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Supporting community health centre in Victoria

People living in Victoria and surrounding neighbourhoods will soon have more access to primary health care with the opening of a bigger space and an expanded care team at Island Sexual Health Community Health Centre.

Community health centres are community-governed, not-for-profit organizations with services tailored to meet the health needs of the community they serve. This community health centre is governed, owned and operated by Island Sexual Health Society, in partnership with Island Health.

“Community health centres play a vital role in the communities they serve, as they help address the unique health needs of residents in the region,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “We’ve listened to the people in Victoria and included Island Sexual Health as an integral part of our primary care strategy to further improve access to primary care in the region. Thank you to Island Sexual Health and all partners for making this a priority in your community.”  

Located at 101-3960 Quadra St., Island Sexual Health currently has 4.3 full-time equivalent (FTE) health-care providers, including registered nurses and general practitioners, who are providing sexual health care for more than 9,000 patients every year.

As part of B.C.’s primary care strategy, Island Sexual Health Society will partner with Island Health to recruit approximately 10.9 FTE additional health professionals, including nurse practitioners, registered nurses, general practitioners, a counsellor and a community health worker. This enhancement is to include team-based, comprehensive primary care, and increased capacity and access to existing sexual health services.

Once fully staffed, the centre will provide primary care services including chronic disease management, physical and mental health assessments, management of complex sexual health care, gender-affirming care, sexually transmitted infection testing, HIV treatment, wound care, treatment and support, immunizations and group programs and counselling.

The fully staffed team of health-care providers is expected to provide more than 57,000 patient visits per year and will work to attach a minimum of 4,900 patients to a consistent primary care provider at the centre or in the community.

“I am proud that our government is making a difference in the lives of people in Victoria by bringing Island Sexual Health Society into B.C.’s primary care strategy,” said Carole James, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill. “Residents will have improved access to the sexual health services and primary care they need.”

Planning for an expanded space has started. Renovations are expected to be completed in fall 2020. Four additional examination rooms will be added to the centre, bringing the total number of examination rooms to 10. This includes a room equipped to provide virtual appointments and a large meeting space for group education and teaching sessions.

To support the expansion of the Island Sexual Health Community Health Centre, the Province is providing annual, ongoing funding of approximately $2.6 million, as well as just over $1.1 million of one-time funding, through Island Health.

“This provincial funding will not only ensure that people in Victoria continue to access the sexual health care they need, closer to home, but it will also give people more access to primary care services, something that is much-needed in the community,” said Rob Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake. “It will amplify the great work that Island Sexual Health has been doing for decades.”

Island Sexual Health Community Health Centre will also support primary care network planning in Victoria. It is the second community health centre in B.C. to be announced as part of the Province’s primary care strategy and the first one in Victoria. In June 2020, RISE Community Health Centre opened its primary location in Vancouver.

Quotes:

Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin –

“This is great news for the community and the capital region as a whole. I’m looking forward to the expanded services that I know will make a real difference in the lives of thousands of residents in the region who rely on the Island Sexual Health Community Health Centre for necessary health-care services.”

Leah Hollins, board chair, Island Health –

“Island Health is pleased to be partnering with Island Sexual Health to expand its services for South Island residents. This innovative care model recognizes the vital connection between sexual health and primary care, and provides a person-centred approach to health-care delivery.”

Bobbi Turner, executive director, Island Sexual Health –

“Island Sexual Health is thrilled to participate in the Ministry of Health’s advancement of community health centres in British Columbia. This expansion not only allows us to continue providing valuable sexual health services for all community members, but also signals the renewal of Island Sexual Health as a full-service community health centre. We are truly grateful for the support of both the Ministry of Health and Island Health in making this possible.”

Quick Facts:

  • Island Sexual Health Community Health Centre is a non-profit organization that has been serving the Greater Victoria region and Gulf Island communities since 1969.
  • Island Sexual Health is not accepting external or self-referrals for primary care at this time. Further details will be available in late fall following clinic renovations.
  • There are approximately 100 health-authority run community health centres and 30 community-governed community health centres in British Columbia.
  • These centres focus on integrating services and programs in primary care, health promotion and community well-being, as well as work to address social determinants of health by linking with other social sector agencies and services.

Learn More:

To learn more about the Province’s primary health-care strategy, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018PREM0034-001010

To learn more about the Province’s strategy to increase the number of nurse practitioners, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018HLTH0034-000995

To learn more about the Province’s strategy to recruit and retain more family medicine graduates, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018HLTH0052-001043

To learn more about Island Sexual Health Community Health Centre, visit: https://www.islandsexualhealth.org/

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