A network of family medicine clinics serve Toronto’s inner-city community

Dr. Karen Weyman, Chief of St. Michael’s Hospital Department of Family and Community Medicine, says the hospital provides a sense of connection, particularly for people feeling socially isolated or facing challenges. “We take an equity lens to everything we do, so that each person gets the care they need.”

Thomas Bollmann

What started in the basement of St. Michael’s Hospital in downtown Toronto nearly 50 years ago has evolved into a network of family medicine clinics. Today, six clinics, located in diverse neighbourhoods in downtown east Toronto, serve the needs of more than 50,000 patients, of whom 30 per cent are living with low income.

Dr. Karen Weyman is Chief of St. Michael’s Hospital Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM), which operates the clinics. She says that each location provides comprehensive care, along with various specialties like addiction medicine, HIV and LGBTQ2S+ health – but all have a guiding principle in common.

“We focus on looking after all our patients, with compassion and respect,” she says. “We take an equity lens to everything we do, so that each person gets the care they need.”

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The clinics’ staff of 250, including 80 family physicians and seven nurse practitioners, do that by taking social determinants, like housing, race and income, into account.

For instance, those who can’t afford it have access to physiotherapy, chiropractic, counselling, dental care and legal services. And for those who are having trouble making ends meet, there are staff, known as income support health promoters, who help them negotiate the system.

The department’s work has been so innovative that it was recognized by the World Health Organization for improving primary-care delivery in Toronto’s inner-city community.

For the last eight months, COVID-19 has had a big impact on how care has been provided, according to Dr. Weyman.

“While COVID has affected everyone, it has had a disproportionate impact on people experiencing disadvantage, not only income-wise, but also those living with mental-health conditions, substance-use disorders and HIV,” she notes. “Patients living on lower incomes must go to work and travel to work, putting them at higher risk. And for families living in small spaces, being able to isolate if they need to is difficult.”

COVID-19 has magnified pre-existing challenges of caring for people living in poverty, those experiencing homelesssness or those who face racism, says Dr. Weyman.

“As a society, we can’t ignore social and structural issues that impact people’s health,” she notes. “For instance, patients who don’t have a phone or internet are having more trouble accessing health care.”

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To bridge the gap, within two weeks of the pandemic being declared, St. Michael’s DFCM created a COVID-19 Social Determinants of Health working group. A number of initiatives were launched, including proactive wellness checks for more than 2,000 patients who were especially vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19, providing food cards, referrals to other forms of support and even buying tablets and phones for patients for telemedicine appointments.

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Former Salem dentist, community leader Selma Pierce hit, killed by car

Selma Pierce, a well-known community leader, retired dentist and former legislative candidate, was struck and killed by a car Tuesday evening, according to the Salem Police Department.

Pierce, 66, was the wife of Bud Pierce, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor in 2016. Gov. Kate Brown defeated him. On Monday, KATU’s news partners reported that Bud Pierce would seek the governor’s  office in 2022.



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Selma Pierce was active in her community, well-known in political circles and ran for a seat in the state House this year as a Republican. She was unable to unseat incumbent Paul Evans, a Democrat, however.

In a statement released Tuesday night, House Republican Leader Christine Drazan of Canby said Republicans in the House were devastated.

“We are profoundly saddened by this sudden loss of our friend and community leader. Selma dedicated her life to serving people. She touched the lives of thousands through volunteer dental work to at-risk populations, service on local education foundations, and her and her husband Bud’s generous support of countless community organizations,” Drazan said. “The Pierces are a pillar of the Salem community and this loss will be felt deeply across our state. Our prayers are with Bud and the entire Pierce family this evening.”

In a tweet, Gov. Brown said she and her husband, Dan, extended their condolences to the Pierce family.

“They are in our thoughts during this difficult time,” she said.

Salem police said Selma was walking on Doaks Ferry Road NW near Hidden Valley Drive when a driver of a Chevrolet SUV struck her around 5 p.m.

Police said it appeared she was in the road when she was hit. She died at the scene.

The driver stopped and cooperated with investigators.

Selma was born in San Francisco to Lawrence and Priscilla Moon.

