Parry Sound-Muskoka primary care health teams getting fund boost

Primary care health teams in Parry Sound-Muskoka will receive provincial funding, with Huntsville receiving the most significant chunk of the investment.

• Huntsville council visited The Annex at 1 Minerva St. E. on Friday (Feb. 16) to listen to Parry Sound—Muskoka MPP Graydon Smith announce the province's investment of $1,264,686 into primary care providers teams across the region.

“The province had set aside $110 million of investment into primary care systems in Ontario. We were very fortunate here in the riding to receive a portion of that to attach and keep attached patients … I'm really pleased to announce this investment will be spread over four projects,” said Smith in the announcement.

• Out of the $1.2 million, the Algonquin Family Health Team (AFHT) will receive $559,799 — the highest figure among the other three groups receiving funds — and will connect over 1,200 patients to primary care in the Huntsville and Dorset areas.

• Sundridge and District Medical Centre will be receiving $327,237 to connect approximately 1,200 unattached patients.

• Burk's Falls Family Health Team and Wasauksing First Nation are getting $290,000 and $87,650, respectively. With the investment, these two groups are expected to connect approximately 2,600 patients to primary care.

• “This is tremendous for our community. We have a growing number of unattached citizens in our community … with this funding, it increases the level of service that this clinic can provide and certainly in the area of mental health,” said Huntsville Mayor Nancy Alcock.

• AFHT executive director Janine van den Heuvel, who presented to the Huntsville council a few weeks ago on the importance of funding, attended the announcement and said she looks forward to receiving the support.

“I'm excited to be able to continue growing our essential community partnerships and our clinical partnerships as well,” she said. “We have done a lot in this clinic so far, and we're excited to see what comes next … and expand the services we offer to unattached patients in the area.”

Julian Orlando Chaves, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Huntsville Forester