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Associated Alumni

UNB nursing clinic moves to permanent location

(UNB President Eddy Campbell, Pat Seaman, acting dean of nursing; Amanda Eng, nursing student; Joan Kingston, co-nurse manager (UNB); and Graeme Smith, co-nurse manager (Horizon))

A key teaching and community resource for UNB Fredericton’s faculty of nursing now has a larger, improved home thanks to a partnership with Horizon Health Network and the Government of New Brunswick, and support from numerous donors.

The Fredericton Downtown Community Health Centre (FDCHC) delivers an integrated program in which primary health-care services, teaching and research are combined. When it opened in 2002, the centre was one of only a few such integrated service-learning facilities in the nation and the only one with a focus on primary health care for the chronically ill. In 15 years, it has delivered care to thousands of low-income and homeless patients and created educational opportunities for hundreds of UNB students.

Over the years, the FDCHC has occupied a series of temporary sites in the downtown area. With the grand opening of its newly-renovated location at 339 King St., the centre now has a permanent location, one that is better equipped to serve the needs of vulnerable populations living in the heart of the city and increase the opportunities for student learning.

Nurse Manager Joan Kingston (BN'78) says that the new location is large enough for the FDCHC to double the members of its interdisciplinary health team.

“Nursing students, faculty and the clinic’s embedded clinician researcher are now able to learn and work alongside nurse practitioners, physicians, social workers, occupational therapists, dietitians, respiratory therapists, psychologists and infectious disease experts,” says Joan Kingston, co-nurse manager. “This full integration allows students and faculty to understand the broad spectrum of health-care delivery and allows for a seamless integration of service for patients.”

This integration of service, learning and research in a community health centre is unique in Canada. While similar models exist across Canada, the FDCHC’s outreach and intersectoral collaboration are distinct.

“To my knowledge, our centre 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,” says 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 FDCHC becomes a model for other centres across Canada.”

The new location was officially opened on March 14 by New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant. The grand opening was an opportunity to celebrate FDCHC’s achievements and to recognize the lead donors who made it possible.

“The centre is an example of how donors fueled 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." 

Back to Alumni News Direct - March 2017