Drumming at the opening of the Indigenous Wellness Home in Surrey, B.C.

The Indigenous Primary Health and Wellness Home is the first clinic of its kind in Fraser Health.

The clinic is now offering culturally safe and holistic care to Indigenous people in Surrey.

“This is a new model for improving primary care for Indigenous peoples in the region,“ said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “The wellness home delivers a model of team-based care that is rooted in cultural values and a traditional wellness approach to health. This unique project is the result of a joint effort with community and health authority partners, and one that we’re very proud to support.”

Through a partnership between Fraser Health and the First Nations Health Authority, the Indigenous Primary Health and Wellness Home provides a range of services to address physical, mental and social needs, as well as spiritual wellness using a wellness "circle of care" approach. People with multiple health concerns are supported by a circle of care co-ordinator, who ensures all their needs are addressed in a connected way. In addition, the wellness home assists people to access other needed services such as housing, financial and legal supports.

Using a team-based approach, wellness home staff include a physician, nurse practitioners, a circle of care co-ordinator, primary care nurses, a registered psychiatric nurse, a mental-health clinician, licensed practical nurses, a social worker and medical office assistants. In addition, traditional wellness staff provide guidance to patients and their families throughout their care journey.

“First Nations leaders have told us to improve health services for all of our people – those living at home and those living away from home,” said Grand Chief Doug Kelly, chair, First Nations Health Council. “Our citizens want care that reflects both our traditional teachings and the best of western medicine. The Surrey area is home to the largest Indigenous population in B.C. The First Nations Health Council appreciates the productive partnership between the First Nations Health Authority and Fraser Health. When First Nations are able to own and influence the decisions about our health and other services that impact our families and communities, the outcomes and successes will be positive. I look forward to seeing this good work move forward.”

The Indigenous Primary Health and Wellness Home provides services for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit individuals and families at two urban locations:

  • The Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association clinic in Whalley; and
  • The Kla-How-Eya Healing Place at the Guilford Public Health Unit.

“This clinic and its providers will ensure culturally safe services for our people by making cultural humility the foundation of how they approach this important work,” said Joe Gallagher, CEO, First Nations Health Authority. “This Indigenous wellness home will serve as a model for health service delivery for Indigenous people in all urban areas.”

“Primary care is about more than a clinician simply treating an ailment, it is also about the way in which we provide that care,” said Jim Sinclair, board chair, Fraser Health. “The new Indigenous Primary Health and Wellness Home embeds a traditional wellness approach in all the services it provides to ensure each patient and their family is part of the process every step of the way.”

Since it opened Dec. 10, 2018, the wellness home has provided services from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. The Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association clinic also offers full services with extended hours until 7:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The wellness home will help to address the needs of the majority of the approximately 17,000 people in Surrey’s Indigenous community.

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