Her grandparents immigrated to America and her legislative campaign website detailed the racism her family experienced. Upon graduating from Harvard Business School, no one would hire her first-generation-Chinese-American father and he had to settle for a job in a family member’s market. The state of California eventually hired him as an auditor for state hospitals.

Selma attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and then earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Dentistry.

She volunteered for many organizations, including Medical Teams International, Mission of Mercy, Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, OHSU Foundation Board of Trustees and many other organizations.

Selma was married to Bud, who is an oncologist, for over 35 years. They have two children, Kristina and Michael.

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Well-known Salem dentist, community leader Selma Pierce hit, killed by car

Selma Pierce, a well-known community leader, retired dentist and former legislative candidate, was struck and killed by a car Tuesday evening, according to the Salem Police Department.

Pierce, 66, was the wife of Bud Pierce, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor in 2016. Gov. Kate Brown defeated him. On Monday, KATU’s news partners reported that Bud Pierce would seek the governor’s  office in 2022.



a group of people posing for a photo


© Provided by KATU Portland


Selma Pierce was active in her community and ran for a seat in the state House this year as a Republican. She was unable to unseat incumbent Paul Evans, a Democrat, however.

In a statement released Tuesday night, House Republican Leader Christine Drazan of Canby said Republicans in the House were devastated.

“We are profoundly saddened by this sudden loss of our friend and community leader. Selma dedicated her life to serving people. She touched the lives of thousands through volunteer dental work to at-risk populations, service on local education foundations, and her and her husband Bud’s generous support of countless community organizations,” Drazan said. “The Pierces are a pillar of the Salem community and this loss will be felt deeply across our state. Our prayers are with Bud and the entire Pierce family this evening.”

In a tweet, Gov. Brown said she and her husband, Dan, extended their condolences to the Pierce family.

“They are in our thoughts during this difficult time,” she said.

Salem police said Selma was walking on Doaks Ferry Road NW near Hidden Valley Drive when a driver of a Chevrolet SUV struck her around 5 p.m.

Police said it appeared she was in the road when she was hit. She died at the scene.

The driver stopped and cooperated with investigators.

Selma was born in San Francisco to Lawrence and Priscilla Moon.

Her grandparents immigrated to America and her legislative campaign website detailed the racism her family experienced. Upon graduating from Harvard Business School, no one would hire her first-generation-Chinese-American father and he had to settle for a job in a family member’s market. The state of California eventually hired him as an auditor for state hospitals.

Selma attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and then earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Dentistry.

She volunteered for many organizations, including Medical Teams International, Mission of Mercy, Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, OHSU Foundation Board of Trustees and many other organizations.

Selma was married to Bud, who is an oncologist, for over 35 years. They have two children, Kristina and Michael.

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A promotion and awards for Lakeview Regional Medical Center, Slidell Memorial | St. Tammany community news

Lakeview Regional Medical Center, a campus of Tulane Medical Center, has promoted Tilly Gard to its trauma program director role.

Gard has been with Lakeview Regional since 2012, serving most recently as trauma program manager. Under her leadership, Lakeview Regional achieved the first Level III ACS Trauma Verification in the state with no deficiencies, a Lakeview spokeswoman said.

Gard was the recipient of the Frist Humanitarian Award in 2018 for Lakeview Regional and HCA MidAmerica Division. She was also honored in 2012 as a Great 100 Nurses of Louisiana. Gard earned prior clinical experience from hospitals all over the southeastern region of Louisiana. 

“A critical component of our trauma program is leadership, and as we progress on our trauma journey and advance trauma care in our region, I cannot think of a more qualified leader than Tilly Richard-Gard,” said Hiral Parel, Lakeview Regional CEO. “Tilly has led many significant components of our program — performance improvement, community outreach and research, to name just a few.

“I look forward to the future of our trauma program — it is in excellent hands with Tilly Gard, Dr. Marco Hidalgo and the entire team.”

She is a native of Louisiana and attended Nicholls State University College of Nursing. She received her nursing degree from University of Southwestern Louisiana College of Nursing in Lafayette. She is a member of the Louisiana State Nurses Association, American Nurses Association, Emergency Nurses Association, Louisiana Emergency Nurses Association, American Trauma Society, Society of Trauma Nurses, and American Society of Perioanesthesia Nurses.

