuals accessing our services. Approximately 60 percent self identify as Aboriginal.