Frequently Asked Questions

RISE Community Health Centre

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you’ll find answers to the questions we get asked the most about RISE Community Health Centre. If you do not find your question below, please contact us by calling: 604-558-8090 or emailing:

To read the answer, click on the question or the symbol.

What is RISE Community Health Centre?
RISE Community Health Centre (CHC) connects Renfrew-Collingwood community members who have difficulty accessing health care to a health care team and social supports. RISE also provides health promotion programs and events to the broader Renfrew-Collingwood community. RISE is part of Collingwood Neighbourhood House, a non-profit society governed by a volunteer board of directors.

What does RISE stand for?
Each letter in the acronym RISE represents our values at the Community Health Centre: Resilient, Integrative, Socially Just, Equitable.

Renfrew-Collingwood is a resilient community. Rather than focusing on vulnerabilities, RISE takes an asset based approach, ensuring that clients, families and community are fully involved in identifying their wellness goals. RISE meets clients where they are at in their health journey.

RISE provides coordinated services to support the physical, social, emotional and cultural needs of the Renfrew-Collingwood community. We offer team based-care, enabling clients to access different team members who can help support their medical, mental health and social needs. We integrate our efforts with other departments of Collingwood Neighbourhood House and through partnerships with local healthcare providers and social service agencies.

Socially Just
In Renfrew-Collingwood, Indigenous people, newcomers, LGBTQ2Si+ folks, isolated seniors, people who are homeless and underhoused, sex workers, and those with mental health and substance use challenges experience more barriers to health and worse health outcomes. RISE provides opportunities for people facing barriers to access culturally safe, trauma informed care.

RISE recognizes that health outcomes are not just biological, they are also very much socially determined and impacted by access to resources. We strive to ensure that our services are accessible and acceptable to those who need them the most, and that individuals have a fair opportunity to reach their fullest health potential.

Why is a Community Health Centre coming to Renfrew-Collingwood?
Community members and health professionals advocated to bring a Community Health Centre to Renfrew-Collingwood. In 2018, Renfrew-Collingwood had the lowest numbers of family doctors per capita of all neighbourhoods in Vancouver. Many community members in Renfrew-Collingwood face barriers to care including: transportation barriers, language barrier, lack of childcare, lack of availability for evening and weekend appointments, trouble navigating the health care system, and experience of discrimination. The Community Health Centre model works well for providing care for communities like Renfrew-Collingwood.

What kinds of services does RISE Community Health Centre offer?
RISE offers ongoing medical care (primary care) as well as health promotion activities. Primary care is the initial contact with the healthcare system when someone is feeling unwell, or for general check-ups, monitoring and prevention. Primary care services include medical exams, diagnosis, immunizations, wound care, sexual and reproductive health services, and more. RISE also provides addictions medicine and harm reduction as part of comprehensive primary care. 

In addition to primary medical care, RISE offers:

  • • Health promotion activities, such as health education groups and flu clinics for the public
  • • Social support, such as help navigating health and social service systems, and accessing financial and housing support
  • • Health-related community development activities, such as engaging community members to develop health programming that meets local needs

Is RISE CHC a walk-in clinic?
No, RISE CHC is not a walk-in clinic. Clients go through an intake process and generally have booked appointments. We will also have same-day access available for urgent access for existing clients.

How will the Community Health Centre be different from a regular doctor’s office?
RISE offers team-based care, which means clients will be able to access different team members who support their medical and social needs. Staff are experienced in providing culturally safe, trauma-informed care to community members from diverse backgrounds. Staff are also trained to recognize social determinants of health that may be impacting clients’ health and to help them with those issues. 

What are the social determinants of health?
Social and economic factors affect people’s health and everyday life and are can contribute to illness. For example, not having enough money can lead to negative health consequences. These factors are called social determinants of health. Social determinants of health include:

  • • Income and income distribution
  • • Education
  • • Unemployment and job security
  • • Employment and working conditions
  • • Early childhood development
  • • Food insecurity
  • • Housing
  • • Social isolation and loneliness
  • • Social support networks 
  • • Health services
  • • Aboriginal status
  • • Gender
  • • Race
  • • Disability

What kinds of medical and other staff work at the RISE Community Health Centre?
The RISE team will expand over the first two years of service to include: pharmacists, dietitians, social workers, clinical counsellors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, community health workers, nurse practitioners, physicians, administrative staff and nurses. The clinical team will grow and change according to the needs of the community. Volunteers, students and other Collingwood Neighbourhood House departments will also work with RISE.

What is the difference between a Family Physician (FP), Nurse Practitioner (NP), and a Registered Nurse (RN)?
At RISE CHC there are not many differences in the ways that a Family Physician (doctor) and Nurse Practitioner provide primary health care. A Registered Nurse does not have the same type of medical training as a Family Physician and a Nurse Practitioner, but also provides comprehensive primary health care services. The table below outlines some similarities and differences in FPs, NPs and RNs working in a primary health care setting.


