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2020: The Green Prescription Program (GPP)

The lead sponsor, the Wasaga-based South Georgian Bay Community Health Centre (SGBCHC) is a not-for-profit organization convinced that “regular time in outdoor green space is associated with better mental and physical health outcomes”. The GPP team aims to convince healthcare practitioners to “prescribe time in the natural environment as part of their clients’ health care plans”. The GPP team, lead by SGBCHC’s Erika Haney and Heather Klein Gabbinck, has gathered an impressive group of committed South Georgian Bay healthcare and outdoor stakeholders.

GPP’s focus – clients with lower incomes with multiple health issues facing barriers to access exercise and nature. The 50-person pilot will be run by the SGBCHC and will include Green Prescription referrals by health practitioners for client outdoor/nature independent and supervised programs. A Green Prescription module will be developed for inclusion in each participant’s electronic medical record. The program will proceed in three phases: Resource Development – 6 months; Field Work – 1 year: and Evaluation and Reporting – 4 months.

The Wellness Innovation Fund is providing seed monies for SGBCHC to launch and evaluate the GPP three phase program. Program currently on a Covid-19 induced hold.