Dorset health hub continues to grow
The Dorset Health Hub continues to expand.
Colin Reaney of the Dorset Community Partnership Fund gave Algonquin Highlands councillors an annual report on the facility during an Oct. 18 meeting.
Now three years old, the hub, which provides a number of medical services including proactive, education programming such as diabetes prevention seminars, has more than 510 registered patients, up from approximately 375 a year ago.
The hub receives base funding from the province for two of its three staff members, fundraising to pay for the third, as well as a variety of expenses.
Money is raised through lake associations, galas, golf tournaments, private events, corporation donations and government grants, among other sources.
As of last week, the hub had raised $71,000 of its $100,000 goal for the year.
An ongoing challenge, Reaney told councillors, is the establishment of reliable, fibre-optic high-speed internet.
“We have a problem trying to access fibre,” Reaney said.
“There’s high-speed raising its head again in Haliburton County,” said Mayor Carol Moffatt of the perennial challenge of internet connectivity.
Deputy Mayor Liz Danielsen pondered that perhaps a program that had been used to extend fibre to municipal buildings within the county could also be used to extend fibre to the hub.
Reaney was in council chambers making an annual funding request, asking for $10,000 from Algonquin Highlands for the upcoming year. It is also requesting $10,000 from Muskoka’s Lake of Bays township (half of Dorset is located within Algonquin Highlands, half within Lake of Bays).
“When you take a look at capital investment, and operating investment, it’s a fair share,” Reaney said.
While annual funding from Algonquin Highlands has traditionally gone to capital projects, Reaney asked that consideration be given to making it available for operational costs as well.
The request will be deferred to 2019 budget, but ultimately, “We’re not going to say no,” Moffatt said.