Corbella: Sheldon Chumir is ground zero in fighting the opioid crisis

April 5

Despite its shiny and sterile look, the Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre is sometimes referred to as ground zero for gritty medicine in Calgary — and that’s a beautiful thing.

As a result, today the staff at the Chumir are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Canada’s largest integrated community health centre that has more than 40 programs designed to meet the unique health needs of the diverse community that makes up Calgary’s inner city.

From corporate vice-presidents popping by for travel vaccinations or diagnostic imaging, to people experiencing homelessness, addictions and sexually transmitted diseases, ground zero is an eight-storey building on 4th Street and 12th Avenue S.W. that doesn’t just enhance lives, but saves them.

“Honestly, I know I’d be dead if it wasn’t for the Sheldon Chumir Centre and its Safeworks and ODP Clinic,” says Chelsea Burnham, 26, referring to the Opioid Dependency Program run by Dr. Ronald Lim, who is also a clinical assistant professor at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine.

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