Community wellness on wheels

MHS West rolls out second mobile health clinic.

STC Health Bus 1

If you want to know where the future of health care is headed you could look west ― to Medavie Health Services West (MHS West) that is.

MHS West has rolled out the second community wellness bus in Saskatchewan to bring care to people where and when they need it.

Since September 2021, the Saskatoon Tribal Health Bus is travelling to First Nation communities five days a week, offering dental services, community paramedicine and mental health support. This mobile health clinic is the first of kind in Canada. MHS West and the Medavie Health Foundation have both contributed towards the million-dollar capital Drive for Kids campaign to build the bus. This initiative has a combined five-year, $2.5 million operating budget.

The bus represents a partnership between the Saskatoon Tribal Council, the province and government of Saskatchewan and serves the seven First Nation communities within the Saskatoon Tribal communities. Staffed and operated by MHS West paramedics, along with a dentist, dental assistant, and mental health addictions worker, the bus is delivering direct access to care to over 15,000 people on location.

“Thanks to our sponsors we were able to build a world-class health bus and we hope that it will put more of these on the road in our province and in our country.”

Trent Sereda, Director, Synergy 8 Community Builders
STC Health Bus 2

MHS West also operates the award-winning Saskatoon Health Bus. Staffed by nurses and paramedics, this mobile clinic provides primary care services, from blood sugar checks to flu vaccines, to patients who can “drop in” without appointment. Services are targeted to patients that are geographically, socially, economically and/or culturally isolated. The bus is a collaborative initiative with the Saskatoon Health Region and Saskatchewan Ministry of Health. It has won six national awards for its unique delivery of health care to Saskatoon’s vulnerable citizens.

The Saskatoon Tribal Health Bus is a “fully loaded RV” with three slide-outs, three satellite televisions, operated by touchscreen technology, with a full kitchen and dental office. The bus is complemented by a trailer that’s well equipped to offer sport and recreation camp for Indigenous children during the summer months. That’s in addition to a patient assessment tent for medical treatment of members of all ages of the participating First Nation communities.

STC Health Bus 3

In announcing the launch of the Saskatoon Tribal Health Bus and Medavie’s support of the Drive for Kids Campaign, MHS Vice President Matt Crossman said it was “an amazing honour to be part an initiative that is committed to collaborating with local community partners to make Saskatoon a better place to live.”

MHS West comprises of four western Emergency Medical Services (EMS) companies in northeastern Alberta, central Alberta, Saskatoon and Moose Jaw, and is a subsidiary of Medavie Health Services, a national primary health care solutions organization and the largest contracted provider of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) management services in Canada. MHS, together with Medavie Blue Cross, a premier all-in-one benefits carrier and public health program administrator, form Medavie, a trusted, national health solutions partner.

“It takes a community to make changes.”

Kayla MacKay, Possibilities Recovery Centre, bus partner

Both the Saskatoon and Saskatoon Tribal Health buses are shining examples of Medavie’s mission in motion to improve the wellbeing of Canadians. They also demonstrate Medavie’s commitment to delivering innovative programs beyond hospital walls to patients’ homes and communities.

This is not the first time MHS West teams has partnered with the Saskatoon Tribal Council. Earlier this year, the two teamed up to bring over 28,000 vaccines directly to people in communities.

“These are the kind innovative health care programs are helping people living in rural, remote communities stay healthy and access care.”

Matt Crossman, Vice President, Medavie Health Services

This program could, in the minds of all partners, “re-define the role of rural and remote health care for First Nation communities.”

Crossman commended the Saskatoon Tribal Council, the province and government of Saskatchewan and Synergy 8 for demonstrating “inspiring leadership and an unwavering commitment to the health and safety of our communities.

To learn more about how MHS West is moving health care in the right direction, one kilometre at a time, watch this introductory video to the Saskatoon Tribal Health Bus and Drive for Kids Campaign.


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