ACCESS Health Centre Receives $1.545 Million

ACCESS Health Centre logo

Thanks to recent, very generous funding announcements from the Vancouver Island Health Authority ($1 million) and the Capital Regional District ($545,000) the ACCESS Health Centre may now be opened before the close of 2008.


A partnership to improve inner city and community health in the Capital Region

Imagine an innovative initiative that could improve the health of the Capital Region’s most impoverished citizens, improve the quality of life for everyone downtown, and save taxpayer dollars. The ACCESS Health Centre, with a powerful synergy of agency and government primary health care and social support providers, will achieve all of these goals with just a modest capital investment by government, non-profit and philanthropic partners. ACCESS will provide integrated health and social services where “every door is the right door” and patients will be helped by a variety of professionals and organizations. ACCESS will provide many of the critical health supports that marginalized people need to maintain housing and integrate more into society, and improve the health of those who remain homeless.

ACCESS – Improved Health Care – System Savings

Complex health and social problems, including mental health and addiction issues, and high rates of drug use (higher per capita than Vancouver), have significant, direct negative impacts on every citizen and business in our Capital’s downtown and impose an unnecessarily high cost on the entire Capital Region’s health care system and quality of life.

While there is a growing recognition of the need to increase the affordable housing stock for homeless and very low-income persons, access to primary health care for the region’s most marginalized citizens is also inadequate – resulting in unnecessary demands on more expensive
emergency hospital services, hospital beds, and secondary and tertiary health care. Health supports are critical for individuals and families who are marginalized to maintain housing.

The ACCESS Health Centre is a visionary initiative to locate a wide variety of primary health care and social services in a single building in downtown Victoria. It is an innovative partnership that combines the energy of Cool Aid’s Community Health Centre, AIDS Vancouver Island (AVI), VIHA, the Native Friendship Centre, Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance and other service providers.

It will focus on Victoria’s inner city and marginalized populations – primarily the homeless, mentally ill, alcohol and drug-addicted, very poor and the brain injured. Many of these patients have concurrent illnesses and carry infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and carry the MRSA bacterium. A significant number of these patients are especially difficult to manage (disruptive) in a hospital setting and difficult to discharge because of limited access to support in the community.

We still need to raise nearly $2.0 million more to pay for the extensive reconstruction needed for our downtown, three-storey health and social services building on Johnson Street. Feel free to contact Cool Aid for more information or to make a donation.

You or your organization can also make a secure donation online and receive an immediate tax receipt by clicking on the button below:

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