Why Innisfil Partnered With The Community to Build The Rizzardo Health Centre
There are a few things that are essential to life: education, healthcare, and housing. Without these things, it’s very difficult to grow a healthy and robust community of residents, businesses and services.
If you don’t have these things in your neighbourhood, families will eventually leave. An affordable home, schools and the ability to be healthy are fundamental to have the growing population a community requires in order to survive over the long term. Without these things, businesses cannot hope to thrive either.
A bit of background on health care in Innisfil
The Innisfil Town Council had the incredible foresight to recognize the foundational importance of adequate, local health care options to satisfy residents and businesses alike. A committee was established in 2011—Innisfil Community Health Committee (ICHC)—to review the health care needs of the community and establish a business case for funding any gaps.
Based on a research report—The Innisfil Healthy Communities Assessment Report—developed in partnership with York University, the ICHC went on to work with Georgian College Research Analysis program to collect and analyze health service data in the Innisfil area, including and with these abridged results:
- The health status of Innisfil residents: almost half of the respondents surveyed had a chronic disease.
- Residents’ patterns of accessing primary care: less than 9% of residents had a local doctor, with 40% of respondents having to travel 30 minutes or more to access primary health care service, such as a family physician.
- The barriers to health services, including lack of primary care services in the area.
- The health service needs of the community, at all ages and stages of life.
The importance of having access to healthcare within the community was clear. To address these gaps in local health care, the Innisfil Town Council established the Innisfil Health Hub, in 2017. The initiative broke ground in 2018 and the Rizzardo Health & Wellness Centre—in honour of lead donors Sandra and Diego Rizzardo—opened its doors in May 2019, with doctors serving patients from that date. The centre continues to expand, with more services coming online over time.
What services does the Rizzardo Health Centre provide?
The opening of the centre is happening in stages, to ensure quality of service. Here’s what’s available now:
- Walk-in clinic
- Primary care physician – Innisfil Medical Practice
- LifeLabs, for tests and bloodwork
- Ontario Telemedicine Network
- Canadian Mental Health Association
Over the next year, there are other services that will come online at the centre:
- Radiology clinic
- Pharmacy – Guardian Pharmacy
- Physiotherapy, chiropractic services, orthopedics, acupuncture and more through MyoDynamic Health
- Dentistry services
- The Horodynsky Community Kitchen
From a business point of view
As entrepreneurs consider relocating to a community to open their businesses, access to local services is a factor that can help them come to choose one over another.
Good schools, affordable housing options, solid transportation links to main hubs like the GTA, and healthcare, are all part of a visionary package that the Innisfil Town Council, with the Innisfil Economic Development Team, have put together. It’s this kind of innovation that makes Innisfil a perfect choice for living AND working.
For businesses who want to support this initiative, what could be better than a ‘cause related marketing campaign’? It shows locals and customers alike that you’re interested in supporting the community that you run your business in. What could be better for everyone?
From a community point of view
Having access to quality healthcare right in the local community is essential to the overall wellbeing of the area. With a large number of Innisfil residents living outside of a 15-minute radius to the nearest hospital or urgent care centre, the Town knew that it needed to bring these foundational services closer to home.
The Town of Innisfil worked in partnership with community members and medical and health service providers to bring this project to fruition and its benefits will be felt for years and generations to come.