Unison Health and Community Services was formed by a voluntary merger of New Heights Community Health Centres and York Community Services. While both organizations have their own unique history, over the years they shared a common goal of building healthy communities.
York Community Services was initially funded as a demonstration project of integrated social and health services in 1973 and was incorporated under a community Board in 1975. The local MPP, medical officer of health, community activists and other organizations helped develop its unique service model – inter-disciplinary, multi-service care, all under one roof and one administration.
New Heights CHCs started in 1974 as Lawrence Heights Medical Centre with one doctor and one nurse-receptionist when residents formed a non-profit Board of Directors and lobbied the Ontario government for more accessible health care. In 1989, the name was changed to Lawrence Heights Community Health Centre to reflect the centre’s holistic model of care. As the centre began expanding its services into new communities, it went through another name change in 2008 and became known as New Heights Community Health Centres.
Over the years, both New Heights CHCs and York Community Services expanded their services and added new programs to better serve their communities. To accommodate their ongoing growth, both organizations went through a number of major capital projects, including an addition of two satellites and community services hubs in 2006.
Unison Health and Community Services will build on the strengths of both organizations and will continue working on improving access to programs and services for our clients. In 2015-2016, Unison served over 12,000 primary care clients and nearly 8,000 program participants. We offer core services that include primary health care, counselling, health promotion, early years programs, legal services, harm reduction programs, housing assistance and adult protective services as well as special programs like Pathways to Educations and Diabetes Education and Prevention.