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2013-12-19 at 16:19

Clinic on the move

By Jamie Smith,
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While there isn’t a date set in stone, a local clinic should be in its new space by February.

The Fort William Clinic has been on McKellar Street for more than 65 years. But what was once a small family practice now brings more than 300 people a day to what is otherwise a quiet street on the city's South side.

With more than 16,000 patients and an expanded roster that includes nurse practitioners, dietitians and social workers, the Fort William Family Health Team is moving to a new home on Golf Links Road.

"We've really grown out of this space and we'd like to grow our team even more," lead physician Jennifer Atwood said.

The move was supposed to have taken place in October but construction delays have pushed that date back. The 18,000 square foot new space though is shaping up. Executive director Julie Campbell walked through the nearly completed third floor pointing features of the new clinic.

"They're large enough to accommodate a family visit," she said pointing to the new examination rooms.

"Instead of just an individual person, which is what we're doing at our old clinic."

The old clinic also had several additions through the years, which made for tight spaces and a sometimes labyrinth-like walk back to the reception area. The new space is wide and bright. The interior has also been designed to resemble the Northwestern Ontario landscape, complete with large windows that look out onto trees.

"We wanted to bring the outside in," Campbell said.

It's also going to be much more accessible from parking to ramps to wide hallways and doors,
something that couldn't be done at the current clinic. Atwood said while it's sad that the clinic has to leave the South core, there just wasn't enough space there anymore. The clinic will keep its Fort William name though to remember the past she said.

Atwood apologizes to patients wondering when the move is going to happen. She said to check the Fort William Family Health Team website for updates.

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We've improved our comment system.
Musicferret says:
Let the exodus of everything from the south side of the city continue. You think it's a ghetto now? Wait a couple more years.
12/19/2013 7:30:10 PM
Bigtime says:
People don't "think" its a IS a ghetto, and has been for a long time. They can talk revitalization and congrats to Mr. Habib on being a visionary. But unfortunately, for the once vibrant downtown, its too late.
12/20/2013 8:12:55 AM
fastball says:
Things change and evolve over time.
I'm sure the neighbours in the area will be thrilled at the prospect of not having all that traffic on their street all day.
And the new clinic might have a parking lot, as well.
12/20/2013 10:18:11 AM
Glyder says:
You mean the 1 person that lives on that street? And, you must have missed the parking lot just 50 m south from the building too.
12/20/2013 2:45:25 PM
Nitesky says:
I don't choose to see it as us vs them. That was the old days and this is now. One city, one populace, one vision for the future. Where is there available land that is zoned accordingly, ready for development and suitable for the purpose. That is what matters.
12/20/2013 11:02:12 AM
progress now says:
I really don't believe people choose the us vs them scenario you suggest.

People intuitively know what urban planners tell you, urban development must be even, or you create problems you will have to latter address at great cost.

The cardinal sin is to ignore or even contribute to blight. Have we seen that happen in Thunder Bay? Does city planning rob Peter to Paul?

We are given the impression we are not qualified to ask that question, yet it is a festering concern almost omnipresent in the community.

As to one vision for the future, may I ask who's vision it should be?
12/24/2013 12:00:14 AM
tsb says:
Thanks to increased car ownership, services no long have to have multiple locations throughout the city. We don't have to have a clinic in every neighbourhood, because every single person has a car and is able to drive to a central location to access care.

This is just one more step forward for our car-dominated society.
12/20/2013 12:00:34 PM
mystified says:
" because every single person has a car and is able to drive to a central location to access care. "
And how do you expect us married people to get there?
12/20/2013 4:07:43 PM
tsb says:
Married people have two cars, and can drive both of them. It's good to drive everywhere because freedom and stuff.
12/20/2013 8:14:41 PM
progress now says:
Interesting point.

My wife and I lived without a car for over 20 years. The difference is, cities we lived in were designed so that you could live, work, and find the various services that you need everyday within walking distance.

This was our past. This is also the future.

Some consultants hired by the city ask you to "vision" a new Thunder Bay, and show you photographs of places like Copenhagen that never bought in to the oh so many urban planning trends over the decades that have done so much to hobble this community.

What is it they like about Copenhagen? It's city centre stood as a bulwark against sprawl and mall and presents to its citizens and the world liveable walkable neighbourhoods where the area you live in is more important than even your house.

This is what makes communities a joy to live in. Also it attracts employers and future citizens.

Is our city planning benefitting or community, or consultants?

So many people say follow the money. I wonder sometimes.
12/23/2013 11:51:30 PM
TBDR says:
Things come and go from different parts of the city. In the 80's and 90s there was a mass exodus from downtown PA as everything relocated to Intercity or closed because of the poor economy. I love how the regular whiners on this city don't ever look at history books or facts for that matter when launching into their drivel on here.
12/20/2013 3:24:22 PM
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