Without the SBH community health team, this patient and so many others would die. Many patients live far from the hospital and cannot afford the trip, and some are in no condition to endure the bumpy roads on motorcycles or on foot.
“We have patients that can’t come to the hospital by their own means—be they young, elderly, or pregnant,” says Miss Yanick. “These patients are highly vulnerable—they need and deserve high-quality care. Our work is field-work. Of all the teams at the hospital, ours is closest to the community. Doctors can’t always go directly into homes, as many of our patients are difficult to reach. Community health teams are essential in providing comprehensive care to all patients.”
There is no silver bullet; community health is a long and arduous endeavor. Miss Yanick notes that, despite her motivated and capable team, SBH’s community health program still has goals for better serving the community she has come to love.
“My hope is to add more services to allow people to implement what they learn,” she explains. “For example, we lead cholera education meetings within the community to discuss prevention, but most people don’t have the means to put the prevention methods into practice.“
Miss Yanick has a vision for the program, and she will stop at nothing to ensure that St. Boniface has the resources to combat infectious disease in the surrounding area. She is particularly excited about the new Infectious Disease Center that is scheduled to open at the hospital next year.
Miss Yanick knows one challenge that she and her team are more than equipped to handle. “Changing habits and behaviors is not easy work—it doesn’t take days, weeks, or even months. It’s work that’s done over time.” Miss Yanick and the SBH Community Health team are committed to this work for the long haul.