Dr. Mariana Jacubovich, Family Physician in East Toronto and member of East Toronto Family Practice Network, holds a box of Paxlovid pills.
June 13, 2022 (Toronto, ON) – East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP), the Ontario Health Team (OHT) serving East Toronto, is expanding its health services at COVID-19 Outreach Centres to offer prescriptions for COVID-19 treatments, including the Paxlovid pill; mental health counselling; and other services that support COVID-19 recovery and help priority communities in East Toronto better prepare for additional waves of the virus. The Michael Garron Hospital Clinical Assessment Centre has offered prescriptions for COVID-19 treatment since January 2022 and will continue to do so.
Low barrier ‘one-stop shops’ for COVID-19 community supports and resources
The addition of COVID-19 treatment, mental health counselling and other supports at ETHP’s COVID-19 Outreach Centres located in (1) Taylor Massey (Crescent Town); (2) Thorncliffe Park; and (3) Flemingdon Park, helps strengthen these sites as low-barrier one-stop shops for COVID-19 resources.
They are situated in neighbourhoods where data indicates historically high incidences of COVID-19 and low vaccination rates. The locations are familiar to local residents and easily accessible by foot, bike or transit.
|Taylor-Massey (Crescent Town)
|Address: 4 The Market Place,
East York, ON, M4C 5M1
Located inside Crescent Town Health Centre. Use side entrance next to DrugSmart Pharmacy.
|Address: 45 Overlea Blvd. Toronto, ON M4H 1C3
Thorncliffe Park Community Hub, located at the east end of East York Town Centre.
|Address: 10 Gateway Blvd., Unit 100A, North York, ON M3C 3A1
Located to the right of the apartment entrance.
|Hours vary at each location for different services. Please see ethp.ca/CovidOutreachCentres for more information.
These services will be offered alongside COVID-19 PCR tests, assessments, take-home PCR test kits and vaccines, which have been available at ETHP’s COVID-19 Outreach Centres since as early as May 2020. In the coming months, ETHP member organizations will work together to introduce other services that support COVID-19 recovery, such as preventative cancer screening.
Many of these services are available by walk-in. This aligns with ETHP’s equity-driven COVID-19 response and approach to service delivery, which aims to ensure people in East Toronto who were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic can easily and conveniently get the COVID-19 supports they need close to home.
Bringing COVID-19 treatment close to home
The extension of this service to ETHP’s COVID-19 Outreach Centres helps ensure individuals who are at higher risk of becoming seriously sick or hospitalized from COVID-19, including seniors and people who are immunocompromised, can get the help they need in a timely, accessible manner.
This helps improve health outcomes in vulnerable populations infected with COVID-19. It also helps build capacity in hospitals and other sectors as the province enters COVID-19 recovery and prepares for additional waves of the virus.
Mental health counselling and other supports
The introduction of mental health counselling at the COVID-19 Outreach Centre in Taylor-Massey offers support to individuals who may be experiencing anxiety, grief, loss or other mental health-related issues.
The Taylor-Massey location is part of a larger comprehensive primary care service delivery model for this neighbourhood that will help people in Taylor-Massey more easily access primary care and social services.
In the coming months, ETHP member organizations will work together to introduce mental health counselling to other COVID-19 Outreach Centre locations.
The addition of other services, such as preventative cancer screening, will be based on available health utilization data, which helps identify opportunities for improvements in care in communities where support is needed most.
This helps connect people to broader health services that enable COVID-19 recovery and improves health outcomes in East Toronto. It also helps forward ETHP’s Collaborative Quality Improvement Plan (cQIP) and mission of creating an integrated system of care across its communities.
Collaboration key to success of centres
ETHP’s COVID-19 Outreach Centres are staffed by trusted local family doctors and nurses who are able to answer questions and share reliable, science-based information about COVID-19, vaccines and treatments.
The COVID-19 Outreach Centres were developed collaboratively by local patient and caregiver advisors and ETHP member organizations that serve the areas the centres are located in. These organizations include East Toronto Family Practice Network, Flemingdon Health Centre, Health Access Thorncliffe Park, Michael Garron Hospital, TNO – The Neighbourhood Organization and WoodGreen Community Services.
Working with community ambassadors, these organizations also support the operations and promotion of the sites. Support is provided by Ontario Health.
ETHP’s COVID-19 Outreach Centres build on the existing infrastructure of temporary COVID-19 testing sites operated by ETHP since as early as May 2020. COVID-19 vaccines were introduced to these sites in August 2021.
“The introduction of treatment, mental health counselling and other services to our COVID-19 Outreach Centres represents the next evolution of these sites as hospital, primary care and community partners continue our work across East Toronto to improve the way people find and get care. We look forward to working with partners to explore additional services that will benefit local residents, including better connecting people with primary care, as we continue to navigate this virus.”
– Dr. Catherine Yu, Family Physician, Health Access Thorncliffe Park and Physician Lead, East Toronto Family Practice Network, member organizations of ETHP
“During the pandemic, people in Flemingdon Park have been at increased risk of COVID-19 due to a number of socioeconomic factors and structural barriers. We’re pleased to support the rollout of COVID-19 treatment and other services at the COVID-19 Outreach Centre in the neighbourhood to help ensure our community can continue to get the help they need both during and beyond COVID-19.”
– Jen Quinlan, CEO, Flemingdon Health Centre, a member organization of ETHP
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen firsthand the importance of addressing barriers to care so local residents can easily get the testing, vaccines and other supports they need. By strategically bringing COVID-19 treatment, mental health counselling and other services to our COVID-19 Outreach Centres during a time when COVID-19 cases are lower, local residents will be able to get the care they need through low-barrier pathways in their own backyard if and when Ontario sees additional waves of the virus in the fall.”
– Phillip Anthony, Manager, Mobile Crisis Intervention Team (MCIT) and Community Outreach, Michael Garron Hospital, a member organization of ETHP
“We have residents in Thorncliffe and Flemingdon Park who can’t afford to take time off work to get a PCR test, vaccine or treatment, or don’t have anyone to care for their children, while they go get these supports. Removing barriers by bringing these services close to home, somewhere they can easily walk, bike or bus to is important. We’re proud to support our partners in this work and will continue to mobilize our staff and community ambassadors to share information about COVID-19 and this site.”
– Karma Lhamo, Manager, Community Development and Special Projects, TNO – The Neighbourhood Organization, a member organization of ETHP
“COVID-19 has not impacted everyone equally. We have seen some groups, including seniors, racialized populations and newcomers, bear the brunt of this pandemic. By continuing to operate and evolve these COVID-19 Outreach Centres close to where these groups live, we hope to improve health equity and outcomes for all. WoodGreen is especially pleased to be extending its mental health counselling service to the Taylor-Massey COVID-19 Outreach Centre, which will help support individuals experiencing grief, anxiety, stress and other mental health-related issues.”
– Irina Sytcheva, Director: Mental Health, Addictions, and Developmental Services, WoodGreen, a member organization of ETHP
About East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP)
East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP), the Ontario Health Team (OHT) serving East Toronto, is a group of more than 50 community, primary care, home care, hospital and social services organizations in East Toronto working together to create an integrated system of care across our communities. Collectively, ETHP is responsible for providing care and support to the 300,000 individuals who live in East Toronto communities, as well as an additional 75,000 clients who choose to receive health care in the local area. Clients, family members and caregivers are partners in every aspect of the development of ETHP, working together to improve the way East Toronto residents access and receive care. Visit ethp.ca to learn more.