Group unveils Health Hub dream in Blenheim


A concerned group of citizens, with the support of a number of Blenheim health-care professionals, hope to establish a Health Hub in the South Kent community.

Members of the Blenheim Medical Health Foundation (BMHF) recently unveiled plans to develop a Hyland Drive building into the Health Hub, and forsee doctors, nurse practitioners, and diagnostic imaging personnel working under one roof.

The former headquarters for The Andersons, an agri-business company, 2 Hyland Dr. has been donated to the foundation by Blenheim citizens Peter and Annie Timmermans.

Cathy Smith, BMHF secretary, said it’s a 26,000-sq. ft. building, with plenty of room, and plenty of need for renovation.

According to a media release from the BMHF, “the organization’s purpose is to ensure sustainable health care through the provision of facilities that attract and retain health-care providers and to support the residents of South-Kent and broader Chatham-Kent with a centralized hub of comprehensive and integrated health and wellness programs and services.”

Smith said the BMHF hopes the Health Hub will one day be home to a one-stop shop of sorts for people requiring various levels of health-care treatment.

“If you expand out the family health team (of the Blenheim Medical Centre) and bring in more nurse practitioners, trainees and residents, that’s what we want. Our Phase One goal is the integrated piece, including diagnostic imaging and lab services,” she said.

Smith added there could even be potential for emergent care in the form of a 24-hour walk-in clinic, as well as a pharmacy.

She added there is still space nearby for support offices, which could include psychiatric and physical therapy.

Furthermore, a facility such as this could help attract additional specialists to the municipality, Smith said.

“There are some core specialist medical services we just don’t have in Chatham-Kent. Maybe we can attract some so people don’t have to go to Windsor or London,” she said.

Nothing will occur overnight. Smith said the facility needs significant renovations to be morphed into a medical facility. The foundation’s goal is to finish those renovations by the end of 2024 and have some occupancy in the building in 2025.

In between, community fundraising, to the tune of multi-millions of dollars will need to be done.

“We have to raise the money to do it,” Smith said.

The organization will be working with the community to raise funds to “make the Health Hub the kind of state-of-the-art facility that can attract health-care providers to our community for the long-term and help reverse the physician shortage our community faces,” the foundation team said in the media release.

“Our goal now is to renovate and equip this great building to have a viable, strong health-care presence in the community for now and the future” Ed O’Brien, chair of the BMHF, said.


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