Humble health hub that could
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | April 26, 2018|
The “humble” hub.
That’s how Collin Reaney refers to the Dorset Health Hub.
A lead member of the Dorset Community Partnership Fund, he and numerous volunteers and partners have done the near impossible. They have raised money to build and equip a health hub building. They have fund-raised to pay for one of three staff members. They’ve covered all kinds of costs as needs have arisen. They do diabetes prevention. They’ve started making home visits. They even do blood work. While talking to Reaney on Tuesday, he said they are in the process of having a well sunk. It never ends.
And, in just under three years, they’ve amassed a patient base of 450 people, about half from Haliburton County. The women working at the hub said they’ve had as many as 30 people a day. For residents of
Dorset and surrounding areas (they have patients from Tory Hill), the hub is, quite literally, a lifeline. Where in this day and age do you have a health care professional visit homes of seniors and people who can’t
drive, for example?
Between the fund, the District of Muskoka, the Townships of Algonquin Highlands and Lake of Bays, as well as the Province of Ontario, they’ve done some amazing things.
Local MPP Laurie Scott, a former nurse, admitted that when they first talked about a health hub for Dorset, she thought it sounded like a stretch. What would the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care think?
Well, they thought enough of it to invest an estimated $220,000-$250,000-a-year for two staff and other support over the first three years.
And, as of April 1 of this year, they thought enough about it to earmark permanent base funding. The once skeptical Scott said getting the MOHLTC to agree to base funding is no small feat.
Cue the uncorking of the champagne bottles at the little hub that could.
Now ... don’t get them wrong. They’re delighted about the ‘forever’ funding. But, of course, they would have liked a bit more, to pay for that third staff member and help with expanded programming and never-ending
What we really love about this project is the community saw a need. They then supported it. And that is how the hub continues to grow.They really look at what their patients require and they respond to that.
In the process, they are easing pressure on the health care system, helping to keep patients at home and reducing unnecessary trips to the hospital.
And while it may be “little” and “humble,” people are watching the Dorset Health Hub. We’ve heard the Haliburton Highlands Health Services is certainly keeping a keen eye on it.
And, why not?
This is a health care experiment that is working and there is no reason it cannot be duplicated elsewhere.
All it will take is good, old-fashioned hard work. Reaney says he talks to a lot of people when it comes to fundraising.
And, of course, it takes vision, like that of founder Herb Hickling nearly seven years ago.
And, so, the humble health hub that thought it could - has.
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.