NorWest Co-operative, a holistic approach to health

NorWest Co-op Community Health Centre focuses on engaging the community in cooperative health and wellness. NorWest has served the Inkster community in north-west Winnipeg, Canada, since 1972. As the only health care cooperative in Manitoba, NorWest works with its patients and clients, its neighbourhood resource centres, other health care providers, and its partners to offer a variety of programmes and services.The team delivers community-based services and programmes in the following: primary health care; health promotion and chronic disease supports; community development; immigrant settlement services; parent-child coalition; a wide variety of counselling and support services; two early learning and childcare centres; and a brand new Community Food Centre. Eligible individuals across the city can access services in the areas of family violence, immigrant and refugee matters, substance abuse during pregnancy, nursing foot care, and Aboriginal health outreach.

The team delivers community-based services and programmes in the following: primary health care; health promotion and chronic disease supports; community development; immigrant settlement services; parent-child coalition; a wide variety of counselling and support services; two early learning and childcare centres; and a brand new Community Food Centre. Eligible individuals across the city can access services in the areas of family violence, immigrant and refugee matters, substance abuse during pregnancy, nursing foot care, and Aboriginal health outreach.

NorWest Coop Community Health

In 2010, NorWest introduced the HANS Kai (Group Meeting) programme to Canada, having seen its phenomenal success in Japan. In this programme, each peer group supports its members in monitoring their personal wellness indicators. (It gets much better results than when people rely just on their own motivation!) Approximately 15 peer-led HANS Kai have been operating in Winnipeg for over three years. NorWest is also developing HANS Kai tools for teens and young adults. A further innovation currently underway is research into how care for the spirit may be integrated with its work as a Community Health Centre. NorWest developed this programme in close collaboration with Coop Santé Robert Cliche in Québec. Working with other HCCFC members, NorWest is now working on a programme to help teens identify and avoid risky activities that could harm their physical and mental health.

Access NorWest opened in April 2013 and now houses three organizations: NorWest Co-op, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, and Manitoba Child and Family Services. Access NorWest is the only access centre in Winnipeg to have three organizations under one roof. In the first year, it saw an increase of 1,700 clients in primary care.

NorWest Co-op has 500 members and an active board of directors of 13 people, many of whom have been committed to the organization for years.

(Excerpted from Better Health & Social Care)

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