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New community health center coming to Victoria

People and families in Victoria will soon have more access to everyday primary health-care services with the opening of the new Luther Court Community Health Center (CHC).

Services will start on Wednesday, March 16, 2022, before the completion of the expansion of and renovation to the CHC.

Work is underway to create 260 square meters (2,800 square feet) of purpose-built clinical space at Luther Court’s current location at 1525 Cedar Hill Cross Rd. The center is expected to open in June 2022 and will be running at full capacity by 2024- 25.

The Luther Court CHC team will first expand to include a physician and three nurses who will begin attaching patients and offering virtual appointments next week. Patients needing in-person care will be able to receive services at a temporary space off site. The expansion will also add more registered nurses and other allied health providers to the team.

“We are thrilled that Luther Court Society is already starting the work to connect people in Victoria with health-care services they need in preparation for the completion of the community health centre’s renovation,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “As the society adds a community health center to its existing services, residents will have one more place to go to get the everyday health care they need closer to home.”

Once the center opens in its main location, an addition of approximately nine full-time equivalent clinical health-care providers will be recruited to join Luther Court’s existing staff to provide comprehensive primary care services with an emphasis on seniors and people living with mental-health and substance-use conditions. The team will include family physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, a licensed practical nurse, a mental-health and substance-use worker, a community health outreach worker, a dietitian and an occupational therapist.

In addition, approximately six full-time equivalent support staff, including a primary health-care director, will assist the clinical care team to offer health promotion and wellness services and to increase access to intergenerational housing.

The center will begin by opening Monday to Thursday from 8 am to 8 pm, Friday 8 am to 4 pm and Saturday 8 am to 12 pm

The BC government will provide more than $2.2 million in operating budget once the center reaches full capacity. The Province also provided one-time funding of more than $2.1 million for the renovation costs.

“We know in Victoria it is often challenging for people to get the health care they need at the time they need it most,” said Rob Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake. “Addressing this challenge, the new community health center is a crucial part of government’s commitment to deliver better and faster access to health care everywhere in the province.”

“People in Greater Victoria deserve high-quality and accessible health care and that’s why our government has been working hard to create solutions that meet their needs,” said Murray Rankin, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head. “BC’s primary care strategy builds on the good work community organizations like Luther Court are already doing and will help our families and seniors.”

Community health centers are not-for-profit or co-operative health-care organizations that deliver integrated, people-centered services and programs that reflect the needs of the communities they serve.

Since 1979, the Luther Court Society has offered an innovative model of care to improve the quality of life for seniors by providing housing options, care services and community interaction. The society is recognized for supporting older people to live and age in place, and provides a variety of programs such as long-term care and independent and assisted living services. An affordable intergenerational housing project is also in the planning.

Luther Court Society has long-standing collaborations with local community groups and organizations, with post-secondary partners for learning placements and has memberships in several collectives such as the BC Association of Community Health Centres. Recognized as a local health hub, the expansion of Luther Court to become a community health center will help to increase access to primary care, health promotion and wellness services, further supporting the needs of the community.

The Luther Court CHC is a collaboration between the Ministry of Health, Island Health, Victoria Division of Family Practice and the Luther Court Society and will provide comprehensive primary care services to the local community. It will be part of the Victoria Primary Care Network and will be governed, owned and operated by the Luther Court Society.

Quick Facts:

  • There are approximately 100 health authority-run community health centers and 30 community-governed community health centers in British Columbia.
  • These centers focus on integrating services and programs in primary care, health promotion and community well-being, as well as working to address social determinants of health.

LearnMore:

To learn more about the Province’s primary care strategy, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018PREM0034-001010

To learn more about the Luther Court Society, visit: https://luthercourt.org/

A backgrounder follows.

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