What is a Community Health Centre?
Community Health Centres began as early as the 1920’s, to meet the health care delivery needs of small and more remote communities. Now numbering over 300 in Canada, CHC’s follow a slightly different approach to healthcare, due primarily to their design, and the needs of smaller communities.
A key difference is that a Community Health Centre must recognize the myriad influences and drivers of overall health and wellbeing in a community, and respond with diverse opportunities and strategies to build better health outcomes. Restricted by limited funding, CHC’s rely on alternative fundraising strategies, the generosity of individuals and families in the area, and the support of organizations such as the Auxiliary. A key benefit is that this model allows families, neighbours and friends to gain familiarity and camaraderie with their health care providers to improve physical, emotional and mental well-being for all. It’s part of the social safety net in every small community.
CHCs are community-governed. Volunteer boards of directors are made up of community members with experience about what is affecting health in their community. They offer on-going guidance on how we can maximize our positive impact.
CHCs are much more than just a doctor or dentist’s office. Advocates of this model argue that CHCs are the solution to primary health care reform. For more information about CHCs, visit the links below.
Our Future: expanded care, improved facilities.
Remind yourself of the many reasons you love Pender Harbour. How many of those reasons involve the healthy, happy and active lifestyle afforded us all in this beautiful part of the world? For a growing community to remain healthy, it takes a little effort from the many, and that is precisely how we have managed since our inception. As our community continues to blossom, we will put every dime and every ounce of energy into expanding right along with it, and delivering the care you need today and tomorrow.
Please take a moment to discover our history. Then take a few moments to look at the plans we have for our future, and join us on this path toward expanded healthcare services and facilities.
The Pender Harbour Health Centre (PHHC) was built in 1976 to replace St Mary’s Hospital, (now Sechelt Hospital) which at the time was located in Garden Bay, Pender Harbour – or what locals at the time referred to as “hospital bay”. The citizens of this area (Area A) were concerned about being adequately served by a hospital so far from their location with no public transportation system and a less than adequate highway. They decided to build their own Health Centre to provide health and community services closer to home. Construction of the building was funded by the community through fundraising efforts. Maintenance of the building is funded annually through a Sunshine Coast Regional District taxation bylaw which was passed overwhelmingly by the area residents. The clinic officially opened on December 8, 1976. The Health Centre is wholly owned and operated by the Pender Harbour & District Health Centre Society (a not-for-profit society incorporated in 1974). The PHHC serves Area A of the Sunshine Coast Regional District, a geographically dispersed area covering 1091 sq.km. (734 sq. miles) with a full time population of approximately 3,000 which more than doubles in the summer.
Since opening in 1976 the Health Centre has received two major expansions, all funded by the community. The first expansion was in 1996 and more than doubled overall space, allowing for increased services to the community. This expansion also provided some tenant rental income to help support our financial needs. The final expansion was completed in December 2006 and the Health Centre now encompasses approximately 7,500 square feet.
Our services include: Nursing, physician, public and mental health, community and social service programs as well as other health related disciplines. Community and support groups use the space regularly for their programs.
Pender Harbour Health Centre Story Snapshot