Family Physician (FP) Nurse Practitioner (NP) Registered Nurse (RN)
Provides or coordinates health care for all ages and stages of life?YesYesYes
Assesses, diagnoses, treats, and manages health issues?YesYesYes, only with designated certified practice can diagnose specific issues (i.e. STIs)
Orders medical imaging, blood work, and tests?YesYesYes, only with designated certified practice can order specific tests (i.e. STIs)
Provides maternity care?Yes, but our FPs do not offer labour/delivery careYes, only prenatal and postpartum (no labour and delivery care)Yes, only prenatal and postpartum (no labour and delivery care)
Requires supervision?No, practices autonomouslyNo, practices autonomouslyNo, practices autonomously


Family Physician (FP) Nurse Practitioner (NP)Registered Nurse (RN)
Training/educationBachelor’s degree (4 years), medical degree (3-4 years), family medicine residency (2 years)Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (4 years), min. 5,000 hours (or about 2.5 years of full-time work) as an RN, Master of Nursing degree (2 years)Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (4 years), (optional) certified-practice courses (i.e. STIs and contraceptive management, pelvic exam, and cervical cancer screening)
Licensing and registrationMedical Council of Canada Qualifying Exams in order to obtain the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada, registered with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, (optional) Certification in the College of Family Physicians (CCFP), renews registration annuallyWritten examination and Objective Struuctured Clinical Examination (OSCE) through BC College of Nursing Professionals (BCCNP), registered with the BCCNP, the College registers NPs in one of three streams of practice: adult, family or pediatric. Renews registration annuallyNational Council Licensure Examination for RNs through BCCNP, registered with the BCCNP, renews registration annually
Prescribes medications?YesYesNo
Completes health and benefits forms?YesYesNo
Refers to specialties?YesYesNo

What does a Community Health Worker (CHW) do?
Community Health Workers (CHWs) can help navigate issues related to the health care system, housing, income assistance & employment services, mental health services, and more. CHWs also carry out group and community-based activities that focus on community development and promoting the health and well-being Renfrew-Collingwood community members.

Who can get primary medical health care services at RISE Community Health Centre?
RISE aims to provide health care to Renfrew-Collingwood community members who are not connected to a family doctor and who face challenging life circumstances such financial difficulties, language and cultural barriers, social isolation and physical and mental health challenges.  Extensive research and community consultation informed the decision to focus on the following populations:

  • • Indigenous,
  • • youth,
  • • isolated seniors,
  • • newcomers,
  • • gender diverse people (LGBTQ2S),
  • • sex workers,
  • • homeless or inadequately housed,
  • • people experiencing racism,
  • • people with mental health conditions,
  • • and those problematic substance use.

What hours are the Community Health Centre open?
Our office hours at 5198 Joyce Street are:

Monday & Tuesday: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday & Thursday: 9:30 am – 7:00 pm
Friday: 9:30 am – 6:00 pm
First and third Saturday of the month: 9:30 am – 3:30 pm

We are closed on statutory holidays. Hours of service will increase over the first couple of years of service as staff are being hired and the number of clients increase. We aim to offer evening and weekend hours and provide outreach to reach people in places and at times that are more convenient for them.

I have trouble communicating in English, can I use RISE CHC? Telephone translation services and information in multiple languages will be available. We also strive to hire staff that speak different languages.

Do I pay to receive services at RISE CHC?
There are no fees to access medical services at RISE CHC.

How can I become a RISE Community Health Centre client?
Potential clients can self-refer, or be referred by community members, community agencies or other medical providers. To make a referral, please fill out our referral form and email or fax it to us, or give us a call. After we have received your referral, a staff member will be in contact to see if RISE CHC is a good fit for you.

I am not facing social challenges and/or I already have a doctor. How will RISE Community Health Centre benefit me and other community members?
RISE will help to contribute to the neighbourhood’s social safety net. Even if you do not require our services today, we are all susceptible to a change in life circumstances that could increase your need for support and make accessing health care more challenging. If your life takes an unexpected turn and you find yourself requiring more enhanced services, RISE would like to ensure we maintain capacity to take new clients that are in need. Helping those in need will contribute to the overall health of the community. RISE also offers health initiatives, advocacy and volunteer opportunities for the broader community.

I am not facing social challenges, but I still need a doctor, what should I do?
There are a few options for connecting with doctors:

  1. 1. Healthlink by: call 8-1-1 and tell them you are trying to find a family doctor 
  2. 2. For other locations, try the college of Physicians and Surgeons of BC website:
  3. 3. For Burnaby residents, you can contact:

Where is RISE Community Health Centre located?
The RISE’s main space is located at 5198 Joyce Street, one block south of the Joyce-Collingwood SkyTrain station, near multiple bus stops and a half-block from the main location of Collingwood Neighbourhood House on Joyce Street. RISE shares this space with Evergreen Ambulatory Care Services (Vancouver Coastal Health Services).  RISE CHC has a clinical room at Collingwood Neighbourhood House (5288 Joyce Street) and is offering outreach services at other locations in the community such as affordable housing sites and another community spaces.

Who runs RISE Community Health Centre?
RISE CHC is a department of the non-profit society Collingwood Neighbourhood House, which is governed by local residents on a volunteer, elected board of directors. A local advisory committee provides input and support on the direction of the RISE. Advisory committee members are from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences, education, health care knowledge and experience. The advisory committee reports to the Collingwood Neighbourhood House Board of Directors; some advisory committee members also serving on the board.

Does RISE Community Health Centre partner with other organizations?
Yes, RISE collaborates with other organizations to offer services in multiple locations, coordinate services and programs, advocate for community needs, send, and accept referrals. RISE partners include local health care agencies and service, other non-profit agencies, colleges and universities, libraries, community centres, cultural and faith-based groups, health authorities, and organizations that provide low-income housing. RISE will continue to strive to make new, meaningful partnerships to benefit the community.

Who provides funding for RISE Community Health Centre?
RISE CHC is funded by the Ministry of Health.

How can I get more information about RISE Community Health Centre?
For more information, visit: To contact us, phone: 604-558-8090 or email: