New Germany medical centre lays final brick in decades-long fundraising campaign

·2 min read
Volunteers at the clinic's 25th anniversary celebrations sell bricks to fundraise for the medical centre.  (Shaina Luck/CBC - image credit)
Volunteers at the clinic's 25th anniversary celebrations sell bricks to fundraise for the medical centre. (Shaina Luck/CBC - image credit)

The community behind a medical centre in New Germany, N.S., has laid the last brick in its fundraising campaign to cover the costs of the building's upkeep.

"It's pretty darn special to know that the centre still means that much to folks," said Nancy Veinot, the vice-president of the New Germany and Area Medical Association, the organization responsible for caring for the building.

In 1993, the community was shocked to learn both the doctors who served the village in Lunenburg County north of Bridgewater were leaving. In an effort to attract new doctors, they decided to build a medical facility using money collected through fundraising and volunteer labour.

Shaina Luck/CBC
Shaina Luck/CBC

The idea worked and the building currently houses practices for one full-time nurse practitioner, two part-time nurse practitioners, and one full-time doctor position that is shared between two doctors. Medical care clinics are also run out of the building.

Same bricklayer completes work

Among other fundraising efforts, the organizers sold bricks engraved with the name of the donor. Though other fundraisers generated more money, they continued to sell the bricks throughout the years as a way for donors to show support.

Gary Russell ran the company Russell's Bricklaying and laid the first wall of bricks in 1993. He recently came back to complete the job on a second wall.

"I feel good that I was part of the process of building the medical centre," he said. "Even though we're like everybody else, we're in desperate need of doctors, for a small town at the time it was a great thing to have."

New Germany has not escaped feeling pressure on its health-care system, Veinot said. There is a wait-list to join the practices of the doctors at the clinic. But she feels the situation would be worse without the clinic there.

Shaina Luck/CBC
Shaina Luck/CBC

"Would we like to have a little bit more? Very much so. But to know all of the problems in each county, I guess we have to thank the community members," she said.

The association will keep fundraising as it covers the cost of operating and maintaining the building each year, which is approximately $30,300.

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