For more information about Lakeview Regional, please visit lakeviewregional.com or call (985) 867-380

Slidell Memorial applauded for commitment to stroke care

Slidell Memorial Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment based on nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Slidell Memorial earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period.

These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions

The hospital also received the Association’s Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed with more than 90% of compliance for 12 consecutive months for the “Overall Diabetes Cardiovascular Initiative Composite Score.”

Additionally, Slidell Memorial met specific scientific guidelines as a Primary Stroke Center, featuring a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department.

“We are pleased to recognize Slidell Memorial for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national chairman of the Quality Oversight

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Exceptional Healthcare to Open New Community Hospitals Across Arizona

Exceptional Community Hospital Celebrates Groundbreaking for Maricopa Facility;
Additional Community Hospitals Already Planned for Yuma, Prescott, Other Communities

A Texas-based hospital group is making a strong entry into the Arizona marketplace, with a critically needed community hospital coming to Maricopa and other hospitals opening across Arizona in the near future.

Exceptional Healthcare is entering Arizona with its first facility in the City of Maricopa, in the Phoenix metro region. The 20,000-square-foot Phase 1 of the facility will be located in the heart of Maricopa on State Route 347, and will be the first facility of its kind in the community.

The state-of-the-art facility includes a specialty internal medicine hospital, a 24-hour emergency department, a digital imaging suite – including CT Scan, X-Ray, mobile MRI and ultrasound – an in-house laboratory, and outpatient and inpatient hospital beds for acute admissions and overnight observation of patients.

Additionally, in partnership with higher-level hospitals in the Phoenix area, Exceptional Healthcare will feature a landing area for air ambulances to ensure the fastest transfer of patients needing a higher level of care.

Exceptional Healthcare is already planning for additional facilities in Prescott and Yuma as well as locations in as many as six other communities throughout the state.

“We are very excited to be entering the Arizona marketplace and particularly the City of Maricopa with our first Exceptional Healthcare hospital in the state,” said Saeed Mahboubi, Chief Financial Officer for Exceptional Healthcare. “Arizona is facing a shortage of healthcare facilities and professionals, particularly in rural areas and smaller communities in the state. These new hospitals will fill a critical need and help strengthen the state’s overall healthcare infrastructure.”

Two socially distanced, invitation-only groundbreaking events will take place on Friday, November 13 at the Maricopa site. Members of the media are invited to attend either the 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. events. Media members who would like to attend should contact Tom Evans at the information above.

Neighborhood community hospitals are important because they offer residents of communities without large healthcare resources an alternative to driving long distances — often at times of medical emergency when seconds count. It also provides patients with the ability to stay closer to home for less significant internal medicine-related admissions, allowing patients to be closer to their families and loved ones.

At the Exceptional Healthcare facilities, each inpatient room will have accommodations for a family member to stay the night, as well as high-level concierge-style service. Plans include chef-prepared individualized meal service as well as complimentary toiletries, bath robe, and slippers for patients to increase their level of comfort.

As Maricopa continues to grow, the need for immediate lifesaving care is critical, and the ability for residents to be admitted to a hospital for basic inpatient care without having to leave Maricopa is a plus. The $18 million facility in Maricopa is expected to employ between 60-100 employees, and is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2021.

Christian Price, Mayor of the City of Maricopa, welcomed

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YMCA offers free fitness challenge to Charlotte community

The STRONG challenge asks participants to commit to 20 minutes of activity per day five days a week.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The goal of the STRONG Challenge is to get people moving and active even during the pandemic.

 “I think we have over 130 Y’s across the country that are doing this challenge around the same time,”  YMCA of Greater Charlotte Regional Healthy Living Director, Amy Crane said.

“It’s really about reigniting our energy building community, taking care of ourselves and our family and getting back to developing healthy habits,” Crane said.

All you have you have to do is commit to 20 minutes of activity per day for five days a week for the duration of the six-week challenge.

“We actually have a theme every week, this week we’re in the play week, next week is connect week after that rest then serve and then balance is our final week,” Crane said.

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The challenge is free of charge and open to anyone regardless of a YMCA membership status.

In fact, challenge participants will receive regular encouragement and support messages through text or emails.

 “We do Facebook live group exercise classes that you can participate in,” Crane said.

