Island Sexual Health Clinic executive director Bobbi Turner

Island Sexual Health Clinic executive director Bobbi Turner

Need advice on sexual health? Look to Saanich

Popular Fort Street sexual health clinic relocating to High Quadra

The day an anonymous donor gave $5,000 towards the Vancouver Island Sexual Health Society’s relocation campaign, the atmosphere in the clinic turned downright joyous.

“It was like someone had given us all a shot of adrenaline,” said Jennifer Gibson, co-ordinator of community education services. “It’s so validating to have someone from the outside recognize what you’re doing and give you opportunities to keep doing that. It’s pretty amazing.”

The donation – the largest the society has received since it was founded in 1969 – covers one-third of the fundraising goal set to purchase the new medical equipment, including three additional exam tables, needed once the clinic relocates to Saanich in December.

The society, currently operating on Fort Street in Victoria, saw about 20,000 client visits last year – a demanding volume for a clinic with three exam rooms.

The new clinic will offer a broader range of educational and medical services – if they can get the cash together – in twice the space at 3960 Quadra St.

To raise $15,000, the society has launched an online campaign at kapipal.com/islandsexualhealth.

The total budget for the relocation is set at $50,000.

“We’ve known for the last couple of years that we’ve really outgrown the space and it got to the point that it was critical we relocate,” said Bobbi Turner, executive director of the society.

Reception is overflowing with clinic files, many of which are now stored in boxes throughout the office. Staff – 15 doctors alongside about 25 active volunteers – have been forced to alternate between work stations.

The new location will allow for more client visits in more comfortable spaces, as well as on site training and more educational workshops.

“We started out as a one-doctor organization and have grown substantially from that, from just a birth control clinic that was very female-centred and about family planning to what we currently see: people of all ages and genders and orientations and identities and abilities for sexual health,” Gibson said.

“The space we’ve been in just doesn’t meet the needs of our clients anymore – to the point that they’re actually having to stand while they’re waiting for the doctor because we’ve run out of seats. That’s not comfortable care.”

The new Island Sexual Health Centre location was also selected for its closer proximity to the West Shore and Saanich Peninsula regions, from where many clients travel after two lesser-accessed satellite offices were closed earlier this fall. It will continue to offer a full range of education and medical sexual health services.

The United Way of Greater Victoria, the Vancouver Island Health Authority and provincial gaming grants provide partial funding for the society, with the remainder of its operating funds coming from medical services plan billing and profits from contraception sales, which are declining as the popularity of less profitable contraceptive methods increases.

“With all of the education components to the organization and ensuring that the clients don’t ever walk away without their contraceptives, regardless of their ability to pay – those are things that we really believe in and that takes its toll,” Turner said. “In order to provide all those free services, that really hits the pocketbook.”

For more, see islandsexualhealth.org.

nnorth@saanichnews.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The City of Victoria filed a petition with the Supreme Court of B.C. March 2 to have it clarify whether, under the Trustee Act, Beacon Hill Park can be used for temporary sheltering. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria asks court to clarify if Beacon Hill Park can be used for sheltering

City of Victoria filed petition to Supreme Court of B.C. March 2

The application proposing to rezone Western Speedway was passed by Langford’s planning, zoning and affordable housing committee Feb 8. A petition has since been started by residents of Trudie Terrace, hoping to stop the proposed residential portion of the development plan. (CBRE Victoria)
Petition opposing Western Speedway development proposal gains steam

Save Thetis Heights Neighborhood petition aims to stop extension of Trudie Terrace

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

Boma Brown won the Emerging Leader Award for her work founding the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour. (Courtesy of Boma Brown)
Victoria SNIWWOC founder up for national women’s award for volunteer efforts

Victoria’s Boma Brown is a semi-finalist in the running for the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth award

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

.
LETTER: Anti-semitism definition lacking

Re: We must identify anti-Semitism and combat it (Online, Feb. 26) I… Continue reading

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

Most Read