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‘Health on the Move’ in the North Zone

Mobile health van provides residents with increased access to healthcare services and information

Thanks to a generous donation from the Suncor Energy Foundation to the Northern Lights Health Foundation a new Alberta Health Services (AHS) mobile health van has launched in the North Zone, providing residents with increased access to an array of health services, information and resources.

The van, operating with the tagline ‘Health on the Move’, has capacity to offer immunizations, cancer screenings (oral, prostate and cervical), Early Childhood Intervention Program assessments, oral health assessments for children and vulnerable populations, and health promotion education/resources.

“We’re extremely excited to bring ‘Health on the Move’ to residents in the North Zone. In launching the van, we’re now able to reach more residents in rural and remote areas with the health services and care that they need,” says Jennifer Splaine, Area Manager, Population and Public Health, Fort McMurray.

The van, formerly used for cancer screening and prevention activities, was rebranded thanks to a generous donation from the Suncor Energy Foundation (SEF). The SEF donated $110,000 to the Northern Lights Health Foundation (NLHF) for the purchase and outfitting of the unit for the AHS North Zone Population and Public Health team.  

Residents will easily spot AHS’ blue and green brand colours on the van. The phrase ‘Health on the Move’ is also visible on the driver and passenger side, and on the roof. The unit also acknowledges First Nations, Metis, Inuit, and both supporting Foundations.

 “The van can used for point of care services, health promotion activities and initiatives, or even at community events and celebrations,” notes Splaine.

The van launched in early June, first providing services in Janvier and Conklin. In mid-June, it was then set up in Paddle Prairie to provide mental health services and resources for residents, who were re-entering the community after being evacuated due to a nearby wildfire. 

“When the van was used in Paddle Prairie, particularly in a time of need, residents were able to access the health services that they needed, when they needed it. There’s so many different opportunities and benefits in using the van,” continued Splaine.

With space for a driver and passenger, the van can be booked and used by any AHS department in the North Zone. The van is already outfitted with an examination bed, stool, desk area and cabinets. Each AHS department using it is responsible for outfitting the van with additional materials and resources.

 “We’re eager to see the positive impacts the mobile health unit will have in the North Zone, particularly in being able to offer increased access to excellent healthcare services for residents,” says Cindy Amerongen, NLHF Executive Director.

“This wouldn’t be possible without the generous and thoughtful donation from the Suncor Energy Foundation. We thank them once again for supporting healthcare in the region.”

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