For the vulnerable population that spends time at the Caring Place, there are now health services available.
A nurse-practitioner will be on site in the afternoons, helping the clientele with their health needs in a holistic way.
Janet Rosenfeld started seeing patients on May 15, and they range from one to four or five during her four-hour afternoon shift.
On Thursday, an official ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the facility at 222nd Street and Lougheed Highway to celebrate the new clinic.
Fraser Health partnered with the Caring Place to create the position of nurse-practioner.
The idea is to give marginalized people a place to go with their health concerns and to provide them with a continuum of care.
The recently appointed nurse-practitioner splits her time between the Caring Place clinic, where she sees patients from 12: 30 to 4: 30 p.m., and a mental health clinic in the morning.
Rosenfeld has been a nurse for 30 years, and a few years ago went back to school to become a nurse-practioner, which allows her to diagnose, treat, prescribe medication, and refer patients who have "common health concerns."
Nurses are able to spend more time with patients than doctors can, and Rosenfeld said their approach is to look at the health of their patients in a holistic way.
"We can see the common concerns and leave the more complex ones for the physicians," Rosenfeld said. This can be anything from upper respiratory infections to women's exams and general physical exams.
At the Caring Place, the clientele includes some of the most vulnerable citizens, so the first step is to gain the trust of the patients.
Rosenfeld was starting a drop-in health talk on Thursday afternoon.
"It's all about putting them first and their needs," she said about the patient-centred approach to health care that she practises.
"I love nursing passionate about my career," she added.
The population at the Caring Place doesn't tend to go to regular health clinics because of wait times and perceived stigma, Rosenfeld said.
Having the clinic adjacent to the dining room at the Caring Place will allow for easy access to health services.
The community and the Caring Place have been "very supportive" of the clinic, Rosenfeld said, and patients are trickling in.
@ Copyright 2013