THUNDER BAY – NEWS – The North West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) has approved short-term funding to support the Kwae Kii Win Managed Alcohol Program (MAP), being operated by Shelter House Thunder Bay.
The North West LHIN will supply one-time funding for the Kwae Kii Win MAP for the continuity of service, and will engage with community stakeholders to ensure that this organization is aligned with current evidence-based practices, service delivery models and is positioned for long-term success.
To date, the MAP in Thunder Bay has demonstrated its effectiveness in a number of ways. Client evaluations indicate that MAP participants were more likely to retain housing, and experienced increased safety and quality of life compared to life on the streets, in jails, shelters, or hospitals. Clients describe the MAP as a safe place characterized by caring, respect, trust and a non-judgmental approach with a sense of family and home.
NorWest Community Health Centres has been instrumental to the Kwae Kii Win MAP since 2012, providing support with physicians, nurses and therapists.
MAPs are a harm reduction approach that involve the regular administration of alcohol in order to stabilize and moderate alcohol intake. This approach can help to reduce binge drinking and the consumption of non-beverage alcohol found in personal hygiene products.
MAPs have shown significant improvements in the quality of life of their clients. Thunder Bay’s MAP is currently tasked with serving clients with severe alcoholism and associated chronic issues, whose needs have not been met through other programs.
Kwae Kii Win is a 15-bed MAP which has provided supportive living for people experiencing homelessness and alcoholism since it opened its doors in 2012. Supportive housing, combined with accessible health care, nutritious food and psycho-social supports, reduce binge drinking and the associated stress on emergency services.
“The North West LHIN is committed to supporting and advancing a Managed Alcohol Program in the City of Thunder Bay. These services are critical in ensuring that people are connected to high quality harm reduction programs where they are needed. Northwestern Ontario will benefit from an integrated model of care that incorporates awareness, education, assessment, early intervention and long-term supports to improve the health outcomes for people living with mental health and addiction issues. The North West LHIN acknowledges the commitment that Shelter House, the Kwae Kii Win MAP and NorWest Community Health Centres have had and we look forward to ongoing communications to address collaboration for better health outcomes for their clients, and system outcomes for the region,” states Laura Kokocinski, CEO, North West Local Health Integration Network.
“Shelter House is grateful to the North West LHIN for supporting the Kwae Kii Win Managed Alcohol Program. We look forward to engaging in a process that will ensure that MAP services of the highest quality are delivered to clients in the City of Thunder Bay,” comments Gary Mack, Executive Director, Shelter House.
“NorWest Community Health Centres have provided mental health and addiction services to clients of Kwae Kii Win MAP for nearly five years. Our physicians, nurses and therapists work collaboratively with the clients of the Kwae Kii Win MAP to meet their personal goals. We support and value the contribution that the North West LHIN is making to sustain this important service. NorWest Community Health Centres will continue to support Shelter House and Kwae Kii Win MAP to improve health outcomes for clients and families in the community,” says Juanita Lawson, Director of Clinical Services, NorWest Community Health Centres.
- The Integrated Health Service Plan IV 2016-2019 clearly states that integrating the system of care for mental health and addictions is a key priority for the North West LHIN.
- MAP is a type of harm reduction approach involving the regular administration of alcohol in order to stabilize and moderate alcohol intake.
- MAPs are an innovative addition to the continuum of care to ensure that the health care needs of specific populations are being met.
- MAP is an evidence-based program.
- MAP typically includes the provision of safe housing and health care that targets the chronic alcoholics who have unsuccessfully completed abstinence and other withdrawal management or addiction programs.
- NorWest Community Health Centres has provided support to Kwae Kii Win MAP since 2012 with physicians, nurses and therapists.
- Program results include reductions in:
- Alcohol use
- Days intoxicated
- Contact with police
- Health care costs
- Emergency department visits
- Hospital admissions
- Missing health care appointments
- Thunder Bay has an identified need among people living with severe alcoholism and chronic issues.
- Thunder Bay’s MAP provides 15 clients with a safe and secure living situation to physically stabilize, relearn basic skills and reconnect with the community and their families.
- The program aims to reduce contact with police, emergency department visits, hospital admissions, overall health care costs, and improve participant’s quality of life.
- The MAP reduces binge drinking and the consumption of non-beverage alcohol found in personal hygiene products.