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Spotlight on Community Connectors: Windsor-Essex CHC celebrates 10 years with launch of new mobile unit

[From left to right: Kathryn Hengl, president of the board, weCHC; Claudia den Boer, board chair, Alliance for Healthier Communities; Rita Taillefer, executive director, weCHC]

Every day across Ontario, Alliance members are connecting people to improve health and wellbeing. Staff at Alliance member centres work to connect people to services and programs, to each other, and to opportunities and resources in their wider community. To nurture connections and forge new ones, Alliance members work to meet people where they are, and partner with other community organizations to ensure they can meet changing local needs. In this series, we will spotlight Community Connectors, who are changing lives and building a more sustainable health system with every connection they make.

Windsor, ON -- On October 24, Windsor-Essex Community Health Centre (weCHC) officially launched its “weCHC on Wheels” mobile primary health care unit. It was quite a way to celebrate the CHC’s 10th anniversary!

The 38-foot mobile unit will eventually be in operation up to four full days a week, providing people in the downtown core and Essex County with primary care services wherever they are, as well as help navigating other aspects of the health system. Windsor-Essex CHC, which operates out of six physical locations, knew there were still gaps both in urban areas, and in rural areas beyond Windsor in Essex County, including Leamington, where seasonal farm workers are often under-served for health care. Given that the status quo wasn’t reaching some people, weCHC’s community-governed board and executive leaders realized that a way to do regular direct outreach was needed.

“We’ve realized that accessing health and social supports is the key to helping individuals manage their wellbeing,” said weCHC executive director Rita Taillefer. “We know that many factors prevent some people from accessing the care they need. Because of this we’re going to bring the care to them.”

Mobile and other forms of primary care outreach are integral to work of many Alliance members across the province, with other mobile units, outreach clinics and direct visits to people’s homes. Building trust in the health system, providing low-barrier services, and meeting people where they are at with their health and wellbeing allows staff at Alliance member centres to make connections that improve health and wellbeing and promote health system sustainability. Learn more about how Alliance members are making primary health care connections for people across Ontario.