Media Release - Community Health Van Saves Lives and Helps Vulnerable Residents

October 29, 2018: On Friday at a community event celebrating one year of operation, Colin McVicker, Program Director of the Sanguen Health Centre, thanked the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) for their ongoing funding of the Community Health Van Project of Guelph and Wellington.  MPP Mike Schreiner and OTF Grant Review Team member Gebre Berihun were on hand to congratulate the Sanguen Health Centre and hear more about how the $154,900 OTF Grow grant is making a difference in the community.

“I am deeply appreciative of the work the Sanguen Health Centre is doing to serve people in our community,” said Mike Schreiner, MPP for Guelph.  “Mobile outreach services like the Community Health Van are vital for reaching socially marginalized populations with medical care, mental health support, vaccinations, hepatitis testing and education.”

The Van provides health and support services to individuals who might otherwise not be able to access them. Since it started one year ago over 1347 individuals have visited the van more than 3751 times.  The outreach services include handing out over 418 naloxone kits along with overdose prevention training. Visitors can receive blood tests for hepatitis and HIV. In the past year the staff and volunteers collected and disposed of 8224 used syringes.

The Community Health Van’s peer support workers, outreach staff, volunteers and nurses make referrals to other community services while supplying van visitors with nutrition and hydration support and personal hygiene items including soap, razors and tampons.

They have also supplied visitors with over 1117 pairs of fresh socks, 161 new winter jackets and 526 pairs of winter gloves, hats or scarfs.

The Community Health Van operates two days a week through a partnership with the Sanguen Health Centre, HIV/AIDS Resources and Community Health (ARCH) and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.

The Community Health Van Project is planning on expanding services to communities in North Wellington in the coming months.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading foundations.  OTF awarded more than $120 million to some 700 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.

Media Contact:
Chuck Ferguson, Communications Manager
1-800-265-7293 ext. 4374