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$550,000 for improvements to Group Health Centre (updated)

Thursday, November 08, 2012   by: Brad Coccimiglio

The Group Health Centre is in the process of a bit of a facelift.

Through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation’s community development program, $550,000 of provincial funding, which is also being matched by the GHC, the facility is going to see $1.1 million in upgrades done to the facility.

Work has already begun in the basement of the GHC where nearly 5,000 square feet of space is being renovated to add more examination rooms and a nursing hub that will be used by both physicians and medical students.

“We’ll have room for five physicians and there will be 15 examining rooms and we anticipate up to six medical students,” said GHC President/CEO Grant Walsh. “There is nothing old that will be in this space. It’s a $1.1 million project with all new furnishings, equipment, the space itself and advanced technology.”

Sault Ste. Marie MPP David Orazietti was on hand in making the announcement on Thursday and spoke of the improvements the upgrades will have.

“The 15 examination rooms will help accelerate wait times and also take an additional step forward in creating greater opportunities for recruitment,” Orazietti said. “That’s really important for the community. We’ve made tremendous progress in the last number of years in terms of connecting individuals who were previously orphan patients with physicians or primary health-care providers.”

“This is a long-standing organization that carries the lions share of primary care access in Sault Ste. Marie,” Orazietti added. “The step that we’re taking today is going to further expand the capacity here at the Group Health Centre, accelerate the wait times and create better space in relationship with recruitment for physicians and partnership with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.”

The renovations are expected to be complete by March 1, 2013.

Full text of a news release issued today by David Orazietti follows.

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Orazietti announces $550,000 for improvements to Group Health Centre

Province continues increasing access to primary care providers and health care services in Sault Ste. Marie

SAULT STE. MARIE - The province is improving access to quality front-line health care services in Sault Ste. Marie by investing $550,000 to renovate nearly 5,000 square feet of the Group Health Centre in order to build more examination rooms and a nursing hub that will be used by both physicians and medical students, David Orazietti, MPP announced today.

“The province has delivered unprecedented support for health care in Sault Ste. Marie and we continue to make improvements with investments in new infrastructure at locations, such as the Group Health Centre, that will increase access to front-line services closer to home,” said Orazietti. “These new examination rooms and the nursing hub decreases the wait time for patients and provides more training space for medical students, which benefits everyone.”

Provincial funding of $550,000 is being provided through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation’s (NOHFC) Community Development Program.

This funding is being used by the Group Health Centre to convert nearly 5,000 square feet of existing space into 15 new exam rooms, a learning centre, a central nursing hub, increased office space, a reception station and a waiting area.

The new front-line health care service area will provide medical students, many of which are from Sault Ste. Marie and the surrounding area, with better quality training space while also helping to decrease wait times for patients.

"This generous funding from the Northern Ontario Heritage Funding Corporation is wonderful in that it will assist the Group Health Centre in improving service to our patients and, at the same time, providing an educational opportunity for learners from the Northern Ontario School of Medicine,” said Grant Walsh, President and CEO of the Group Health Centre. ”We are extremely grateful for the opportunity and support of this funding."

Earlier this year, the province provided the Group Health Centre with a new $38 million five year agreement that secures funding for local programs and services, such as the cardiac care rehabilitation program, and creates a new governance structure for more efficient operations.

Additional investments by the province that are further improving access to front-line health care in Sault Ste. Marie include support for the Superior Family Health Team, which has added over 5,500 new patients to its roster and the Algoma Nurse Practitioner-led Clinic, which since opening in October 2011 has registered over 1,500 new patients.

In contrast to the actions of past provincial governments the current government has increased health care funding by over 60 percent since 2003, increased medical school training spaces by 38 percent, increased nurse practitioner training spaces by 135 percent, opened the first new medical school in 30 years, more than doubled the number of training spaces for foreign trained doctors and licensed more new physicians than at any other time in Ontario's history.

In order to attract more physicians to the North, the province created the Northern and Rural Recruitment and Retention Initiative (NRRRI) and the Postgraduate Return of Service Program, which are already responsible for attracting more physicians to Sault Ste. Marie.

Ontario is also the first province to invest in Nurse Practitioner-led Clinics and the province has created important programs, such as Health Care Connect, to accelerate the process of finding a family doctor.

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Comments
12
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hotlips 11/8/2012 2:54:11 PM Report

I'd like to know where all of the parking money goes?? Will it also help offset the renovation expense??

I don't believe that the parking should have been increased to $ 5.00 and the parking meters are charging $ 4.00 per half hour?? This doesn't make sense.
Ernest Raymond 11/8/2012 4:47:12 PM Report

This is fantastic news! Now if they'd open up the Group Health Centre on evenings and weekends I'd be more than happy to pay $5 for parking.
huddy1 11/8/2012 5:17:21 PM Report

Wow...look who's the only one wearing a poppy!
madmaymax 11/8/2012 5:25:38 PM Report

HI EVERYONE:) HEALTH CARE CONNECT JUST PUTS YOUR NAME ON A WAITING LIST , JUST LIKE THE GROUP HEALTH DID AT ONE TIME:) I HAVE LIVED IN THE SAULT FOR 10 YEARS NOW AND STILL DO NOT HAVE A FAMILY DOCTOR??? ALL THE MONEY BEING SPENT JUST FOR PEOPLE TO CALL TO BE ON A LIST??? QUESTIONS ANYONE???CALL YOURSELF AND ASK HOW LONG TO GET A DOCTOR AND IF BY THE WAY YOU WERE LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE HAD A FAMILY DOCTOR IN SAY TORONTO, TO BE ON THE LIST YOU MUST GIVE UP THAT DOCTOR,CATCH 22??? SO EITHER WAY YOU LOOSE??QUESTIONS ANYONE???
madmaymax 11/8/2012 5:31:23 PM Report

RESPONSE TO WOW?? UNREAL OUT OF 5 PEOPLE ONLY ONE TAKES THE TIME TO REMEMBER THE PEOPLE WHO GAVE US OUR FREEDOM,THE GENERATION THAT DID NOT HAVE TO SEND DOCTOR'S,NURSES TO WAR AND LEST WE FORGET?? GUESS THEY FORGOT????
SOONER OR LATER NO ONE WILL REMEMBER,PLEASE WEAR A POPPY AND SHOW SOME RESPECT!!!TEACH YOUR CHILDREN THAT STRANGERS DIED TO GIVE US OUR FREEDOM, JUST LIKE SOMEONE ELSE DID?? HE WAS NAILED TO A CROSS AND I FEEL MOST PEOPLE ARE FORGETTING HIM ALSO???
SammH 11/8/2012 9:41:25 PM Report

With all this money, they're not bringing back any Speech Pathologists? I'd still like to know what happened with the one that was in there...
madmaymax 11/8/2012 10:01:22 PM Report

ONE MORE MAJOR COMMENT:) GET DOCTORS FIRST FOR THE PEOPLE!!! FORGET THE GLITZ!
madmaymax 11/8/2012 10:08:04 PM Report


accelerate - to increase speed, to speed up

Acceleration is when a moving object has an increase change of Velocity over an increment of time.

Accelerate means go faster, speed up, increase speed, gather speed, pick up the pace, hurry, hasten, and/or step up.

IS THIS HEALTH CARE CONNECT DOES????PUT YOUR NAME ON YET ANOTHER WAITING LIST THAT SPEEDS GETTING YOU A FAMILY DOCTOR ! WHAT A GIMMICK(lol)????????WHAT HAPPENED TO THE FIRST LIST AT THE GROUP HEALTH??? I WAS ON IT FOR 8 YEARS !! DOES THAT MEAN I WOULD BE ON THE TOP OF THE HEALTH CONNECT LIST??

lucyp 11/9/2012 6:59:40 AM Report

Grant Walsh you make us laugh....here you are dishing out 550 000.00 to match and you eliminated very valuable departments at the GHC that many many people needed....to do what?

resurface the parking lot...

redesign the lunch room that no one uses....

put beautiful flower beds in the front because you were getting visitors...

Paying someone to do things that were volunteer jobs in the past...

