Gravenhurst council has approved a 20-year extension on the lease agreement for the Cottage Country Family Health Team (CCFHT) in order to continue development of services, in particular on the second floor.
Executive director Lorraine Johnston attended the May 17 Committee of the Whole meeting to update council on the plans for the CCFHT medical building.
Johnston explained that the building, built in 2009, has a joint venture agreement (JVA) with the Town of Gravenhurst. The Town owns the land and CCFHT owns the building. There is a separate 99-year ground lease agreement. At the 20-year point, Dec. 1, 2028, the Town can give 12-months notice to terminate the JVA.
Johnston requested the JVA termination right be extended for an additional 20 years. The extension would allow CCFHT to enter into leases with terms that will allow for investment to be recovered and to continue growing services.
CCFHT is a not-for-profit organization and may develop the building with the condition that the outside is not changed and it must be for health services. Johnston said that the current budget from the Ministry is for human resources and operations, funding is not for maintenance of an aging building. Physician rent goes to the primary care branch for development grant repayment.
“We need to be able to explore opportunities to build out the second floor, some of that would be Ministry funding, third-party leases and development grants,” said Johnston.
“We are looking at a new service, a Paramed Nursing Clinic, we have signed a lease with them to take up space on the main level, to provide IV therapy, wound care, services that would normally be in someone’s home, if they are able to travel, they can come to the clinic,” explained Johnston.
Existing services currently on the main floor are the Arthritis Society, Family Connections, co-op lab services and a diabetic clinic.
They are also investigating diagnostic imaging (x-ray and ultrasound) and a full-service laboratory that would be open to all residents of the Gravenhurst area, whether their family doctor is in the community or not.
Part of the development process is to attract tenants that will provide extended patient care that is not currently being offered. Johnston said the plan is to engage the original architect to undertake an evaluation of the cost to build out the second floor. Common area washrooms and ring corridors would need to be completed to build base building services and life safety systems.
The vision for expanded medical services for the second floor include CCFHT corporate and program staff offices, audiology, physiotherapy and CPAP. The full-service laboratory and paramed nursing clinic would then be moved to the second level.
The elevator has not been in service since the building was developed. Bathrooms and hallways need to be developed and we will “look to the Ministry for development of CCFHT space.”
Johnston emphasized that they will need to work with the Ministry and primary care branch in any future development.
The community has been wondering about the second-floor development for quite a while, Mayor Kelly commented and he thanked Johnston for the update.
The motion to extend the JVA by an additional 20 years was passed unanimously.
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