SWITCH

 

SWITCH (Student Wellness Initiative Toward Community Health) is a registered charity and non-profit organization.

 

We are student-initiated and student-run.

SWITCH was created by students in order to enrich educational experiences and to provide much needed services for Saskatoon’s core neighbourhoods (see History). We have an active pool of volunteers from the University of Saskatchewan, University of Regina, and Saskatchewan Polytechnic. We are also beginning to see volunteers from other Saskatchewan educational institutions such as the First Nations University of Canada and Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies.  What this also means is that our board of directors are students, primarily in the Health Sciences, professional colleges, or at the undergraduate level.

We are interprofessional.

Our mentors and student volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines with unique experiences to share.

Our Outreach team is responsible for making each SWITCH shift run smoothly by preparing and serving food, assisting with educational programming, and providing childcare.

Our Clinical team is made up of many different health disciplines, collaborating together on each case to provide non-judgemental and client-centered care. The students volunteer alongside a doctor or nurse practitioner, cultural support worker, receptionist, and other healthcare mentors. In addition to traditional clinical services, we offer counselling, speech language pathology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, reiki, naturopathic medicine, herbology, reflexology, iridology, cultural supports, gynecology, pediatrics, pharmacy, and nutritional education.

We are a clinic.

SWITCH operates through the Saskatoon Community Clinic, out of the Westside Community Clinic. The clinic is across Avenue P. from St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. We open the clinic after-hours on Mondays and Wednesdays to provide free walk-in clinical and social services to residents of Saskatoon’s inner city, though all residents are welcome.

History

 

SWITCH has been operating since October 2005. The fact that our clinic is as successful today as it was when it first opened is a testament to the hard work that went into designing Saskatoon’s Student Wellness Initiative Toward Community Health clinic as a sustainable organization.  Compared to other student-run clinics in Canada, SWITCH offers the largest variety of services, operates the highest volume of shifts, and has been open for the most number of years.

Here’s how it all started:

2004

Westside Community Clinic

SWITCH made links with Westside Community Clinic and other organizations. A budget was written and funding confirmed from Primary Health Services and the University of Saskatchewan. Liability insurance from the University of Saskatchewan and Community Health Services were acquired. SWITCH started to get the attention of the media.

Summer 2005

Registered Charity

A Needs Assessment report, orientation manuals, policy manuals, and service agreements were created. Student liability assurance were arranged with SIAST and University of Regina. SWITCH continued to receive funding from various sources and confirmed registered charity status.

Fall 2005

First Shift

Staff and mentors were hired and contracted. Mandatory orientations to clinic and program operations were held for mentors and students as well as identifying those students who will play a key role in SWITCH shift operations.

SWITCH opened at the West Side Community Clinic for the first Wednesday shift. Grand Opening took place on Wednesday, October 19th.

 

2010

Women’s Health

SWITCH opened up its third shift on September 13, which was dedicated to Women’s Health. The services focused on prenatal care, contraception, sexually transmitted disease, annual pelvic exams, and menopause.

2014

Saturday shifts

Due to unstable funding, SWITCH made the difficult decision of putting Saturday shifts on hold until sustainable funding was established.

1528 20th Street West Saskatoon, SK S7M 0Z6

Hours & Location

SWITCH is privileged to operate out of the Westside Community Clinic at: 1528 20th Street West.

SWITCH Clinic & Programming:

  • Monday from 5:30-8:00pm
  • Wednesday from 5:30-8:00pm
  • Saturday from 12:30-3:00pm

SWITCH Volunteer Shifts:

  • Monday from 5:00-9:00pm
  • Wednesday from 5:00-9:00pm
  • Saturday from 12:00-4:00pm

Services

 

SWITCH offers the following services:

  • Walk-in, interprofessional, after-hours, holistic clinical services with mentors and students from:
      • Medicine
      • Social Work & Counselling
      • Pharmacy
      • Chiropractic & Acupuncture
      • Reiki, Iridology, Reflexology, & Herbology
      • Naturopathic Medicine
      • Paediatrics
      • Gynaecology
      • Speech Language Pathology
      • Nursing
      • Physical Therapy
      • Occupational Therapy
      • Dietician
      • And more…
  • Nutritional meal, including fresh fruits and vegetables, and coffee
  • Nutrition advice
  • Conversation and a safe space to spend time
  • Advocacy
  • Traditional Elder and Healer
  • Child minding
  • All ages homework help centre
  • Assistance with transportation
  • Women’s, men’s, and children’s educational programming
  • Community addictions and mental health outreach
  • Referrals and resources
  • Free phone usage
  • Special events including Community Dinners and our Women’s Pamper Night