Today was a big day in East Ferris, as the ceremonial ribbon was cut, and everyone was welcomed into the new East Ferris Medical Centre. It was a grand opening indeed, and many were there to show their appreciation and support for the new facility on 649 Astorville Road, in Astorville.
East Ferris now has a pharmacy to call their own—a well-stocked Pharmasave—that offers free local delivery, compliance packaging and easy prescription transfers. During her opening speech, Mayor Pauline Rochefort mentioned that already the new pharmacist has been getting out to help seniors with their medications.
The pharmacy opened in August, and the medical clinic opened in April, but today was the official opening ceremony. Dr. John Seguin now calls the clinic home, after moving from his Doc on the Lake clinic, which was just down the road from the new medical centre. Dr. Seguin had been advocating for a medical centre since around 2006, and with the hard work of a few councils, and the current municipal staff, the vision is now a reality.
The new space, which was completed in late March for $3 million, is much appreciated by Dr. Seguin. The man has 1,800 patients in the area, and his practice on the lake was feeling a little small as of late. With the new clinic, the doctor figured it would also be easier to attract other medical professionals, and he was right about that.
A new doctor is now working at the clinic, Dr. Kevin Blake, and already he’s taken on 500 patients within the community. The extra medical attention is making a big difference to residents, and as Dr. Seguin said, “it’s amazing, the community is so lucky to have this facility.”
“I suspect that within a year or so we’ll be able to get a third doctor here,” he added. Indeed, that might be the case, and work is already underway to attract other medical professionals to the building. There are still a few offices available on the right side of the building (when you’re looking at it from the road), and filling these is what is referred to as Phase 3 of the project.
See: Provincial grant ensures the health of East Ferris’ medical centre
Jason Trottier, East Ferris’ chief administrative officer, mentioned that he’s been busy contacting professionals who might be interested in moving in. Even better, he’s been receiving messages as well from those who might want to set up shop. Optometrists, massage therapists, and chiropractors are on the list of preferred tenants, as are “other well-being and health professionals, because we want to keep it as a health centre.”
New East Ferris resident Dan Rooyakkers decided to check out the celebration and found the place “very impressive.” Rooyakkers is a doctor himself, and he used to practice in the rural community of Seaforth, just about an hour west of Kitchener. “Compared to places I’ve worked in the past, it’s top-notch,” he said of the new facility, “and it’s very convenient for the community.” Dr. Rooyakkers is “semi-retired” now, but he still helps with some patients in Sturgeon Falls and North Bay.
Officially opening the centre made Mayor Rochefort “tremendously happy,” especially after the “journey” it look to get to that point. “I know there are a lot of people who have been advocating for this,” she said, “and these projects are never the result of just one council.”
As for Phase 3, she acknowledged that work is being done, but in the meantime, she is thrilled with the results of the community’s hard work and perseverance. “Certainly, the next phase is important, and we will work together to bring it alive as well.”
David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca