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  • Nursing student in the SPANS program at Lethbridge University.

  • Aboriginal nursing students collecting herbs, Lethbridge, Alberta

    The SPANS project assists and encourages aboriginal health practitioners to complete their studies and work in their own communities.

  • A First Nations reserve near Lethbridge Alberta

  • Homeless man passing a Starbucks, Toronto

  • Dr. Jeff Turnbull sees a mentally ill patient

    Jeff Turnbull is the driving force behind the Ottawa Inner City Health organization that services primarily the homeless individuals living on the street.

  • Aboriginal artist Normee Ekoomiak, a patient of Dr. Turnbull's

  • Dr. Michael Jong, Goose Bay

  • Caledonia, Nova Scotia

    Caledonia, Nova Scotia is a small but determined community in the North Queens region. Like other rural towns in Canada, they faced the dual challenges of finding and keeping healthcare practitioners. They had succeeded very well at the first. They had two full-time doctors and a nurse practitioner, all deeply committed to working and living in the area. The care they provided had become integral to the quality of life in the community, but their working conditions were far from ideal. The doctors worked out of a renovated double-wide traier and the nurse practitionere worked in a much smaller trailer next door that lacked both heat and running water. People throughout the community of Caledonia rallied behind thir healthcare team and built a new, state-of-the-art community healthcare centre.

  • Caledonia, Nova Scotia

    A child is vaccinated while her parents wince in the Caledonia Health center.

  • Caledonia, Nova Scotia

    A nurse practitioner visits a young mother and her son living in a small farmhouse near Caledonia.

  • Caledonia, Nova Scotia

The Frontline Health Program is dedicated to advancing the capacity to serve those who are beyond the reaches of Canada's mainstream healthcare system. All across Canada exceptional and dedicated health practitioners are creating alternatives to the mainstream of healthcare in order to reach underserved populations. These  people may be living in isolated areas, or fall through the cracks of our system for a number of other reasons. The isolated elderly, the homeless, recent immigrants or people facing language barriers are often at risk. Mobile clinics, outreach programs, specialized education, innovative approaches to healthcare and social issues are all part of this alternate view.

This fascinating project gave me a window into the lives of many remarkable people, on both sides of the healthcare equation. Ric Young  of "The Social Projects Studio" created the media aspect of the Frontline Health program with the support of Astra-Zeneca's CSR gruop.

For more details please visit www.frontlinehealth.ca