Published in the St. Thomas Time Journal June 8, 2011

In 2005, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) announced funding for 22 new community health centres – one to be located in St. Thomas.

After several years of hard work by community volunteers and consultations with service providers and potential clients, the Central Community Health Centre (CCHC) opened its doors in October, 2010 at 359 Talbot St. St. Thomas.

CCHC provides primary health care (for people living in St. Thomas, Central Elgin and Southwold Township) who do not have a nurse practitioner or physician. CCHC also offers programs for health promotion, illness prevention and community development.

Smoking cessation, walking programs, seniors get-togethers, groups for people suffering from anxiety and depression, teen support groups, dietitian services, chiropody, social work/counseling, community outreach worker – services provided by CCHC and supported by a comprehensive team of professionals to help you cope with issues of health and wellness.

With 800 registered clients, the centre will, over time, take pressure off the emergency unit at St. Thomas General Hospital and the walk in clinic. CCHC will have broadened its services by launching a Mobile Unit in the summer of 2011. Potential clients, service providers and healthcare professionals are providing input on potential services at a series of community meetings.

Who Runs the Central Community Health Centre (CHC)?
The Centre is governed by a volunteer board of directors made up of individuals from the community we serve.

Do I pay for Services?
CCHC is funded through the Local Health Integration Network by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. All services are free.

Are Community Health Centres New?
In Ontario, CHCs have been in existence for 35 years. There are currently 125 CHCs in Ontario.

Is the Centre a Walk-in Clinic?
No. The Centre does not provide emergency or walk-in care. Primary care and support services are provided at the centre to registered clients. Clients make an appointment to see a service provider.