The $3.5 million, 15,000 square foot Community Care Building that is part of Winchester District Memorial Hospital’s Centre of Excellence for Rural Health and Education, is now open.
Construction was completed, on budget, in less than a year.
April 25, local media were invited to tour the facility that provides a convenient, professional environment for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, Champlain Community Care Access Centre, Job Zone and Ontario Early Years Centre.
The new environment does much more than look professional. Having all of these services located together at this hub allows each of the agencies to gain a better understanding of the services and resources each offers, greatly benefitting the community by allowing them to get whatever help they need, all under the same roof.
While facilitating and improving the referral process between these agencies and the hospital, the new building has brought forward new opportunities. The health unit has been able to bring in many more services to this satellite location in Winchester. Early Years is working to secure funding to start a youth centre. CCAC is starting a new program to provide mental health nurses for children in schools.
This new building represents a shift in how agencies like hospitals and health units plan to deal with the health of local populations.
“What we do outside of hospitals will help to prevent people from coming into the hospital,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, medical officer of health for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit when the construction of the building got underway last June. “We know that 75 per cent of what makes someone healthy is not physical so putting these agencies in one place makes sense.”
WDMH CEO Cholly Borland explained that statistically, those with better incomes are healthier, those children with a better start in life are healthier and those who are better educated are healthier.
“So this all works together,” he said. “We are fortunate to have all of these agencies located here.
This building is one of the first hub concepts in Ontario.