Big steps forward for Markdale Rural Health Centre Annual operating funding for the new South East Grey Community Health Centre (SEGCHC) in Markdale has been confirmed, enabling the organization to ramp up its operations at an interim site while capital planning work continues on the SEGCHC’s future home within the Rural Health Centre, an integrated site with Grey Bruce Health Services (GBHS).
Prior to the CHC being approved, work was underway in the Markdale area to address concerns over the need to replace the current aging hospital facility. When the CHC announcement was initially made, it made sense, from the patient’s perspective, to co-locate the health facilities. The rural health centre model combines primary care and acute care services in one facility, creating a patient-centred approach to care. Part of a regional framework, the centre will utilize nearby hospitals for more complex care such as inpatient surgery and other traditional secondary level hospital services.
The South West LHIN Board of Directors approved a functional program and functional plan for the 72,000 square-foot Rural Health Centre to be located beside Grey Gables at its March meeting in Meaford. In addition, it conditionally approved the functional program for the CHC, pending an alignment meeting with the Ministry. We really do see this as one-stop shopping for patients and a very good blend of hospital services and community supports, says Maureen Solecki, CEO of Grey Bruce Health Services. We are excited to be in partnership with the CHC.
For the CHC, recruitment of clinical, professional and administrative staff is moving into high gear. When fully operational, the SEGCHC will have a team of 13 clinical staff including physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, a dietitian, health promoters, and other allied health professionals as well as an administrative team supported by a budget of $2.6 million. The SEGCHC is now working with the South West LHIN on the development and approval of a shared performance and accountability agreement that will guide the operations of the SEGCHC.
For SEGCHC Board of Directors Chair Terry Mokiry, the news is most welcome. Board members have volunteered many hours over the past number of years and are elated by this recent funding announcement. We can now proceed with our mandate. This includes finalizing the interim site of the SEGCHC, the continued recruitment of staff, the continuing stages of accessing our priority client population and moving forward with the GBHS in the establishment of a Rural Health Centre in Markdale.
The SEGCHC will be responsible for providing primary care, health promotion and community development services for priority populations in South East Grey, says Allan Madden, Executive Director SEGCHC. We will be focusing our services on seniors, people who are economically disadvantaged, children and youth, individuals with moderate mental illness and addictions, people with physical and mental disabilities, pregnant women and families. Health care is about more than treating illness, it’s also about addressing the underlying conditions that contribute to healthy lives and healthy communities, and the SEGCHC is an excellent vehicle for doing that, says Jeff Low, Chair, South West LHIN Board of Directors.
A presentation on the Rural Health Centre was made by Grey Bruce Health Services and the South East Grey Community Health Centre at the South West LHIN Board Meeting in March. A video is available on the South West LHIN website.