A Community Led and Operated Medical Centre
For five decades, the Medical Centre has been operated by a group of volunteers who built it, manage it today and support the medical team that provide care. It is a unique partnership among the medical practitioners, the community and the Board with a common goal, healthy people in a healthy community. We are a not-for-profit registered charity and we greatly appreciate your support, financial and other, helping to ensure our fine medical service will remain and grow, meeting the need for generations to come.
A Proud Past - A Promising Future
Since the early 1970’s, local citizens and businesses have worked to ensure quality health care for Lansdowne and area. Through extensive community effort, the initial footprint of the Centre was built that we continue to occupy today. Evolving over the years, through countless volunteer hours, community contributions and medical practitioner support, there have been upgrades, improvements, renovations and innovations in the on-going quest for this uninterrupted primary health care.
By 2012 success exceeded capacity and the second phase of the Centre became our focus. Extensive fundraising efforts were initiated and strongly supported by the community. The Expansion and Fundraising Committees had the support of a number of energetic and enthusiastic volunteers to help with the heavy lifting. A significant loan was provided by the Township to help us complete the project in a timely fashion. Today we have a modern, well equipped and efficiently operating facility housing both the medical practice and a locally owned pharmacy.
Located at 1012 Prince Street (County Road 3) in Lansdowne this facility serves clients from Brockville to Kingston with a majority residing within the Township boundaries. Our success in attracting health care professionals prepared to “hang out their shingle” in this picturesque setting, the heart of the Thousand Islands, has allowed for the continuity of quality patient care. The physician recruitment challenge has been met time and again by innovative Boards and dedicated doctors recruiting to replace departing practitioners. It’s a tough playing field where we compete for physicians who are being courted by major centers and amidst a trending toward specialty medicine careers. Healthcare delivery, supply and demand has been further unbalanced by the unprecedented challenges of the early 2020s. Future physician recruitment and retention will require diligence, financial resources, imagination and adaptation.
We have seen the growth and advancement of the Nurse Practitioner (NP) model, first introduced here in 2004 with the addition of NP, Phoebe Collard. This was part of the pilot program for Nurse Practitioner support in the family practice setting. Our team demonstrated it to be an excellent model. Ms. Collard continued to serve as NP in Lansdowne until 2022. During that time the Ministry transitioned the Nurse Practitioner position from being an employee of the Centre to being part of the healthcare support administered through the Upper Canada Family Healthcare Team, (UCFHT). Our Centre qualifies for one full-time, ministry funded, Nurse Practitioner. Ensuring that role is appropriately filled is now handled through the UCFHT.
Within the framework of the Ontario Ministry of Health spectrum of community healthcare delivery systems, the physicians practicing at our Centre are members of the Thousand Island Family Health Organization (FHO). While we are not a walk-in clinic; through the FHO partnership with the Seeley’s Bay and Stone’s Mill clinics, after hours services, “Urgent Care Clinics”, are available on a rotating schedule for all patients registered to the care of any of the Thousand Island FHO practitioners.
The Medical Centre is an integral part of the local and extended community. The call for “healthy communities” has become the standard. Again, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has initiated funding models that attempt to provide and share more resources. The local Family Health Organization (FHO) is part of the Upper Canada Family Health Team (FHT) with Ministry of Health supported staffing and programs. These resources include many allied health care professionals who provide specialized care and service to our patients, often delivered at our site or nearby. As opportunities arise to bring care to the client locally, we attempt to facilitate those initiatives such as space for on-site Medigas CPAP services.
A modern responsive medical practice has many needs. A community-operated centre like ours may have even more. We do not and cannot count only on government healthcare funding. What makes or breaks our ability to maintain, grow and advance our service is multifaceted. We operate a fully staffed facility in partnership with our medical practitioners. Here are the various funding streams:
Doctor contributions through their OHIP revenue;
Ministry of Health funding for one Nurse Practitioner;
Leasing agreements with the practitioners, the Upper Canada Family Health Team and the local Lansdowne Pharmasave;
Local organization and business donations;
Municipality endorsement and support;
Bereaved families identifying the Centre for memorial donations;
Planned giving through regular contributions and estate designated funds;
Contributions from people like you. Your financial support and involvement is the motivation and lifeblood of our success....
The doctor contributions pay staff wages and the practice operating costs. Donations support capital expenditures for new equipment and technology as well as building and infrastructure maintenance and improvements. Leasing income finances property maintenance and services and allows us to meet our TLTI loan repayment schedule.
In 2012 when the expansion plans were unveiled, they were in keeping with the vision of the founding leaders from forty years prior. In his remarks in June 1973 at the Opening Ceremony of the Centre, Chairman Eric Webster stated, “Your committee has not only planned for today but made provision for the future. The building has been so located and constructed that additions of up to 30’ x 140’ can be added on the existing lot. All services in the building are positioned to serve such an extension.” In 2014 when it was shovels in the ground, achieving that vision became a reality.
Since the opening of the new north wing, we have continued to move forward. We have paved the front parking lot, replaced deteriorated walkways and stairs and continued upgrades in the south wing. We have installed the passenger lift. We upgraded to a much larger capacity commercial generator (and propane tank) ensuring appropriate backup coverage in an extended power outage. We have added a water softener and are moving toward LED lighting. In order to meet COVID protocols and keep our staff safe, Plexiglas barriers were installed at reception. Also, security cameras and door operators were introduced allowing the clinic to restrict access but enable clients to be admitted remotely through locked doors. The additional acreage at the west of the parking lot offered a suitable location to accommodate the propane tank and will allow for additional parking to be developed if at some future time McDonald Drive were to become a thoroughfare.
The Board of Directors has moved from aggressive fundraising events to conscientious financial oversight and consistent monitoring and dedicated maintenance in our role as landlord of this much improved but more demanding facility. We have adapted to the ever-changing landscape in the role of managing and maintaining the “Turnkey Practice” model, within the confines of Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care rules and directives. We continue to view our role as one of stewardship of this important community asset and take pride in our efforts.