RAAM Clinic Receives Transformative Change Award 2019

Thunder Bay, Ontario, August 9, 2019 – Thunder Bay’s Rapid Access Addiction Medicine Clinic (RAAM Clinic) was recently awarded a Transformative Change Award 2019 by the Alliance for Healthier Communities at a national Community Health Connections conference in Ottawa.

The RAAM Clinic is a collaboration of seven community partners providing addictions medicine and client supports for individuals with substance use issues. Launched in 2018, the RAAM Clinic aims to tackle Thunder Bay’s elevated rates of opioid and alcohol abuse, and support overdose prevention as a community-wide effort.

The RAAM Clinic is offered through two main sites in Thunder Bay at NorWest Community Health Centres and St. Joseph’s Care Group’s Balmoral Centre. Individuals aged 16 years and over can access services at any time through health care provider referral or without an appointment as a self-referral or on a walk-in basis.

Says Juanita Lawson, CEO of NorWest Community Health Centres; “There are several clinical and service features that make the RAAM Clinic transformative. As a group of community partners, our goal was to design a service model that would be accessible, barrier free and relevant to people living with addictions. We are honoured to have been recognized by our peers for this innovative work.”

The Transformative Change Awards celebrate exceptional organizations whose innovative projects improve the health and well-being of people in our communities who face barriers to health.

Says Nancy Chamberlain, CEO of Thunder Bay Counselling: “The RAAM Clinic is about breaking down walls and focusing efforts on what people struggling with addictions really need. Evidence shows us that timely access to treatment and peer support from individuals with lived addictions experience are two key essential factors. Thunder Bay Counselling is proud to part of this collaborative community model to provider faster and better access to addictions services in Thunder Bay.”

Says Nancy Black, Vice President, Addictions & Mental Health at St. Joseph’s Care Group; “The RAAM Clinic is a welcoming and safe space where individuals who are struggling with addictions can receive medical treatment, counselling and peer support. This community collaboration supports client centred care by focusing on personal goals and individual needs.”

The RAAM Clinic is a collaboration of the following organizations: St Joseph’s Care Group (RAAM Clinic site), NorWest Community Health Centres (RAAM Clinic site), Dilico Anishinabek Family Care, People Advocating for Change through Empowerment, Thunder Bay Counselling, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and Thunder Bay Drug Strategy.