Queen’s Family Health Team (QFHT) strives to provide excellent multidisciplinary patient-centered primary healthcare to all comers. Within this framework, the role of the Global Health program is to be ever vigilant to apply a health equity lens to all quality improvement initiatives and services delivered through QFHT.
Specifically, the Global Health program recognizes that due to inequality with respect to the social determinants of health, power imbalances and structural violence within our society, some people suffer from poorer health and reduced access to healthcare services. QFHT believes that extra effort should be expended to assist such individuals in maximizing their potential for good health.
The Global Health program supports initiatives within the Department and QFHT to investigate how to better access patients with low literacy, survivors of trauma, or persons facing economic, housing, transportation, and food security barriers, among others.
This portal serves to illustrate some of the clinical initiatives relevant to health equity ongoing within QFHT and the Department, and is also a repository for resources for patients facing equity barriers to health and for the staff supporting them.
Immigrant Health and Cancer Screening
Beginning of initiative: April 2015
Studies show that immigrants to Canada are less likely to be screened for cancer than the non-immigrant population. The immigrant cancer screening initiative lead by a Queen’s MPH student under the supervision of Dr Eva Purkey seeks to determine screening rates for cervical cancer, colon cancer and breast cancer among the adult immigrant population at QFHT compared with the non-immigrant population. Should these rates be found to be substantially lower, as is the case in general in Canada, efforts will be made to reach this population through the implementation of culturally appropriate messaging, and outreach to community organizations, among others.
Primary Care Interventions into Poverty
Beginning of initiative: May 2015
The Ontario College of Family Physicians developed a program called Treating Poverty: a Workshop for Family Physicians. The Department of Family Medicine piloted this workshop for PGY-2 residents in May 2015, and is hoping to host it for QFHT physicians and staff as well as for community physicians in the upcoming months. DFM may partner with KFL&A to study the effectiveness of this intervention within the Kingston family medicine community.
Refugee Health Initiative
Queen’s Family Health Team (QFHT) faculty, residents and staff recognize and acknowledge the importance of responding to humanitarian situations, as well as the importance of collaborating with our community partners with the current national resettlement initiative. With this in mind, a number of QFHT physicians, along with the physicians from Kingston Community Health Centers (KCHC), and other primary care providers in the community, have agreed, when called upon, to assist refugee families to ensure they are receiving appropriate and necessary care to manage their health and prevent any worsening of health outcomes.
Understanding Patient Demographics at QFHT
In order to better target our services to our patient population, we are collecting optional information on patients' country of origin, indigenous identity, and spoken languages to be sure that we are better able to provide the care patients need.
The following is a list of helpful organizations for staff and patients in the Kingston community:
- CLEO - Community Legal Education Ontario: Provides legal resources including those related to abuse and violence, health and disability, immigration and refugee claims, housing, criminal concerns, etc
- HARS - HIV Aids Regional Services: Provides comprehensive HIV / AIDS education and support programs, and limited Hepatitis C services to the Kingston, Belleville, Brockville and Sharbot Lake regions.
- Home-Based Housing: Provides housing support, emergency shelter, and supportive housing, as well as a resource centre linking to many housing related supports in Kingston.
- Independent Living Centre Kingston: Provides a variety of resources and support including but not limited to information about services in the community and help with using it, peer support, assistance for agencies and other organizations, including support with Independent Living, income, savings and tax-related information and support, and volunteering for those with disabilities.
- ISKA - Immigrant Services for Kingston and Area: Provides settlement services and immigrants and refugees in Kingston, as well as a variety of programs and groups.
- K3C - Kingston Community Counselling Centres: Provides many different counselling programs including credit counselling, child and youth counselling, personal counselling, relationship counselling, counselling for survivors of sexual violence, etc.
KCHC - Kingston Community Health Centres: Provides care for individuals and families and responds to neighborhood concerns to improve health and to build healthy communities. Some programs include Better Beginnings and Dental Health (Healthy Smiles).
- KFL&A - Kingston Frontenac and Lexingston & Addington Public Health: Provides programs on nutrition and food safety, raising healthy babies and children, sexual health, smoking cessation, and many other public health areas.
- KIH - Kingston Interval House: Provides emergency shelter and housing support for women and children experiencing violence, as well as free counselling services for women and children
- SACK - Sexual Assault Centre Kingston: Provides free individual and group counselling for female survivors of sexual violence, legal and medical support, as well as community education and advocacy, and a 24 hour crisis support line
- Pathways for Children and Youth: Provides support for children and youth with behaviour or emotions difficulties, mental health problems such as depression, withdrawal, or aggression, struggles with family violence, abuse, family distress, trauma, substance abuse, or parent-child conflict.