New Health-Care Centre Dedicated To Teenagers Opens In Portage La Prairie

January 14, 2009

Teenagers in Portage la Prairie and the surrounding area now have their own dedicated primary health-care centre at Portage Collegiate Institute, thanks to a partnership between the provincial government, the area’s regional health authority and the Portage la Prairie School Division, Healthy Living Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross announced today.“Teens make important decisions about their health and well-being every day,” said Irvin-Ross. “This new clinic brings together all of the resources they need to make smart choices that promote a healthy lifestyle.”

The province will be providing $75,000 every year for the new clinic which was officially opened today. The minister noted it will provide a supportive and confidential environment where teens can access timely health care at no cost. Other referral services are also on site including nutritional and mental-health counselling.

“This new clinic is a wonderful resource for local teenagers,” said Kathy McPhail, CEO of the Regional Health Authority – Central Manitoba. “We embrace this new partnership with the education sector, which will help provide the health-care information that young people need in one convenient place.”

A nurse practitioner, public health nurse, addictions counsellor, mental-health worker and a dietitian will all be working at the new clinic in partnership with school staff. It will be open every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and either a Tuesday or Friday of each week, on an alternating basis, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Health-care providers will also be on site at other times offering services.

“This centre will provide convenient and confidential on-site access to health-care services for teens,” said Hazen Barrett, superintendent of the Portage la Prairie School Division. “It will have a profound impact on a segment of our population in need and serves as a tremendous example of what can happen through interagency co-operation.”

Students at Portage Collegiate Institute were important partners in the development of the new clinic. They provided valuable input into its design, as well as the services it now offers, said the minister.

The goals of teen-centered health-care services are to:
· ensure young people in Manitoba have access to health services that are accessible and appropriate to their needs;
· provide opportunities to learn about the health issues that concern young people, identify strategies for maintaining good health and access health promotion tools and resources; and
· offer accurate, non-judgmental information and respectful care that acknowledges the diversity of cultures and values of all young people, recognizing gender-specific needs.

Primary health care is a person’s first contact with the health-care system. It is the point where health services come together to promote health, prevent illness, care for common illnesses and manage ongoing health problems. It recognizes the many kinds of health-care providers who can help people achieve good health. Primary health care also links with other services that play a part in addressing the factors that affect health such as social services, housing and education.

Project partners include the Regional Health Authority – Central Manitoba, the Portage la Prairie School Division, Manitoba Education, Citizenship and Youth and the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba.

More information about teen clinics and healthy living for adolescents is available at

Over 1,000 students in grades 9 to 12 attend Portage Collegiate Institute. The school has been serving the education needs of the community since it opened in 1894.

– 30 –

Manitoba Teen Health Clinics

NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More