Participants can also self-track their success through a downloadable calendar or the YMCA of Greater Charlotte mobile app.

It’s a way this pandemic to come together to start feeling good again and to have accountability in a fun way.

RELATED: New Panthers Fitness Center a great addition to Charlotte

RELATED: Matthews non-profit is looking for businesses to help its younger adults with disabilities


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NowPow Expands Community Care Networks in Washington to Support Students and Other People with Behavioral Health Needs

NowPow, the personalized community referral platform powering care across the nation, is expanding its digital footprint in the state of Washington. NowPow is launching a new, first-of-its-kind partnership with Educational Service District (ESD) 105, a state agency serving 25 public school districts and over 20 private and tribal schools. The company is also furthering its work with Ideal Option, one of the nation’s largest outpatient medication-assisted treatment providers for substance use disorder.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201028005157/en/

Washington State Skyline – Powering Communities With Knowledge (Graphic: Business Wire)

This means hundreds of thousands of Washington residents can now be connected with personalized services that are highly matched to both their health and social needs, as well as age, gender, eligibility, location, languages spoken, and insurance coverage. ESD 105 and Ideal Option will also work closely with community-based and government organizations to “close the referral loop,” utilizing NowPow to track engagement throughout the process so that providers and community-based partners are able to monitor the outcome of referrals and follow-up as needed.

“Often the biggest obstacle to resource access is a knowledge gap. People don’t know what’s available to them or how to find it. Our mission at NowPow is to support community health and wellness by powering those connections,” said Rachel Kohler, CEO, NowPow. “Thanks to these unique cross-sector partnerships, NowPow is now able to connect vulnerable populations, like students and people with behavioral health needs, to community-based organizations throughout Washington.”

NowPow’s partnership with ESD 105 has the potential to connect more than 66,000 K-12 students and their families to behavioral health resources in the community. Even before the pandemic, 93 percent of school districts in the state had insufficient systems to address behavioral health needs, which have now been compounded by the crisis. After the initial launch, ESD 105 also plans to utilize NowPow’s referral network to address things like food and housing insecurity.

“During these unprecedented times, it is critical that our students have access to behavioral health services to facilitate learning and support overall wellbeing,” said Kevin Chase, Superintendent, ESD 105. “Our partnership with NowPow will help our students and their families address social risk factors and overcome systemic barriers to these critical resources.”

“Knowing the available resources is a challenge. NowPow makes this an easier and more personalized process,” added Chris De Villeneuve, Division Director, Behavioral Health and Integrated Care, Catholic Charities Serving Central Washington.

Ideal Option has seen the value of the NowPow platform at work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, Ideal Option and its sister company, Ideal Balance, have leveraged NowPow’s platform to administer comprehensive screening to more than 420 patients with opioid use disorder in the Greater Columbia region and match them to more than 3,600 critical community resources like housing and job assistance. On the heels of this success, Ideal Option brought the NowPow referral network to patients in five more counties in the North Puget Sound region.

“NowPow has been a lifeline

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Black-Owned Gym, Elite Evolution Is Battling to Stay in Hackney and Help Its Community

Hackney was a different place a decade ago. Back in 2010, the area was infamous for being the most deprived borough in London and the sixth most deprived local authority in the country. Back then, to outsiders at least, the mere mention of its name was enough to elicit looks of both sympathy and concern, which, given that it was home to a notorious stretch of road known as ‘murder mile’ and was synonymous with crime, violence and poverty isn’t any wonder. But gentrification works fast in the capital and just two years later, in 2012, the year The Olympic Games was held on Hackney’s doorstep, The Observer commented on how: “The area’s traditional demographic – white working class, Turkish, Asian and Afro-Caribbeans – increasingly share the space with newcomers, who attend arty happenings…and then go for some organic Sussex wine.”

Hackney’s transformation has accelerated in the years since, and the borough is now commended for its social mobility credentials, while the number of mums sipping on “flat whites, nibbling courgette cake and chatting as their kids fight over an abacus” – again witnessed by The Observer– has multiplied too. Like most areas, gentrification has brought positives and negatives, with the main negative in Hackney being that some of the community’s residents and businesses, good people who have been there all along, have been pushed out, while the liberal elite has been transported in. But whoever the borough has been home to, one business has stood firm and continues to offer a place for all local residents to train at affordable prices. Just as it has done since 2010.

