New Sexual Health & Wellness Clinic at Canadian Forces Health Services Centre (Atlantic)
By Elizabeth Sharpe,
Communications Officer, CFB Halifax
January 2023 was not just greeted with New Year’s resolutions, but with a resolution to an ongoing need at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Halifax. A new sexual health and wellness clinic has opened at Canadian Forces Health Services Centre (Atlantic) (CF H Svcs C(A)) for all Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members who find themselves in need of these valuable services.
Located in either CDU 1 or CDU 3 of CF H Svcs C(A) at CFB Halifax Stadacona, the clinic is spearheaded by Doctor (Dr.) Lynne Poirier, Nurse Practitioner (NP) Chris McCarthy, and Base Surgeon Lieutenant-Commander Brad Pelley. Dr. Poirier says there has been discussion around the need for a clinic such as this one since long before the COVID-19 pandemic started in early 2020. As with all other medical and health-related clinics, CF H Svcs C(A) suffered from staffing issues throughout the pandemic which delayed the ability to open a sexual health clinic on the Base.
“Members are used to going to their clinician for issues like diabetes or checking their blood pressure, but many are uncomfortable talking to them about concerns regarding their sexual health,” McCarthy explains.
Dr. Poirier knew there was a need for a comprehensive and central location for all members to go regarding their sexual health and wellness. This clinic was developed to address sexual health and wellness which is often missed or overlooked within the context of primary care. There is a lot of confusion around whether a member should go to their ship clinician or through sick parade; the new clinic provides direct access to a central location for all issues surrounding sexual health and wellness. The clinic and the health care professionals who work there consider and appreciate different sexual identities and sexual orientation and provide a positive, non-judgmental, and safe place for all who wish to use it.
The clinic provides many essential services including testing and treatment for sexually transmitted and blood borne infections, consultations for birth control and pre-exposure prophylaxis medications, administration of Hepatitis A and B vaccines, and much more. The healthcare professionals who work at the clinic respect the privacy of all members who utilize their services.
The clinic is currently open on Wednesday mornings from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Atlantic, however there is potential to extend operating hours if the need arises. Dr. Poirier and NP McCarthy alternate operating the clinic each week. Military members can book an appointment by calling 902-721-8774 Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:30am and 3:30pm. When booking your appointment, you will be told to which office you are to report.