Healthcare First: Improving access to healthcare for the homeless and vulnerably housed in Niagara

Healthcare First: Improving access to healthcare for the homeless and vulnerably housed in Niagara

The HEART project demonstrated that there are significant challenges to healthcare for the homeless in the Niagara Region, especially with regard to access and discharge from hospitals, adequate and comprehensive psychiatric and mental health services across service providers, and availability and continuity of care from family doctors. The regional health system, community health leaders, social service agencies, and other stakeholders should consider targeted research and policy interventions to address issues of access to hospital- and community-based care for the homeless in Niagara. The HEART program’s innovative ‘patient-centered policy-making’ approach combines participatory action research, public advocacy, and research-based, ‘legislative’ theatre to achieve this goal. This report recommends eight policy solutions that were generated by the homeless community, healthcare providers, and medical and nursing students in St. Catharines, ON. They were assisted by a panel of expert policymakers from the HNHB LHIN, Niagara Health, social service agencies, municipal and regional government, and the community.

ORGANIZATION: McMaster University – Niagara Campus
PUBLICATION DATE: 2017
LOCATION: Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada