The IMAGINE clinic meets the needs of marginalized populations

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May is National Physiotherapy Month. To raise awareness for the physiotherapy profession I found a great article in “Physiotherapy Today”. A group of healthcare students from the University of Toronto and other dedicated community professionals have created the IMAGINE clinic (Interprofessional Medical and Allied Groups for Improving Neighbourhood Environments) that meets the needs of marginalized populations. Started in October 2010, IMAGE  launched with four health services, staffed by students and supervised by a professional from each area of study: medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and social work. Physiotherapy was added in 2012.

“Student volunteers and supervising preceptors at IMAGE not only deliver quality healthcare to marginalized populations, they also benefit from a unique opportunity to network, learn with, and learn about other healthcare professions”, says Joe Walton, a second year PT student and Clinic Operations Executive.

How has the addition of physiotherapy effected the IMAGINE clinic and its target population?

  • The team sees 2 to 12 client visits a day
  • 36% of visits in 2012 where for physiotherapy
  • Discovered that there is a real need for physiotherapy services in this population
  • Factors such as low income, having no private insurance and/or OHIP coverage makes access  impossible to marginalized populations
  • Most Community Health Centres in Ontario do not include physiotherapy in the services they provide.

IMAGE is located at the Central Toronto Community Health Centre in Toronto. The clinic team is always looking for new professional preceptors to attend the clinic, mentor students and share in this unique healthcare environment. The commitment is just one Saturday a month.

For more information please contact preceptor recruitment at: image.preceptors@gmail.com

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