The Alex and TELUS team up for new community health bus
CALGARY -- Thanks to a partnership with TELUS, the Alex now has a third bus in its fleet of community health buses.
One is dedicated for dental needs of grade school students. A second is a youth health bus that travels to six different Calgary high schools. The new third bus will head to eight high schools, along with a number of other agencies that need assistance transporting community members to and from their venues.
“We go to VIVO, the Distress Centre, the Drop-In (Centre)," said Joy Bowen-Eyre, CEO of The Alex. "We also go out to Tsuut’ina."
Bowen-Eyre explained that depending on the day, the health bus sets aside specific times to connect people to specific institutions.
The new community health bus aims to enhance healthcare services for at-risk youth and individuals living with complex needs across Calgary to ensuring Calgarians have access to immediate high-quality and compassionate care, including vital support for their mental health.
TELUS is providing the funding and technology through a five year, $1-million commitment. TELUS is the largest healthcare IT provider in the country and the bus is equipped with wireless technology so medical staff can access electronic medical records.
Dr. Deb Putnam is a family doctor and has spent five years with the Alex. She says the service the bus provides is unique and critical.
“I can access what sort of care the kids might have had at the Alex Youth Health Centre, what they might have discussed with other doctors, lab results, documents, I would be in the dark functioning with pen and paper,” said Putnam.
Telus has committed $10 million to expand its Health for Good program to communities across Canada over the next five years.
It’s already active in Montreal, Vancouver, Victoria, Ottawa and the Waterloo Region. These state-of-the-art mobile health clinics operate in communities where frontline care is urgently needed and act as a vital link between the community and local health authority.
The program helps to remove many of the barriers that Canadians living on the streets face in receiving medical care and will support over 20,000 patient interventions per year nationwide.
Bowen-Eyre says the bus brings a kind and welcoming face to what is an otherwise dark and difficult place for many.
Learn more about The Alex Community Health Bus here: