It’s official

North Dundas Mayor Tony Fraser (left) presented Dr. Bart Steele with a certificate, welcoming him and his team to their new location in Winchester’s downtown core on Main Street. Glover photo

WINCHESTER – Nation River Health Clinic officially moved to their new location on Winchester’s Main Street Mon., July 15 to offer better health services to the residents of North Dundas.

“It’s a key service that serves the residents of North Dundas,” said North Dundas Mayor Tony Fraser.

This big relocation has been in the works for many years according to Dr. Bart Steele, with multiple previous attempts at the move. As they keep settling into the new building, they’re hoping to bring on more physicians to meet that “sweet spot” of efficient- working doctors under one roof.

“We planned this for 15 years. This is the fourth go around of trying to get a new clinic, but it never happened for various reasons, including financial [reasons] and coordinating doctors is not an easy thing,” said Steele. “The forces in medicine are moving towards group practice and there is a sweet spot to how many doctors in a building can efficiently work together. Some are six and 10 and we’re going to be there when we get this place filled.”

Steele and his team were able to move into the building with combined efforts of Winchester’s Seaway Valley Pharmacy owners Sutinder Sandhar and Tamer Farag, who bought the building and facilitated their moving ambitions.

“That is why we are here now and not in our old location,” said Steele.

While the local hospital is always a good reason to stay operating in Winchester, along with a brand new building to function out of, after many years of service to the community, Steele and his team found no reason to relocate out of town.

“The hospital is always an attraction for doctors wanting work, [it] gives them a broad range of practice and keeps their skills up,” said Steele. “This practice is also already established in this area, so we’ re not moving anywhere.”

With the new facility to operate out of, the health centre will be able to provide care more efficiently while also offering more alternative treatments.

“The biggest thing is that we will be able to recruit a few more doctors,” Steele said. “Winchester is not that under serviced, so there’s not that capacity to attract a dozen doctors but with a few more doctors, we’ ll be able to increase the efficiency of care. We’ ll be able to offer more group medicine. Traditionally it’s been one-on-one with the doctor, now we’ re sort of looking for program-based care because we now have the room to do it.”

“We’ll be able to do more telemedicine too,” he added. “We’re going to have a conference room for that.”

“The continuity and confidence are important to people that live here and are thinking about moving here,” said Fraser. “Also, filling up a storefront in our downtown core ensures that there’s action and business taking place and that there are people in our downtown core.”