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. 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.
Hours and Location
SWITCH is privileged to operate out of the Westside Community Clinic at: 1528 20th Street West.
SWITCH Clinic and 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
See our contact page for summer hours
SWITCH offers the following services:
- Walk-in, interprofessional, after-hours, holistic clinical services with mentors and students from:
- Social Work and Counselling
- Chiropractic and Acupuncture
- Speech Language Pathology
- Physical Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- And more…
- Nutritional meal, including fresh fruits and vegetables, and coffee
- Nutrition advice
- Conversation and a safe space to spend time
- 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 (local calls)
- Special events including Community Dinners and our Women’s Pamper Night
Who We Are
Karen Cederwall is the executive director of SWITCH.
Brittany Acton is the programming coordinator of SWITCH.
Michelle Fleming is the childcare coordinator of SWITCH.
Liz Ogunrinola is the volunteer coordinator of SWITCH.
Evelyn Linklater is the cultural support worker of SWITCH.
Board of Directors
Megan Gallagher is the current holder of the Chair Portfolio. She earned a BSc. Hons in Anatomy and Cell Biology from the University of Saskatchewan, and is currently enrolled in the College of Medicine. The holder of the Chair Portfolio works in conjunction with the SWITCH Board of Directors and staff to create and implement both short and long-term goals for SWITCH’s future. Megan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shamir Salman is the current treasurer. The holder of the treasurer portfolio works closely with the executive direction to update SWITCH Board on financial matters. They assist in payroll, act as a signatory, enter and receipt donations, and work with the bookkeeper and other financial professionals regarding SWITCH’s finances. Shamir can be contacted at email@example.com.
Daisy Ko is the current holder of the Secretary Portfolio. She is in her fourth year of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Saskatchewan. The role of the secretary is to support the Chair in management of the Board of Directors. The secretary records and organizes meeting minutes and is in charge of the website and Sharepoint. Daisy can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elizabeth Plishka is the current holder of the Community Development and Engagement Portfolio. The holder of the Community Development and Engagement Portfolio works to strengthen SWITCH’s relationship with other CBOs through one on one meetings and Community Cares Meetings. In addition, the holder is chair of the Community Outreach Committee. If you are from a CBO and interested in learning more about Community Cares Meetings, or if you are a student interested in learning more about the Community Outreach Committee, please contact Elizabeth at email@example.com.
Indiana Best is one of the current portfolio holders of Student Recruitment and Retention Portfolio. She is Metis, and she completed her undergraduate degree in biomedical health science at the University of Calgary. She is currently in the Master of Public Health program at the University of Saskatchewan pursing a thesis on Metis culture and addictions.
Sarah White is one of the current portfolio holder of Student Recruitment and Retention Portfolio. The Recruitment and Retention Portfolio involves bringing in new student volunteers from various colleges, as well as maintaining numbers of current volunteers. This is done by promoting SWITCH to students at campus event and through classroom presentations, organizing volunteer appreciation initiatives such as the SWITCHer awards, and hearing feedback and suggestions from volunteers. This board member also heads the Student Recruitment and Retention committee, which helps with previously mentioned duties. Sarah can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
McKayla Cozart is the current holder of the mentor portfolio. The mentor portfolio holder ensures that all mentors interested in SWITCH are trained, orientated, and have all the proper paperwork submitted prior to mentoring. The mentor portfolio holder checks the scheduler to ensure mentors have signed up for shifts, specifically to ensure that a physician/nurse practitioner and a social worker are signed up for every SWITCH shift. Overall, the mentor portfolio acts as a liaison to address any questions or concerns the mentors may have about SWITCH. McKayla can be contacted at email@example.com. For urgent matters, she can be reached at 306-371-0195.
Desiree Naudé is the current holder of the Shift Supervisor Portfolio. She has been involved with SWITCH since 2015 and is a fourth year Honours student in Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of Saskatchewan. The holder of the Shift Supervisor Portfolio is responsible for the training and support of Shift Supervisors and Category A Supervisors, and ensuring consistency on shift. As well, this position supports the Volunteer and Program Coordinators’ on-shift duties. Desiree can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael-Roy Durr, a third year Arts and Science student, leads SWITCH’s Research Portfolio. The holder of the Research Portfolio evaluates SWITCH internally through research projects, but also encourages and helps facilitate projects done by third parties. For all research inquiries, Michael can be reached at email@example.com.
Brandy Mackintosh is an advisory member of the SWITCH board. She is an assistant professor at the University of Saskatchewan’s Edwards School of Business. Prior to joining the Edwards School of Business in 2006, she was an audit manager for an international accounting firm. In 2017, Brandy became a tenured faculty member at the University of Saskatchewan. Brandy has taught courses in financial accounting and auditing at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Lisa Munroe is an advisory member of the SWITCH board.
Marlene Halkett is an advisory member of the SWITCH board.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Due to unstable funding, SWITCH made the difficult decision of putting Saturday shifts on hold until sustainable funding was established.
SWITCH turns 10!
In October 2015, SWITCH celebrated its 10th year in operation!
Saturdays Are Back!
With generous support from the Durward Seafoot Estate and funds received through the RUH Foundation Community Mental Health Endowment Grant, SWITCH was able to resume Saturday shifts in April 2016!