Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne visits TSH for funding announcement and roundtable discussion
SCARBOROUGH, ON (August 21, 2015) Premier Kathleen Wynne visited The Scarborough Hospital (TSH) today to announce new funding for hospital-based Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centres. Joining the Premier for the announcement was Minister of Children and Youth Services, Tracy MacCharles, who is also responsible for Women’s Issues.
As part of this investment, Premier Wynne announced that the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Care Centre (SA/DVCC) at TSH will receive over $28,000 in funding annually for three years. The new funding is dedicated to improving access to counselling services.
This enhanced funding stems from provincial government’s Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment, released in March 2015. TSH is a member of the Ontario Network of SA/DVCCs, and one of only two centres in Toronto.
“(This action plan) is about raising public awareness and provoking discussion on challenging issues like rape culture, consent, and gender inequality,” said Premier Wynne.
“We feel incredibly grateful to staff at The Scarborough Hospital’s Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Care Centre for the work that they do. You are on the front lines of our struggle to end the disturbing trend of sexual violence and harassment in our communities, our homes, and our workplaces.”
Premier Wynne and Minister MacCharles joined SA/DVCC leadership and frontline staff for a roundtable discussion relating to the issues of sexual assault and domestic violence. Also participating in the roundtable were colleagues from TSH’s partner for this program, Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities (SCHC). In addition, Mitzie Hunter, MPP Scarborough-Guildwood; Soo Wong, MPP Scarborough-Agincourt; and, Bas Balkissoon, MPP for Scarborough-Rouge River also participated.
“We thank Premier Wynne and Minister MacCharles for their leadership and commitment to improving treatment and support services for sexual assault victims through the government’s Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment,” said Robert Biron, President and CEO of TSH. “This plan is an important step forward in creating a safer and healthier Ontario.”
TSH and SCHC’s SA/DVCC is highly regarded for the exceptional care it provides to meet the sensitive needs of a vulnerable population. With acute care offered at both TSH campuses, 24 hours a day, to men, women, and transgendered individuals who have been sexually assaulted or experienced partner violence, the centre is a vital service in the Scarborough community. Services include emergency medical and nursing care, crisis intervention, safety planning, collection of forensic evidence, and arranging health care follow-up.
Sexual assault patients receive follow-up counselling through an innovative, integrated partnership with SCHC. The partnership was established in response to patient feedback that indicated patients found it traumatic to return to the hospital, a stark reminder of the immediate aftermath of their assault.
“Our partnership with The Scarborough Hospital has been truly beneficial, resulting in decreased wait times and improved access to services for patients,” said Kim Cook, Vice-President, Community Health and Chief Professional Practice at SCHC.
“Our social workers provide trauma-based therapy to support patients on their journey to recovery at three of SCHC’s sites in Scarborough. This is frequently complemented by additional wraparound services offered by SCHC, which relate to physical and mental health, and social, financial, and environmental well-being.”