Who Works on the Frontlines of Health in Canada?
Pioneers in their own right, healthcare practitioners working on the frontlines are constantly challenged to find new and creative ways to care for the people in their communities. They are remarkable individuals: driven, dedicated and resourceful. They are often under-supported and isolated from their peers. And they certainly are not recognized for their efforts. They frequently find themselves on the margins of the system, alongside the people they serve.
Who is Working on the Frontlines of Health in Canada?
They are street nurses who hit the pavement with backpacks of supplies: condoms, crack kits, syringes and donated medicines are crammed next to nutrition bars, bottled water, shampoo and toothpaste. They are doctors in remote towns faced with higher than average rates of smoking, alcoholism and obesity and significantly higher mortality rates. They are nurse practitioners working in a clinic set up to serve 700 but that must provide service to a widely dispersed Northern community of 60,0001. They are inner city hospital physicians, learning how to adjust pain treatment for addicts and address the diverse health needs of a growing homeless population.
They work in completely different worlds: from the downtown streets of our busiest cities to the most isolated, northern communities. They serve the needs of street youth, people with mental illness, aboriginal elders or isolated seniors. But they all share a passion for their work and a common understanding that everyone who seeks healthcare not only deserves equal access to medical treatment, but equal dignity and respect. This belief may be what makes them such innovative and creative thinkers. Determined to improve the health of their patients, frontline healthcare practitioners have developed solutions that are truly unique in Canada and in the world. They are leaders. And they are making a difference.
Frontline Health celebrates their success, shines the light on their stories and supports their efforts to move beyond the boundaries of mainstream healthcare and improve the health of millions of Canadians.
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