Southside Construction had never seen so many visitors to a construction site.
That from Sarah Milner, the executive director of the Central Lambton Family Health Team.
The team of 25 doctors, nurses, nurse practioners and health care professionals spent about three days moving from the teams former homes in CEE Hospital and on King Street.
They brought their equipment and personal belongings to the fresh new offices and set up supplies in patient care rooms. While they worked, the finishing touches were being put on the building, putting up signage and connecting all the technology.
And amid all that organized chaos, the members of the team were bringing family and friends by to see what is now called Engelhart Health Park.
“The exciting part to see is how proud everyone is of this space,” says Milner as she took The Independent for a tour of the building before patients began flowing through the spacious entryway Monday. “It’s not just a building; we’re very proud of this space and a lot of people are coming through with family.
“The on-site (construction) supervisor was floored by the amount of people who were coming through,” she says with a laugh.
Milner can understand the excitement. The health team took a number of years to tour other facilities and take the best parts to create their own centre. Doctors have offices and three examination rooms for patient. There is room for the nurse practitioner, the chiropodist, and dietician to meet with their clients.
And there are simple things which will make life a little easier, like a direct link between the washrooms and a lab area to pass urine samples through so patients don’t have to walk down the hall carrying it. “I think we’ve created a welcoming environment for our patients,” says Milner.
And she says there is room to expand. There is extra space for doctors who might join the practice in the future. And there is lots of room for new patients. Milner says two doctors, Justin Mall and Nathan Taylor, are setting up practice and it will take some time before their practice is full.
Milner is also thinking about what else the team might be able to do.
“The next step is we are going to step back and look at the needs of the community …are they around mental health or diabetes; are there any particular health conditions that stand out ahs health needs so we can gear our programs to that.”
In the short-term, the new building will be open to the public Oct. 29 from 3 pm to 6 pm with the official opening at 4pm. Milner is hopeful a lot of the community can come by to see what is being offered.