KCHC has always placed a huge value on collaboration and connection with community partners, and this year was no different. We are happy to showcase some of the many partnerships we have established and maintained this year.
Integrated Care Hub
The Integrated Care Hub at 661 Montreal Street in Kingston started as a partnership between the City of Kingston, HIV/AIDS Regional Services (HARS), and Kingston Community Health Centres in response to three intersections of crisis within our community: the global health pandemic of COVID-19, a complex housing crisis, and a fatal drug poisoning crisis. Programming and services run seven days a week at this site with KCHC running Consumption and Treatment Services (CTS), while HARS offers supports 23 hours a day with drop-in space and a rest zone along with peer supports and connections to services. The partnership has demonstrated incredible success in engaging some of the most marginalized and vulnerable members of our community and is evolving in include additional community partners providing additional services from the site. It continues to be a safe place that provides the treatment and care clients need. A place that builds community, acceptance and provides access to resources and supports.
The CTS continued work with community partners to develop a truly integrated continuum of care for those who use substances in the community. Over 30 educational events were facilitated by CTS staff as part of this commitment to improve care, reduce stigma and improve partnership opportunities.
NACHC and RFLA
NACHC and RFLA partnered with the Indigenous Inter-professional Primary Care Team to deliver Advanced Foot Care services closer to home. As well, continuing partnerships with community physicians allowed NACHC/RFLA to expand after-hours access and COVID vaccination clinics for the region. NACHC and RFLA providers also supported efforts to vaccinate vulnerable populations in partnership with Morningstar Mission.
Kingston Speaks Inclusion
In 2021, KCHC entered into a unique partnership with Kingston Police to consult with community members to ask how the Kingston Police can build and improve their relationships with the citizens they serve, and to strive for consistent application of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Indigenization and Accessibility (EDIIA) principles in their work. The dedicated team of researchers and facilitators is collecting data, stories and experiences through online surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews, and will produce a final report for the Kingston Police with anonymized data as well as a concrete set of recommendations and calls to action shaped and guided by participants’ voices. The KSI team is committed to remaining involved after this project is over to continue this dialogue with the Kingston Police via their Community Inclusion Council.
Partnerships with OSLER volunteers from Queen’s University evolved into virtual tutoring groups, where youth could access help through Zoom in a safe and supervised environment. Information sessions with partners at English as a Second Language Schools continued to inform newcomers about community services. Most importantly, ISKA continued to foster community connections in a time when people needed it most.
In an effort to reimagine service delivery in a post-pandemic world, ISKA also developed new partnerships with other organizations such as Resolve Counselling Services, Sexual Assault Centre Kingston, Addiction and Mental Health Services, and Queen’s University (via their medical path for newcomers initiative, which helps newcomer youth interested in the medical field understand its career pathways). These partnerships involve these outside agencies coming and offering services at ISKA, which has been a huge help for ISKA’s clients.
Our partnership with Queen’s School of Rehabilitation Therapy and Maple Family Health Team led to the successful roll-out of physiotherapy services available at our Health Hub location (west end Boys and Girls Club). A total of 748 physio appointments were provided to 189 clients of KCHC and Maple Family Health Team over the last year. Because of this successful partnership, we’re expanding services this coming year to include access to respiratory therapy, including spirometry testing, as well as occupational therapy services focused on maternal and child health at our Health Hub location.
Community Food Redistribution Warehouse
Opened in March 2022, the Community Food Redistribution Warehouse (CFRW) is an initiative developed by Lionhearts, Kingston Community Health Centres (KCHC), the City of Kingston and the United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington, with contributions from Rotary in Kingston and many other community partners and stakeholders. This warehouse will facilitate the efficient collection and distribution of large donations of food to frontline agencies in KFL&A who provide meals or food to their program users. The CFRW also has the infrastructure to safely receive and process large scale food donations. It will serve as a mechanism for local organizations to efficiently access food for their clients in a cost-effective manner. KCHC will continue to pack 800+ food boxes for seniors, families and students on a monthly basis at the warehouse.
For 25 years we have been packing and distributing Good Food Boxes and this will be the first time we have had a permanent space, we have been borrowing space from churches and schools. It will be nice to have a home.- Stephanie Wheeler, Community Development Worker
Indigenous Health Council (IHC) Report