When the word ‘black’ is associated with something positive, we should all shout about it

Owned by three born and bred Hackney boys, Afolabi Akinola, Joshua Oladimeji and Emeka Obanye, Elite Evolution is a black-owned gym. It’s important to say that because, as Oladimeji observes, the word black is associated with so many negative narratives, when it’s associated with something positive, we should all shout about it. And what could be more positive than three young, black entrepreneurs who for the past decade have successfully fought to keep their business in Hackney, while holding second jobs in education and the prison system, in order to serve the community that moulded them.

“I felt like it was our responsibility,” says Oladimeji. “We didn’t shy away from that, we believe that we needed to be positive, we needed to be out there and we needed to show that there’s a safe space for anybody to come in and feel like this is somewhere they can train, where they can work out and won’t be discriminated against. [And for trainers] they’re not thinking that they can’t go higher than being just a trainer. They can be managers. They can be owners.”

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Coronavirus Testing At Maplewood Community Pool To End This Week

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — After this week, coronavirus testing will no longer be offered at the community pool in Maplewood. Instead, several other locations in Essex County will offer testing by appointment.

Testing at the community pool is offered by appointment and to walk-up patients. It will continue each day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Friday. Appointments can be made online.

Anyone hoping to get a test is reminded to bring to bring his or her insurance card and a form of identification. Uninsured people must bring a social security card to be tested for free.

Testing is offered regularly in Essex County. In the coming week, testing will also be offered at the following locations:

  • 10/27/20 – Branch Brook Park (Cherry Blossom Center)

  • 10/28/20 – Verona Community Pool

  • 10/29/20 – Local 68 Training Center-West Caldwell

  • 10/30/20 – Essex County Weequahic Park

  • 11/2/20 – Archery Field-West Orange

Residents can sign up to get a test or to volunteer at a testing location on the county’s website.

As of Monday, Maplewood had reported 402 total cases of the coronavirus and 27 deaths caused by the COVID-19 virus. Maplewood reports 299 people have recovered from the coronavirus.

This article originally appeared on the Maplewood Patch

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COVID-19 Community Exposure Reported At Hudson Restaurant

CONCORD, NH — At least 17 recent cases of COVID-19 are connected to a pizza restaurant that hosts karaoke in Hudson, according to a health alert.

Patrons of Fat Katz Food and Drink on Derry Road in Hudson, between Oct. 2, and Oct. 9, according to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, may have been exposed to the coronavirus.

“DHHS has identified at least 17 cases of COVID-19 associated with this outbreak,” the State Joint Information Center said Friday, “which includes one individual who went to the establishment while aware of their COVID-19 diagnosis when they were supposed to be on isolation, and a second person who went to the establishment when they were knowingly supposed to be on quarantine — both of whom potentially exposed others.”

In a Facebook post on Oct. 9, the restaurant said a part-time employee had tested positive and the establishment would be closed after staffers were tested. The post stated the restaurant was waiting for a response from health authorities at the state level.

However, state health officials said, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office was investigating “multiple violations” of New Hampshire Food Service guidance at Fat Katz.

While health officials said they had conducted extensive contact tracing with this outbreak, they were making the public notification because they believe there were others who were potentially exposed but not reached through the tracing process.

Anyone who visited the restaurant earlier this month should get tested, state officials said.

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State Health Information

COVID-19 can present with a wide range of symptoms including fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of taste or smell. Any person who develops new symptoms should stay home, limit their contact with others, immediately contact their healthcare provider and get tested for COVID-19. Guidance for self-quarantining is available here.

Whether or not you are experiencing symptoms, multiple testing options throughout the State are available to potentially exposed individuals. For persons without health insurance or a primary care provider, testing is available and can be scheduled by calling 603-271-5980 or through completing the online form located here. Other options for testing can be found here.

COVID-19 continues to circulate in our communities, so all people need to protect themselves and help prevent further community spread, by:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

  • Avoid close contact with others. When outside your home, keep a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and others. This is known as social distancing.

  • Wear a cloth face covering that covers your mouth and nose to protect others when in public areas.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a

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