Phase 1 of the Chestermere Community Health Centre in Kinniburgh is well on its way to opening in 2014. Located on the south east side of Chestermere, this 22,000 sq. ft. building will be home to Alberta Health Services (AHS) which will occupy almost half of the entire space.
AHS will be relocating and amalgamating spaces currently located within Chestermere and Strathmore, and will now be under one roof in the new building. According to Don Stewart with Alberta Health Services, this will allow AHS to consolidate existing programs, including mental health, public health and home care in one facility.
AHS will take possession of the space in the early New Year and will begin tenant improvements as soon as possible, opening to the public in late 2014. The rest of the building considered to be Phase 1 will include a pharmacy, walk-in medical clinic, chiropractor, coffee shop, a preschool centre and retail space.
Phase 2, which will begin construction in spring of 2014 will be an identical sized building as phase one and is expected to be completed the following fall. It will have space for a lab and diagnostic imaging, a dentist office and optometrist, a daycare and more retail spaces such as restaurants.
Bob Gaidhar is the Director of Development and Senior Partner of Prime Developments and the developer of the Health Care building. He explains that despite many efforts, it was not possible to have the lab and diagnostics in Phase 1 of the project. “The lab and diagnostics companies are private entities and require a population of 20-25,000 people before they will consider leasing a space,” says Gaidhar but he adds that room will be left in the second phase to house it once the population justifies the addition.
Currently, there is only one doctor who has committed to working in the walk-in clinic in phase one and Gaidhar would really like to see more than that. “We are actively looking for more doctors and particularly female doctors,” explains Gaidhar. He would like for residents to speak to their own doctors in the city and invite them to consider Chestermere as a place to practice medicine. “This is such a great community that is growing so incredibly quickly, it has a lot to offer.”
The Health Care Centre, which does not yet have an official name, came about largely because of a volunteer committee of dedicated citizens that formed in 2010 and have worked tirelessly to bring increased health care to Chestermere.
Karen Wourms is the co-chair of the Chestermere Community Health Care Committee and is anxious to see this project come to fruit. “On behalf of our health committee I would like to state that we are very pleased that this project is still moving forward. We look forward to the opening of Chestermere’s new medical facility which will enhance our services and promote greater accessibility to healthcare for our residents and surrounding area,” states Wourms, who also wanted to thank the community for their support.
“Thank you to the community for your patience and support as we have moved through many obstacles to get to where we are today. We have had very positive support from our local Lions, Knights of Columbus, Mayor Matthews, Patty Sproule from Community Services and past and present members of Town Council – again, thank you,” says the heartfelt Wourms.