Mobile Addictions Clinic Pilot Project Underway

Submitted by: Prairie Mountain Health

In partnership with Health Canada and Shared Health, Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) has commenced a pilot project to further enhance access to addictions services within the health region. With the support of $897,416 from Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program (SUAP), and in collaboration with local health partners and stakeholders, PMH is offering mobile Rapid Access to Addiction Medicine (RAAM) clinic days in three communities: Wuskwi Siphik (weekly) and Russell and Virden (bi-weekly).

“I feel the Mobile RAAM Clinic pilot project in our community is truly a blessing! With the assistance of PMH and the clinic staff we can help our community members to survive and possibly live a longer life,” said Cynthia Munro, Health Director, Wuskwi Sipihk First Nation.

Mobile RAAM Clinics feature a staffing complement consisting of a physician, nursing staff, rehabilitation counsellors, and administration support. On clinic days, nursing staff and rehabilitation counsellors, with experience in harm reduction, will travel to the local health care clinic to provide services. “The PMH staff, doctors and nurses are very friendly and wonderful to work with,” said Munro. “The community members are very grateful to have this health project in our own community.”

A physician will be present (in-person or by virtual means) on the first day of each clinic in each community. The team clinic approach supports ‘in-community’ services and builds capacity for local primary health-care providers to manage ongoing treatment of all substance use disorders, including the use of Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT). “The mentoring that is being provided to our Nurse Practitioner will give her the ability to assist our members in the areas of harm reduction. She will also be able to manage ongoing treatment of the substance disorders for our clients,” explained Munro.

The mobile clinic project is an extension of the RAAM model, first introduced to Manitoba in 2018. Service delivery is based on improving access to addiction medicine through low barrier walk-in clinics. People can visit to get help for substance use without an appointment or formal referral. There are currently six site-based clinics located in Manitoba, including one in Brandon at the 7th Street Health Access Centre.
To view the RAAM Clinic schedules within Prairie Mountain Health, visit the PMH website here.