Feature – RISE Community Health Centre 

History 

RISE Community Health Centre (CHC), a part of Collingwood Neighbourhood House officially opened its doors on June 15, 2020.   

The CHC was born out of 6 years of collective efforts by community members and health professionals, advocating to bring a CHC to the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood. Renfrew-Collingwood had the lowest number of family doctors per capita in Vancouver, and many local residents face multiple barriers to care including transportation, language, income, lack of childcare, lack of availability for extended hours appointments, challenges navigating the health care system, and experience of discrimination. 

Today & Forging Ahead 

3.5 years later, RISE continues to focus on the populations highlighted in their extensive research and community consultations, including the Indigenous, youth, isolated seniors, newcomers, gender diverse people (LGBTQ2S), sex workers, those who are homeless or inadequately housed, people experiencing racism, people with mental health conditions, and those with problematic substance use. 

RISE works in partnership with an advisory committee of patients, volunteers and CNH board members who provide community input into RISE’s services and direction. 

Starting from a baseline of zero clients, 4 FTEs of staff, and one makeshift exam room in Collingwood Neighbourhood house, RISE CHC now is serving a growing number of clients (2,000 in 2023) and has attached over 1,700 patients to date.  RISE continues to work towards better understanding their clients’ complex needs and explore how best to cater to their needs through integrated services/programs in primary care, community development and health promotion, and harm reduction.  

RISE’s latest addition, a non-profit community pharmacy, opened its doors in September 2023. The RISE CHC Pharmacy provided over 1000 immunizations so far this flu season, offering flu and COVID vaccines to the public as well as RISE CHC clients. The pharmacy is open to all, and proceeds will be reinvested into Collingwood Neighbourhood House and the neighbourhood.  

RISE now has a dynamic interdisciplinary team of providers including family physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, registered clinical counsellors, social workers, dietitians, community health workers, pharmacists, occupational therapist, and physiotherapist; all supported by a wonderful team of medical office assistants and administrative staff. 

One of their clients best summed up the value RISE brings to their clients and community: 

 “At one point, [RISE] assembled all the people that were meeting with me…There were 10 people that met with me on a regular basis and we had a roundtable meeting so I could find out what everybody’s job was and how I was going to get help…Having his needs met beyond basic medical care has been “the biggest gift that RISE offers…It’s the ability to go back into a community and embrace the needs of not just one patient or 10 patients or all the patients but indeed, the community” 

Darren 

For their medical outreach work, the RISE CHC team recently won a BC Quality Award for the outreach.  

  Mark Rito, a RISE’s Community Health Worker shared that “Participating in our outreach initiatives has given so much meaning that permeates through my work experience…Being able to provide support to clients on outreach and enhance their access to connections to community and care has been a wonderful opportunity – and we hope to continue and strengthen our ability to do so.”  

We congratulate and applaud the team at RISE for their wonderful work and commitment to their clients and community and will be cheering on the team at RISE and the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood as they grow from strength to strength.  

Read more about: 

Rise CHC here 

Rise’s patient story here 

Rise’s BC Quality Award here