Health Hub opens
The opening of the brand new Limoges Health Hub was a formal affair, with a town crier reading a “royal” proclamation, speeches by many of the principals involved in the project, participation and congratulations from all levels of government, and a bouquet of flowers for Shirley Racine, from the Limoges Fire Department.     Vetter photos

Candice Vetter
Villager Staff
LIMOGES – The much anticipated Limoges Health Hub officially opened on Fri., Oct. 13, on Principale St. in Limoges in front of a crowd of about 250 people.

The joyful event started with the advent of town crier Carl Létourneau, with his young assistant Dominic Brière, who read the “royal” proclamation declaring the centre officially open for business. In reality the dental office and Guardian Pharmacy have been open for a time already, but now the building is complete and residents of Limoges and surrounding area are excited to have this new health centre in their village.

Two RCMP officers in red serge flanked the stage, a local chorus sang O, Canada! and several speeches were made by special guests, including Mayor of the Nation Municipality, François St. Amour; John Fraser, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care on behalf of Dr. Eric Hoskins, the Minister; GPR MP Francis Drouin; principals of St. Joseph Developments, who built the building on speculation and trust that it would find tenants; Karen Petrie, Special Advisor to the Premier on Community Health Hubs; Eric Drouin, Chairperson of the Prescott Russell Community Development Corporation; Executive Director of PRCDC John Candie; Marc Bisson, Director General of Centre de santé communautaire de l’Estrie; Ward 4 Nation Councillor Francis Brière; Nancy Mudrinic, Assistant Deputy Minister for Community Hubs; Sylvie Leclaire, Director Genral of Prescott Russell Community Services; and of course the woman who started the ball rolling, Shirley Racine.

Racine thanked everyone involved in the project, making for a considerable list, especially Vincent Detillieux and A.J. Plante of St. Joseph Developments. “You took a leap of faith,” she said, referring to their commitment to build the centre even before it had tenants. But tenants came, and quickly, thanks to the hiring of a professional recruiter who found eight doctors, among many other medical service providers.

The new doctors were introduced at the ceremony, as well as all the dental staff, the pharmacy staff, and some of the many others who will be working in that building, who include the rehabilitation/physiotherapy team, a nutritionist/dietician, a speech and language therapist, a nurse practitioner who specializes in foot care, two registered nurses, chiropractor Dr. Majorie Drolet; and others. In addition the centre will be the home of the community hub, including Meals on Wheels and other services.

Racine also thanked the provincial government, MPP Grant Crack who helped secure funding for the centre, and Desjardins Caisse populaire Trillium, which has been an important financial donor. “It was one year ago today that the Premier was here with funding of $425,000,” Racine said with a huge smile on her face. “But this project has been six years in the making.”

Detillieux of St. Joseph Developments put it more plainly. “The day is here,” he said. “We’re done.”

The investment in the construction of the 15,000 sq.-ft. building was about $5.5-million and the project has created 51 new employment opportunities so far.

Racine later told The Villager that the doctors have been accepting hundreds of new patients and there will be capacity for many more. Some have opened practices already and others are coming later this year or early in the new year.

Racine’s work was praised as an example of how to get important things done in communities. She has become a much-sought-after speaker to other communities considering health projects, and her approach is being adopted as a model.

Services at the centre are available in both English and French, and Racine called it a “one-stop shop” for health services. For more information see santelimoges.ca.

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