Winkler and District Health Care Board announces a significant expansion of its footprint in the ALG Professional Centre.
Last year at this time, the Winkler & District Health Care Board announced its intention to build an expansion on the Winkler Coop property immediately north of the existing CW Wiebe Medical Centre. When the response to tendering resulted in unsustainable numbers, the Board made the difficult but astute decision to halt the building project. In the summer of 2022, the AL Group of Companies approached the Health Care Board with an offer to buy approximately 20,000 square feet of space in the ALG Professional Centre building. This offer provided the Board an excellent opportunity to advance its vision and objectives to provide sustainable infrastructure for the clinic operations to continue to expand in response to the area residents’ health needs.
The present community in the Professional Centre represents a stable and positive group of service providers and businesses that has received mutual benefit from co-location with the clinic. The presence of Eden Health Care Services as the other significant owner keeps mental health services closely connected with primary health care. The Board recognizes this and plans to continue to build on that strong collaboration.
The CW Wiebe Medical Centre has grown over the past 23 years from 10 physicians in 2000 to presently providing capacity and services for 44 physicians, surgeons and 90 other clinical and support staff. The Board is aware of the present health care challenges in the region, significantly influenced by responses to the pandemic and navigating the resulting public health implications. One of the more concerning and immediate outcomes is the challenges with retaining and recruiting physicians and other health care providers to the region. The Health Care Board also recognizes the positive aspects the region has to offer and is dedicating its efforts to assist the medical community to recruit excellent practitioners to the region. The expansion of the Board’s footprint in the Professional Centre will ensure that adequate space will be available when it is needed.
With dedicated and engaged board members appointed from the City of Winkler, the municipalities of Rhineland, Roland, and Stanley, and with representation from Eden and Salem, the Winkler & District Health Care Board represents a strong vision for building and sustaining health services close to home. Collaborations with Boundary Trails Health Centre, Menzies Medical Centre in Morden and Southern Health ensure that we can support the best possible health services for the region.
A CBC article posted on March 06 2022 focusing on our female surgeons, in the lead-up to International Women’s Day:
This article appeared in the Canadian Healthcare Network newsletter (originally posted on the Ontario Medical Association website, as linked below) and outlines some of the strategies adopted by the Winkler & District Health Care Board.
The following article in the Canadian Family Physician, the official journal of the College of Family Physicians of Canada, shares the importance of community organizations in recruiting and retaining family physicians. Dr. Adashnee Pather is a local physician practising at the CW Wiebe Medical Centre in Winkler. The article shares her personal story of coming to southern Manitoba to open and grow her practice.
Canadian Family Physician Aug 2019, 65 (8) 589;
Excerpted from Pembina Valley Online:
Dr. Chandy Jacob, simply known as “Doctor Jacob”, to many, has seen healthcare advance and adapt in the Pembina Valley for over 50 years. In that time he’s personally seen the team of local doctors grow from four to 45 in Winkler.
After a half-century in the field, Jacob’s tried and true mantra remains, if you add more services in the rural areas people benefit and the government saves money, “providing specialist care in a regional centre is not only better service for people, the government saves money because the cost is less than providing the same service in the city… we’re not asking for the moon, but add some services outside Winnipeg.”
“People need to speak up, we deserve better care,” he says, adding while doctors have some weight when it comes to advocacy, the public has the true political power.
And he says more specialists, like himself, are interested in settling outside urban areas. “If you put the services here, the specialists will move here… but people need to ask for it.”
Jacob celebrated 51 years serving Winkler and area this year.
The Winkler & District Health Care Board received recognition in the Not-For-Profit category at the 2019 Winkler Business Awards Gala.
As part of the ceremony a video was presented (see below), highlighting our history and our focus on supporting community health care.
By Ashleigh Viveiros, Winkler Morden Voice, November 22 2018 Issue
The Winkler and District Healthcare Board bid farewell to one of its longest serving members last week (pictured, fifth from left).
Former Rhineland councillor Paul Peters, who opted not to seek re-election this fall after over two decades on council, attended his final health care board meeting at the C.W. Wiebe Medical Centre on Friday.
Peters joined the board when it was first created 18 years ago and has been there to help guide the community-owned clinic’s growth ever since.
That growth has been amazing to have a hand in, Peters said.
“There’s so many things that have happened over the years,” he said. “The extension and expansion in this area is just phenomenal.”
When the board was founded, Winkler was down to about half a dozen physicians. Today, over 40 call the city home.
The support of the community itself has played a huge role in attracting and retaining quality health care professionals, Peters stressed.
“It’s unbelievable the support that we get from all the municipalities and just great to see the health care keeping on being proactive.”
Peters’ involvement in local health care stretches back to the 1970s when he was a member of the Bethel Hospital board.
“I’ve seen a lot of things happen,” he said, reflecting that his interest in the field stemmed from the fact his youngest son was born with Down syndrome. “So, we had a little more to do with doctors … that was just an ongoing concern.”
Peters also got to personally know the Winkler clinic’s namesake, Dr. C.W. Wiebe.
“[He] was a good friend of mine, even if he was a good 40 years older than me,” he said. “We had a lot of good times.”
Knowing that the work he’s been a part of all these years has helped improve health care for thousands of area residents is a satisfying realization for Peters.
“It’s great to see the fruition of the labour that has been put in by the people ahead of me and the present board, too,” he said. “They’re all on the same page, working for the benefit of this community.”
Winkler’s model of community health care has served as an example across the nation.
“I think we’re one of a kind and we have been a frontrunner for health care,” Peters said, noting clinic manager Jim Neufeld has been invited to speak all over Canada about the inner workings of the clinic.
“It’s not the doctors controlling the clinic, it’s the community,” he explained. “That’s what has made this thing grow … [it provides] long-term stability. Doctors can come and go, but the community’s still in control.”
Health care board chair Marvin Plett said Peters’ experience will be missed.
“It’s been wonderful working with Paul. He’s a very dedicated member,” he said, adding Peters also brought continuity to the board. “With your long-term service, you have the history of it … for new members that was very helpful to put things into perspective.”
Peters’ final meeting last week was also the first meeting for several new members, as the board welcomed newly elected representatives from throughout the region.
The board has big plans for the clinic’s future on the horizon, Plett noted.
“For a long time we were just playing catch-up,” he said of the organization’s early years. “Originally we had 12,000 sq. ft. that we leased … we’re up to 25,000 sq. ft. now. “We’ve doubled the space in here, but we are getting crowded again,” Plett said. “And so, we’re working on some other initiatives that we can talk about in a few months’ time. We are definitely thinking ahead.”