Managing Health and Living Better

Dans La Rue: Creating mental health resiliency

If health care starts at home, what happens if someone is struggling with homelessness or housing insecurity? Enter Dans la rue in Montreal. 

With dedication, empathy and respect, Dans la rue cares for the immediate needs of homeless and at-risk youth and helps them acquire the skills and resources to lead healthy, autonomous and rewarding lives.

A recent Canadian survey of youth homelessness uncovered that 85% had high levels of psychological distress. The Foundation wanted to address this mental health challenge head-on, and Dans la rue, with over 25 years of experience helping at-risk youth, was the perfect partner. Today, the Medavie Health Foundation is providing complementary funding to Dans la rue that will support their involvement in ACCESS Open Minds, an integrated program designed to help youth in psychological distress and prevent homelessness. The four-year, $780,000 commitment will expand the program’s impact in Montreal by enabling psychologists and a music therapist to assist in addressing the mental health issues associated with being homeless for youth without a diagnosed mental illness.

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Programs like these don’t only help address mental health in youth today, they champion better health for tomorrow.

The Health Bus: A mobile primary health centre

Canada is a big country. And while our health care system is one of the best in the world, we are faced with changing demographics and finite resources that make sustainability a significant challenge.  And there is no one size fits all solution. MD Ambulance, part of Medavie Health Services in Saskatoon, wanted to take health care to the people who need it most. Partnering with the Saskatoon Health Region and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, the Health Bus takes primary health care around the city and into small communities, staffed with a collaborative team of nurse practitioners and paramedics. 

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It’s an approach that’s unique and has a huge human impact. It’s bringing health care to First Nations communities, immigrant populations, and other people who may not have access to primary, often preventative care. From pregnancy tests and immunizations to health education and prescriptions, it is truly helping people from becoming patients.

Dartmouth North: Cultivating change with healthy food skills

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Living well isn’t just a function of the health care system. Healthy living can be a community effort, and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia is coming together to do just that. The Dartmouth North Community Food Centre, a Medavie Health Foundation grant recipient in 2016, opened its doors just 18 months ago. Today, its programs and community volunteers are supporting healthy food choices and reducing food insecurity for thousands of people. Not only that, it’s created a safe space for a community to come together, and work together, towards a healthier future for all.

The Health Bus now sees approximately 3,000 patients every year, many of whom are children requiring access to primary health care during evenings and weekends.

The Health Bus is staffed by Nurse Practitioners, Paramedics, and a Facilitator.

Partnering for Success

Being a trusted partner of federal and provincial governments is key to who we are and what we do. For decades both Medavie Blue Cross and Medavie Health Services have been leading foundational programs that support the broader health care system, from administering government sponsored health programs to operating province-wide ambulance services. But long relationships do not mean we’re stuck in the past.

We’re using new technology to establish a modern foundation for management of increasingly complex and evolving health care interactions. That means we can help our partners better direct care and find efficiencies within today’s practices to help continue building a health care system that’s better for everyone.