Looking after patients is the number-one job at the Woolwich Community Health Centre, but the building’s health is also on the agenda. The latest upgrade to the facility comes courtesy of $27,000 from the province, part of $10 million in funding announced last week for Waterloo Region.
At WCHC, the money will pay for new eavestroughs and downspouts on the organization’s St. Jacobs headquarters.
In all, the province will provide more than $10 million through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund – including $6.8 million for St. Mary’s General Hospital and $1.4 million for Grand River Hospital – and the Community Infrastructure Renewal Fund, which includes the $27,183 for WCHC and $258,276 for the Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre.
“Basically, it’s replacing things around the building to improve the water management. We’ve been running into a few issues – our building’s 30 years old now – and it’s time to replace it,” said WCHC executive director Rosslyn Bentley of where the money will be going.
Under terms of the funding, the work has to be completed by the end of next March, with Bentley noting they’ll be pushing to have it done this fall.
“Because we own our buildings, we certainly try to maintain them; we use some of the revenues that we make from rents and things like that, but the government helps subsidize some of the things that we need to do, so we’re grateful for that.”
Overall, the government is providing $175 million to hospitals through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund and $7.6 million to community health service providers through the Community Infrastructure Renewal Fund. The money allows organizations to address urgent infrastructure renewal needs such as upgrades or replacements of roofs, windows, security systems, fire alarms and back-up generators.
“Patients and families in Waterloo Region deserve the highest quality of health care delivered in comfortable, upgraded facilities”, said Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Mike Harris in a statement announcing the latest funding. “Whether it is in our major regional hospitals or our rural health care centres, our government is committed to providing the necessary investments to keep local infrastructure up to modern standards so that the care our community needs is available close to home.”
“The health centre can focus on patient and community care knowing the government is helping keep our staff and buildings safe,” said Bentley
“We’ll have some doors that are needing replacing, and then I think in about five years that roof will need replacing. These are some of the things that come along, but we have a very comprehensive list of everything that is needed.”