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Ally Centre of Cape Breton


Mobile clinic offering 'non-stigmatizing' care expands services in Cape Breton Social Sharing

The Ally Centre is branching out to more communities

ally centre mobile clinic

The rolling health centre will be able to travel to various communities within the CBRM. (Matthew Moore/CBC)

A mobile clinic in Cape Breton has expanded its services, including the recent addition of an outreach nurse to bring health care to the streets in more communities.

Sharon MacKenzie said the rolling health centre allows her to be proactive by going where the need is, making it easier for people who might be nervous accessing services in the traditional way.

"People can access anything from a cup of coffee to overdose prevention and naloxone," MacKenzie said. "It's really meeting people where they are in the communities in which they live.

The mobile clinic, offered through the Ally Centre of Cape Breton, is able to travel to various communities within the CBRM, including New Waterford, Sydney Mines, North Sydney, Glace Bay and the north end of Sydney. The Ally Centre is a non-profit organization based in Sydney that helps people with mental health, addiction and homelessness issues.

Nova Scotia Health said it is providing the centre with funding and evaluation support for a one-year outreach health project.

Bridging gaps

The mobile clinic has been able to deliver flu shots and provide education across the CBRM.

MacKenzie said the type of care provided through the clinic bridges gaps within communities.

"Without the infrastructure that connects all these little towns, there's no transportation," she said. "We need to go there and help them feel connected or get them connected."

sharon mackenzie

Outreach nurse Sharon MacKenzie says the mobile clinic allows her to help people in their own communities. (Matthew Moore/CBC)

The clinic also travels with peer-support workers who have been staffing the mobile since last December.

Those workers have lived experience, MacKenzie said, which means they understand first hand the struggles many people face when trying to access primary care.

"Everyone has a right to receive health care in a non-stigmatizing, non-judgmental way," MacKenzie said.

"People that are experiencing challenges have a say in how their problems are addressed collectively, and that their voices are heard and listened to."

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Hours of Operation

Sharp Advice Needle Exchange
Monday to Friday 9:00 to 4:00 & 6:00 - 8:00

Ally Drop-in
Monday to Friday 10:00 to 12:00 & 2:00 - 4:00

SWEEP (Sex Workers Support):
Saturday and Sunday from 4:00 to 7:00

Health Clinic:
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 to 4:00

Anonymous and Confidential STBBI Testing
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 to 2:00

Take Home Naloxone Program
Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 4:00

Coordinated Access (Homelessness)
Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 4:00

Street Health Nurse
Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 5:00

Operates Monday to Thursday - 10:00 to 4:00

Monday – Sydney/Whitney Pier
Loaves and Fishes in the morning and Whitney Pier in the afternoon

Tuesday - North Sydney/Sydney Mines
Platinum Fitness in the morning and St. Pius X Sydney Mines in the afternoon

Wednesday – Glace Bay
Opioid Recovery, Union St in the morning, Sterling Mall in the afternoon

Thursday – New Waterford
Plummer Avenue all day

Funding Provided By

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Nova Scotia Health and Wellness
Public Health Agency of Canada
Reaching Home, Canada’s Homeless Strategy
Nova Scotia Health Authority

With Contributions From

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Feed Nova Scotia
Canadian Women’s Foundation
East Cape Breton County Community Health Board
Central Cape Breton County Community Health Board
Victoria County Community Health Board
Northside The Lakes Community Health Board


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