London Health Sciences Centre and London InterCommunity Health Centre partner to break down barriers with a new obstetrics clinic

Dr. Laura Lyons and Greg Nash talking

January 31, 2024

Partnership will support pregnant individuals from marginalized communities to receive vital prenatal care

In response to the growing need to break down the barriers for marginalized and pregnant individuals needing obstetrics care, London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and London InterCommunity Health Centre (LIHC) are partnering to create a new obstetrics clinic. 

"The people we serve don't typically access health care in the traditional way, due to a number of barriers such as homelessness, mental health, and other hardships," says Greg Nash, Director of Program Development & Complex Urban Health, LIHC. "To change that, we are partnering differently and using the trust we have already established to bring these pregnant individuals to this new clinic, to ensure they get the obstetrics care they need." 

The obstetrics clinic, which will be located at LIHC, will provide the medical care and expertise of two Obstetrician-Gynecologists (OB-GYNs) and one Family Medicine Obstetrician from LHSC, who will work on a rotational basis at the bi-weekly clinic. Currently, pregnant individuals who present for care at LIHC are referred to LHSC for more in-depth obstetric appointments, but often struggle to attend due to to transportation and additional barriers. The goal of this new clinic is to bridge that gap. 

"This will not only make a big difference for the patients, but also for the babies," says Dr. Laura Lyons, Medical Director of Family Medicine Obstetrics at LHSC. "We know that good prenatal care leads to better birth outcomes. Being able to monitor things like growth and potential concerns early in pregnancy is critical, so we can ensure the proper care is being administered."

LHSC has also donated two ultrasound units to LIHC, to be used in the obstetrics clinic. This will allow for important prenatal imaging during the pregnancy. 

"Imaging is a key in a pregnancy to allow us to get a full scope of how the baby is developing within the womb. Having these ultrasound machines as part of the clinic and not requiring the patients to travel further for an ultrasound will make a significant difference," adds Dr. Lyons. 

LHSC is dedicated to exploring new partnerships to build connections across the health system and deliver appropriate care when and where it is needed. The collaboration with LIHC is an example of how LHSC is advancing integrated care with its partners. 

"This collective effort showcases the strength of partnerships and our mutual dedication to supporting marginalized individuals and improving their health outcomes," says Brad Campbell, Corporate Hospital Administrative Executive, LHSC. "We aim to provide integrated care to meet the diverse needs of the community to ensure everyone has access to essential health resources. Our collaboration with LIHC is about reaching people where they are and strategically using resources to provide care within the community."

The new clinic, which opened its doors in January, will operate every other Wednesday at the LIHC building at 659 Dundas St. 

"This is a big cornerstone," adds Nash. "This fully integrated partnership with LHSC will be a game changer for our clients, ultimately saving lives." 

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