Nova Scotia CHCs collaborate to improve child and youth health

(UPPER RAWDON, NS) The Nova Scotia Federation of Community Health Centres is excited to announce that Community Health Centres (CHCs) from across the province are collaborating to advance strategies aimed at improving mental health and wellbeing for the province’s children and youth.

Leaders from the province’s CHCs will be taking important next steps in these efforts during their participation and contributions at the upcoming conference “Delivery of Pediatric Medical and Mental Health Services to Children and Youth in the Maritimes”, hosted by the Dalhousie University Department of Pediatrics and IWK Health Centre this coming May.

Community Health Centres throughout the Maritime Provinces have been invited to participate in the regional meeting with regards to conference theme – The Role of the Community Health Centre. This key role includes efforts to improve social and community conditions that contribute to childhood health and wellbeing, as well as the provision of accessible, high-quality, team-based healthcare services to children, youth and families. In conjunction with the overall conference, the Nova Scotia Federation of Community Health Centres will be hosting a networking forum for Community Health Centre colleagues from other Maritime provinces in order to strengthen CHC partnership and innovation-sharing throughout the Maritime region.

“Acknowledgement and inclusion of CHCs to participate with specialists, and other care providers with regards to pediatric medical and mental health issues is perceived by the Federation as a very positive move forward” states Federation Chair, Kathy Blois.  “CHCs throughout Nova Scotia and across this country have been in existence for over 50 years – yet have remained one of health care’s best kept secrets. We’re excited to let the secret out here in the Maritimes.”

Community Health Centres are multidisciplinary primary health care settings providing health care to populations who in some instances would not have access to a primary care giver (e.g. family physician; nurse practitioner; mental health or addiction services; occupational therapy services, etc).  Not only do CHCs provide this team-based care and support, they reach out into the community to address local factors that affect the health of individuals, families and the community as a whole. Working “upstream” means that CHCs help to prevent illness and have a major impact in reducing avoidable costs in other parts of the health system, like hospital emergency departments. Each CHC is unique, basing its services and programs on the needs of the local population, but are identical in that they provide timely, cost-efficient primary health care by the right providers, at the right time.

Throughout Nova Scotia, CHCs are board-governed by members of the community/communities that they serve.  On a federal level, CHCs have a unified voice through the Canadian Association of Community Health Centres (CACHC).

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Inquiries:

Kathy Blois
Manager, Rawdon Hills Community Health Centre (Upper Rawdon, NS)
Chair, Nova Scotia Federation of Community Health Centres
kathy_blois@rawdonhillshealth.org | (902) 632-2041

Jane Moloney
Executive Director, North End Community Health Centre (Halifax, NS)
Chair, Canadian Association of Community Health Centres
jmoloney@nechc.com | (902) 422-5642