Meet the new staff who are part of the new sexual health clinic at the Battle River Medical Clinic. Along with all the Ponoka doctors are these staff members (l-r, last names not provided) Lisa (Social Worker), Erika (LPN), Dr. Cayla Gilbert (representing the physician group) Hailey (RN) and Sarah (RN). Photo submitted

Sexual health clinic created in Ponoka

Held at the Battle River Medical Clinic with a focus on young adults and teens

A sexual health clinic has been introduced in Ponoka.

In conjunction with Alberta Health Services, the Battle River Medical Clinic is hosting special sexual health clinics to provide young adults and teens with a variety of services. Among those support topics are: birth control information and prescription, pregnancy testing, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, plus sexual health counselling.

The purpose of the clinic is to provide a non-judgmental education service for young adults who would normally have to go to Red Deer for support.

“The usual barrier is stigma. People don’t want to talk about health,” explained Dr. Cayla Gilbert.

“They’re (clients) worried that in a small town it won’t be confidential.”

Dr. Rob Halse — the local Wolf Creek PCN lead — said in a press release that doctors care about their clients. “We care about these young people and want to ensure they have the support they need,” said Halse.

It’s a free of charge clinic that is being held every Monday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and on Thursdays from 2 to 4 p.m. The clinic is located at the Battle River Medical Clinic at the Hamilton’s IGA lot.

Limited walk-in appointments are available but folks can also call 403-704-3905 to make an appointment.

A separate electronic record-keeping system will be in place to ensure confidentiality of information.

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