Positive Pregnancy Program (P3 Clinic)

St. Michael’s Hospital’s Positive Pregnancy Program, also known as the P3 Clinic, is being recognized with a Casey Award for leadership in social justice for the HIV/AIDS community.

For over 15 years, the program has provided quality health care for pregnant women living with HIV in the GTA. The clinic marries obstetrics and midwifery, and combines advocacy and medical expertise to support pregnant women.

Eighty per cent of the program’s clients are part of racialized and Indigenous communities and most have been living in Canada for fewer than five years and have little, if any, support. The women experience marginalization and have infrequent access to health care. Says nominator Dr. Douglas Campbell, “the women are often alone in Canada, newly arriving from conflict zones and/or forced migration…[they] bring heart-breaking stories and an incredible determination to provide better care for their babies.”

With the P3 clinic’s support and a trauma-informed approach to care almost 400 healthy babies have been born, including many siblings.

The incredible clinic team, led by nurse Cathy Beatty, midwife Jay MacGillvary and physician Mark Yudin, works extensively with each family. They care for approximately 30 clients per year and many women return for care of subsequent pregnancies.

Extensive consultation and collaboration outside of the hospital transpires with community partners such as Teresa Group, Women’s Health in Women’s Hands and The Hospital for Sick Children.

The program was established 15 years ago, when women living with HIV were experiencing intense stigma and discrimination, particularly when admitted for delivery. It was a welcome innovation. “A program that would be non-judgmental, where women were treated with respect while their needs were attended to was urgently needed,” says Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre director of research and programs, Wangari Tharao. The Positive Pregnancy Program delivered what was needed. It led the standardization of care in delivery for women living with HIV. With a values-led model of care where all the care providers are involved in an individual woman’s journey to childbirth.

Through kindness, collaboration and innovation, the Positive Pregnancy Program exemplifies the heart and spirit of the Casey Awards. Casey House extends warm congratulations to the P3 Clinic.

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