Aboriginal peoples in British Columbia experience serious health disparities, including higher rates of disease, lower life expectancy and higher hospital utilization rates, compared to the non-Aboriginal population. Community-based clinics are a promising model of primary care for vulnerable populations for the following reasons: focus on prevention and cost-effectiveness, and responsiveness to community needs. Community-based clinics are in place in many regions of British Columbia, and several of these serve a largely Aboriginal client population. This research project asked whether and how these clinics evaluate effectiveness in meeting the needs of Aboriginal clients. Although formal evaluations had not been conducted by all clinics, interviewees believed that the system of integrated healthcare offered by the community clinic model was successful at meeting the needs of their Aboriginal clients because the multi-disciplinary approach met complex client needs, and because they gained the trust of their communities and remained responsive to community needs.
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Thesis advisor: Morrow, Marina
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