Fort McMurray Today (01.13.2014)
Fort McMurray Today reported that Wood Buffalo Primary Care Network (WBPCN) will launch a full-spectrum, walk-in Teen Sexual Health Clinic in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, on January 27. WBPCN will run the clinic every Monday from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. in its Sport and Wellness Center, and every Wednesday from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Thickwood Family Medical Centre on Wolverine Drive. The teen clinics will offer discreet access to free contraceptives, birth control prescriptions and consultations, testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), pregnancy testing, sexual health counseling, and abortion and adoption information.
WBPCN Communications and Program Coordinator Jordan Hiltunen noted that STI incidence in Alberta’s north zone was almost twice the province average. Chlamydia and gonorrhea incidence were significantly higher among teens ages 15 to 19 years than among teens ages 10 to 14. Hiltunen stressed that the clinic’s emphasis was treatment and prevention, rather than determining the cause of high incidence. Clinic clients would have access to confidential safer sexual health information and testing from a physician and registered nurse.
The Northern Lights Health Foundation and Local 488 United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters provided funding for the clinic. Hiltunen reported very positive support from the community, which recognized the need for teen-centered sexual health services. In the past, Fort McMurray Community Health Services and HIV North Society supplied limited information and resource options for teens.