Sharon MacKenzie: BA, BScN, MN, RN – Sharon has spent the last 30 years working with vulnerable populations in various capacities. The last 17 years have been with Mental Health & Addictions as program manager, former public health nurse and she also worked as a front-line youth outreach crisis counselor. Sharon joined the ALLY Centre team in the fall of 2020, on a demonstration project as Cape Breton’s first outreach street health nurse with a focus on improving access to primary health care for people whose lives are characterized by extreme poverty, homelessness and isolation; many struggling with mental and /or substance use disorders.
Sharon embraces a stigma-free, harm reduction approach meeting people where they are in spaces they are comfortable with and trust…such as the drop-in comfort centre, homeless shelters, food banks and often travels with the outreach team on the ALLY Mobile Outreach Unit. Services provided include wound care/injection related care, counselling, advocacy, immunization, education, testing for sexually transmitted bloodborne infections, safe gear distribution & COVID-19 rapid testing. Sharon is a strong collaborator/advocate challenging the status quo and service gaps in improving health outcomes for our community’s most vulnerable.