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Annual Report

Community Health Centre a model for care

L-R: Dr. Eddy Campbell, Dr. Patricia Seaman, Amanda Eng, Joan Kingston and Graeme Smith

A key teaching and community resource for Fredericton's Faculty of Nursing, the Fredericton Downtown Community Health Centre has expanded to a permanent location.

Since 2002, the University of New Brunswick, the Government of New Brunswick and the Horizon Health Network have partnered to provide healthcare services to thousands of low-income and homeless patients and created educational opportunities for hundreds of UNB nursing students.

Over the last 15 years, the centre has occupied a series of temporary sites in the downtown area. In 2017, the key teaching and community resource expanded to a new location in the core of Downtown Fredericton.

The newly renovated location at 339 King St. creates new possibilities for the Fredericton Downtown Community Health Centre. The permanent location is better equipped to serve the needs of vulnerable populations living in the heart of the city and can increase the opportunities for student learning.

UNB nurse manager Joan Kingston says that the new location is large enough for the Fredericton Downtown Community Health Centre to double the members of its interdisciplinary health team.

Ms. Kingston adds this integration of service, learning and research in a community health centre is unique in Canada. Similar models exist across Canada, but the Downtown Fredericton Community Health Centre’s outreach and collaboration components are distinct.

“To my knowledge, our clinic is the only one in Canada to offer a community access room, which allows patients to shower, use laundry facilities and access a full kitchen,” said Ms. Kingston. “We have the health of the whole person in mind with our outreach services and we’ve already had positive feedback from our patients and community partners. It is our hope that the Fredericton Downtown Community Health Centre becomes a model for other clinics across Canada.”

The new location officially opened in March 2017. The grand opening also served as the celebration of the centre and the donors who made it possible.

The T.R. Meighen Family Foundation’s gift to UNB’s last fundraising campaign, Forging Our Futures, helped develop and sustain the centre. Over the years, many more donors, including Lois Walker Gillin, an honorary member of UNB’s Associated Alumni since 2011, and Graham Farquharson (class of 1964), who received an honorary degree from UNB in 2011, stepped forward to help the centre evolve into what it has become today.

“The Fredericton Downtown Community Health Centre is an example of how donors fuelled an idea at UNB and it grew into a much larger partnership,” says UNB President Eddy Campbell. “The centre has become a vital part of Fredericton’s health-care delivery system, and will continue to prepare our students to succeed in the world.”