Leamington pop-up clinic combines COVID-19 vaccines with other health supports

·2 min read
A new model of a pop-up clinic - targeting the most vulnerable populations in the region - ran for 3 days, ending July 9, 2021 at 7 p.m. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC - image credit)
A new model of a pop-up clinic - targeting the most vulnerable populations in the region - ran for 3 days, ending July 9, 2021 at 7 p.m. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC - image credit)

A new vaccine clinic - focused on regional hot zones - popped up in Leamington for three days this week and it offered more than just COVID-19 shots.

From Wednesday through Friday the Community Response and Stabilization team, run by Erie Shores HealthCare and EMS, operated the clinic. It offered vaccines along with health, dental and translation support for vulnerable communities.

Marta Morales, a temporary foreign worker (TFW) in Leamington, said she came to the clinic because it offered translation services. She's one of several TFWs from the area who took advantage of the clinic's services.

"I'm okay! Muy bien!" said Morales.

"Interpreters make everything go more smoothly and easier and faster," said Martin Varela, chair of the Migrant Workers Community Program, a local charity which was on site. He says having language services helped maximize the outreach, to get the most possible vaccinations complete.

Katerina Georgieva/CBC
Katerina Georgieva/CBC

The clinic offers a unique structure by focusing on the hot zones, such as regions where migrant workers live and provides a number of services, along with vaccines.

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) was on site offering mental health supports, and the Windsor Essex County Health Unit offered dental care.

Claudia den Boer, CEO of the CMHA Windsor-Essex branch, said the idea is to make it as easy as possible for people to access care, by bringing services directly to them.

"What we're doing is part of our strategy to eliminate barriers," said den Boer. "To really bring the vaccination and the wraparound supports to and into these communities."

Andrea Lukos, a coordinated access worker for the CMHA said many people who came in were anxious, so additional supports were provided while patients wait to be vaccinate.

"We talk about different things to help alleviate some of their anxiety and we're able to provide additional support afterwards if needed," said Lukos.

Katerina Georgieva/CBC
Katerina Georgieva/CBC

Karen Angel, from the Consulate of Mexico in Leamington, was available for help with translations.

"Anything regarding the documentation, if they have any questions about the employment rules, contracts, we're there for support," said Angel.

The additional support and the access to vaccines made Morales feel much better about this year.

"This year is better, thank God with the vaccinations," Morales told CBC News through a translator. "The conditions are little bit better, a little bit more back to normal."

The pop-up clinic ran for just three days, and closes Friday at 7pm but health officials say this model will likely be expanded to other regions.

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