Since approximately 2013, a team of residents from the Family Medicine Teaching Unit (FMTU) at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre Team RVH in Barrie have been assisting Youth Haven to meet the healthcare needs of our youth experiencing homelessness.

The FMTU is a residency program in affiliation with the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine.

Each resident rotates through Youth Haven a couple of times. The visits are once a week.

They are led by Dr. Nancy Trimble, a Barrie family physician, and a member of the faculty of the FMTU.

Dr. Nancy Trimble
Dr. Nancy Trimble

“One of the focuses of family medicine is wellness,” says Dr. Trimble. “Wellness is one of the social determinants of health. Homelessness, poverty, and disenfranchisement affect your health. These are young people who are living in a shelter. Many of them have medical problems, mental health problems, a lot of them have come from difficult backgrounds, and they are traumatized.”

Dr. Trimble says when they started the FMTU, they wanted to do something to help young people.

“I have always been thankful that I have had a good and easy life,” says Trimble. “For the residents (FMTU), they enjoy the program, and it opens their eyes to the reality. We learn a lot about the system and its inadequacies, and we learn to make do. My motto has been ‘start where you are, use what you have, and do what you can,’ and that’s what we do here.”

Thank you, Dr. Trimble and the FMTU for choosing to #BeTheDifference in the lives of our youth.

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