When Sharon Pike was involved in a car accident a few years ago, she needed a chiropractor to treat her whiplash — and discovered that reaching one was easier than she thought.
“I started going to see Dr. Christopher Morgan at TAIBU Community Health Centre in 2016,” says Sharon, a Toronto medical technician who sustained whiplash and other injuries in the collision. “He has supported my recovery and showed me daily routines I could use, and this has improved my overall health and energy level. I think one-stop shopping for health care is a good idea.”
TAIBU, a community health centre located in Toronto’s Malvern neighbourhood, is at the leading edge of a movement toward making services, such as chiropractic care, more accessible for people who don’t have insurance coverage and can’t afford to pay for care. TAIBU and other organizations across Ontario, get help from Ontario’s Primary Care Low Back Pain Program and other provincially funded programs.
“A lot of people I see have had little or no prior experience with chiropractic care,” says Dr. Morgan. “Typically, when I ask patients how long they’ve lived with pain, I hear that it’s been years. And when I ask what treatment they’ve had, in many cases it’s been prescription medication or over-the-counter drugs. They rarely have had any of the chiropractic or physiotherapy treatments that could help,” he says. “If patients haven’t had access to treatment, often by the time I see them they have other problems, in their shoulders, with hypertension, you name it.”
He works at TAIBU with doctors, nurse practitioners, physiotherapists, dietitians and other medical experts, who are all available to patients under one roof. “The interdisciplinary component is important,” Dr. Morgan says. “In getting to know patients, you often find out they have other issues, in housing, in relationships and so on. The nice thing about being in a setting like this is that I can just cross the hall and speak with a social worker, a physician or a nurse practitioner. It’s wraparound support.”
Denah Smith, a nurse practitioner at TAIBU, says this holistic, comprehensive approach to health care is critical. “About 40 per cent of the patients I see suffer from some sort of musculoskeletal strain, stress or injury,” says Denah. “So it’s great to have Dr. Morgan here for us because he can address these kinds of problems with chiropractic care.”
Although still recovering, Sharon is clear about the importance of TAIBU for treating her whiplash and Dr. Morgan in her healing journey.
“In addition to seeing Dr. Morgan for treatment twice a month, I’ve been going to his workshops. He showed me how to sit up properly, how to get up, how to get out of bed the right way. He got me back on track.”
This story is adapted from this article: Chiropractors team up with community health centres to care for those in need, produced by Globe Content Studio and published as an advertising feature in The Globe and Mail.