June 15, 2020 - Dr. Howard Abrams is the Division Head of General Internal Medicine for the University Health Network  iassociated with the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario, and is Director for the OpenLab. He gave us an overview of the OpenLab and more details can be found HERE. The focus of his presentation was The Friendly Neighbor Hotline which is a project of the OpenLab. His PowerPoint presentation can be seen HERE.  
Dr Abrams said that the Friendly Neighbor Hotline started as part of the OpenLab in early March of this year.  Their goal is to provide basic services and food security for low income seniors, mostly living in large low rent apartment complexes. The program established a call center where seniors could ask for help. A volunteer will purchase whatever the senior needs and then deliver it for free.  Most of the low income seniors do not have access to technology so the program has to provide an accessible call center which is very labor intensive.
The Friendly Neighbor Hotline is basically a small pilot project which is intended to be supplemented by businesses in the private sector, or non-profit organizations. . Other Canadian cities are examining the feasibility of adopting this model. Dr Abrams' presentation was well received and generated many questions.