Programming Connection

Ontario Hepatitis C Team: Sanguen Health Centre  

Sanguen Health Centre
Waterloo and Guelph, Ontario
2014

What is the program?

Sanguen Health Centre (Sanguen) provides community-based services for individuals at risk for or living with hepatitis C in Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Cambridge and the surrounding areas. Sanguen is one of 15 hepatitis C teams in Ontario. As one of the teams, Sanguen is mandated to provide multidisciplinary care to its clients. The health centre is staffed by a physician, treatment nurses, social workers, outreach workers, a community coordinator and a dozen peer workers.

Sanguen offers direct client services such as harm reduction supply distribution, counselling, support groups, case management, hepatitis C testing and hepatitis C monitoring and treatment.

What makes Sanguen unique among the hepatitis C teams is that it is a stand-alone clinic that deals exclusively with people at risk for or living with hepatitis C. The clinic is not part of a larger organization but rather is run as a private, not-for-profit health centre. This is one of Sanguen’s core strengths because its mandate to provide prevention and treatment services to people at risk for or living with hepatitis C is not overshadowed by the competing priorities that may exist in organizations such as hospitals or community health centres. This ultimately allows Sanguen’s staff to solve problems and fill service gaps quickly, making the team responsive to the needs of clients.