What about bringing one of those programs back....Communication disorders...speach path...


how about getting rid of some of your WAY TO MANY managers to the managers to the head of departments....or maybe your fancy Assistant that you employeed as soon as you came on board...

people of Sault ste marie are not going to benifet from these so called improvements to the GHC...but one thing we can see is that you are makin one heck of a mess of something that was so good...you and your board
speed7 11/9/2012 8:18:10 AM Report

I wish there ever was mention of how the group health center started in the first place? It exists today because of retired steelworkers who donated large sums of money to build its foundation like my Relatives. Back in the day it was a large sum of money. Its great to see David bring in more money for improvements. It does need a facelift. That is one thing with David O we keep seeing transfer payments coming in. We never saw this with past MPP"s . Never.
kamen 11/9/2012 8:22:01 AM Report

Sorry this is going to be long....I am glad that the Group Health Center is being updated, but yes, we need to get more people family doctors. I myself have one, but there are many people waiting for their own family doctors, and this is hindering their health. The Walk in clinic in the Cambrian Mall is a joke. The doctor their said I was too young to have anything wrong with me, I am 23, such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, bunions. Even though I have already had bunion surgery on both feet, and a specialist told me I should get a bone scan to check for arthritis. My family doctor, on the other hand is trying to get me in to see a foot specialist. I have been waiting for over a month now to see this specialist, and I am virtually unable to step down on my left foot. We need more family doctors, more specialists, and less renovations done to the clinic. I am not happy about the same day clinic either. You have to start calling at 9am sharp and you are sitting on the phone for 40 mins just to get through. They need a larger same day clinic, and more receptionists to answer calls...The hospital is too far out of the way. I cannot walk to the Hospital to get checked, and to hell if I am going to sit on a bus for like 40mins if I feel like I am dying. I refuse to pay 50 for an ambulance. Oh and another thing, You go into the same day clinic because you are sick, they check you over, write your prescription if you need one and you are good to go, BUT if you need a Doctors note for work, school, etc. they charge you damn near 20 dollars... WTF is that shit! There have been days I have had to go into work with a migraine, my foot killing me because I am yet to see a specialist, or I am sick, just because I cannot afford 20 dollars for a piece of paper to tell my boss yeah she came in, she can't work today because whatever reason....FUCK THAT! I would rather be a miserable sick bitch at work then have to pay them 20 dollars to write me a piece of paper, that you can't read anyways, possibly saying I am sick......does anyone else see what is wrong here? Our Health care is free but we have to pay 5 dollars to park, 20 dollars for a piece of paper.....yeah we need some changes....
speed7 11/9/2012 9:08:18 AM Report

Kamen,
sorry for your predicament. I do understand people need more doctors. I agree with you there. With the training college hopefully things will change. Even if you have a doctor these days its still isnt the best healthcare. I really hate it when you go visit the doctor and already he is out the door after 5 minutes. How can you explain your problem in five minutes? You cant. But its all we have right now. You obviously have not seen what its like down south? Let me tell you its a jungle out there and worse. Doctors have razor thin time with patients and this makes room for errors. Unacceptable when the doctor read the wrong x rays snd misdiagnosed you. It happened to me. Thank goodness another specialist in the sault found that mistake for me. So healthcare is bad all over.

Also with reguards to the 20 dollar fee for a sick note. It used to be 40 dollars back in my day . Do you work at a call center? If so. That's why ? Our lovely city , EDC, Elite Dining Club brought all these call centres here and they basically demanded sick notes. At first gave you 5 paid sick days a year then slowly stripped that away. People hated working there and they called in sick had to show documents or be fired. These call centers destroy your hearing with their phone equipment and poor quality phone lines too. Which by the way you had to really fight it out with them in some cases along with the ministry of health to get anything done. Blame the call centers for making workers go to their doctor every time they have a flu or a cold to get a darn doctors note. Heck I had strep throat and my supervisor lecturing me on the phone wanted me to go into work with strep? Beleive that one? Sorry I can sympathize with you if you work at one of the call centers. The first 2 call centers we had were pure hell to work for.
If I am wrong with my assumptions about you please pardon my bad judgment. I hope things improve for you with your health issues. As for Call centers I've been there done that. NEVER AGAIN! Our EDC needs to attract good paying jobs here and its been a roller coaster ride for over 30 years and struggling to get work its just disgusting. We would see our healthcare infrastructure improve if we had employers come up here that actually cares about their workers. Keep people working for the long term not the short term. The call center owner admitted he wasnt staying in the sault for the long term. Then he took his satement back after people were questioning it later. And look he sold off to another country . Leaving oalot of people jobless. Now with all of us slowly loosing jobs , no union, no benefits its going to be even worse.
Comments
12
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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