CHCs are nonprofit organizations managed by local community members. They offer easy access to a wide range of client-oriented services and programs.
CHCs bring together doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, mental health professionals, dieticians, health promoters, and other professionals under one roof. These professionals work together in interprofessional teams to provide essential healthcare services.
CHCs offer personalized care tailored to the needs of individual clients and the community. Programs are designed to address the root causes of illness and injuries within a preventative framework.
CHCs have been particularly successful at improving access to healthcare among groups and communities that have traditionally faced challenges obtaining the services and programs they need to stay healthy. Among these groups are linguistic and cultural minorities, people living in remote or under-serviced communities, people with low incomes, homeless people and senior citizens (Source: Dossier d’orientation de l’Association des Centres de santé de l’Ontario, 2001).
In the 1980s, many organizations in Eastern Ontario began using « Estrie » in their names as the region was divided into counties and townships (Eastern Counties) much like Eastern Quebec.
As a result, organizations like the Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario (ACFO) de l’Estrie, the Centre de ressources familiales de l’Estrie (CRFE), the Régionale de généalogie de l’Estrie and the Centre de santé communautaire de l’Estrie (CSCE) were established.
Eastern « Ontario » comprises three separate counties and shares a number of similarities with Eastern « Quebec ». They are both located to the East of their respective provinces, they are divided into counties and townships, their lands were granted to Loyalist settlers who arrived after the American Declaration of Independence, and they are occupied by a large number of francophones who wish to preserve their language.
The Centre de santé communautaire de l’Estrie (CSCE) is created through the initiative of a group of francophone women to meet a marked need for French-language healthcare services in the Cornwall region.
Roland Beaulieu is hired as Executive Director and plays a major role in the CSCE’s remarkable expansion over the course of the following years.
The CSCE becomes a partner in the project to create a francophone cultural centre in Alexandria, and opens a satellite office in the same building.
Following multiple requests and strong political pressure in the town of Crysler, the CSCE receives funding to open another satellite office. A complete team, including a doctor, nurse practitioner, health promoter, mental health professional and dietician, is put in place to offer a full range of services.
The success of the Crysler experience inspires other rural communities, such as Bourget in Russell County. A group of citizens mobilizes to obtain a satellite office in their community.
Roland Beaulieu steps aside and Marc Bisson takes over the reins of the CSCE. Like his predecessor, Mr. Bisson works to consolidate and expand French-language healthcare services for the entire francophone community.
The CSCE learns that it will receive funding to open a satellite office in Bourget. Numerous actions, strong political pressure, and a feasibility study clearly demonstrated that there was a real need in the region.
The CSCE begins offering services in Bourget in a temporary facility while waiting for its permanent home to be built by a local contractor.
The CSCE produces a study on healthcare needs in Russell County, clearly demonstrating the need for a satellite office.
Additional resources are allocated to the CSCE’s Crysler satellite office to meet the needs of this under-serviced region.
Official opening of the CSCE offices in Bourget, in August, with the Honourable David Caplan, the Ontario Minister of Health and Long-term Care, in attendance.
The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is showing interest in funding a second service point in the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, more specifically in Embrun. The official opening of the CSCE in Embrun will take place in November with it being announced that that service point will host a team dedicated to the Aging at Home strategy.
The Crysler site is being expanded. In addition to building additional offices to accommodate workers, we now have a community room available to the public. The room will be officially inaugurated on June 4. It is named the Irène Dignard-Amstrong Room in memory of one of the main backers of the CSCE’s installation in Crysler.
The Centre de santé in Cornwall is acquiring new offices in the Tudor Center. On November 13, the Diabetes Clinic will open its doors. Now enjoying increased visibility since, as General Manager Marc Bisson stated at the official opening, “Now that we have a home base, we hope that the Diabetes Education Program will enjoy increased visibility so that as many people as possible can take advantage of it”.
The Centre de santé communautaire de l’Estrie will be receiving an additional budget of $199,400 over two years to take part in a pilot project aimed at improving access to and availability of the health care services provided to Ontarians suffering from low back pain. For the CSCE, that means hiring a chiropractor and purchasing specialized equipment to provide treatment, evaluation, reference and education services to people suffering from low back pain. Chiropractic services will first be provided in Cornwall and later in Alexandria.
The CSCE is celebrating its 25th anniversary. For the occasion, a huge party was held on June 16, 2016 at the NAV Centre, attended by over 200 guests. The evening was spent remembering the organization’s good times, applauding the staff’s valuable work and looking forward to a positive future!
The Alexandria site is moving its offices to Main Street at the end of August. Since the offices are located in the heart of the village, this move will increase the CSCE’s visibility within the community of Alexandria. In addition, the new location will considerably improve access since many people will now be able to walk to the CSCE to take advantage of its programs and services. From another point of view, the arrangement of the offices, all located on the same floor, will facilitate discussions among professionals.
The Prime Minister, Kathleen Wynne, visited the small community of Limoges to publicly announce funding in the amount of $425,000 to establish an access point of the CSCE within the community’s Health Hub. The news was well received as it will help fill a significant gap in health care services in this region. The tenacity of the citizens committee has paid off and the CSCE is proud to have supported their leadership efforts throughout this lengthy process.
The access point is scheduled to open next spring and will provide services three days a week.
The new access point of the CSCE in Limoges open in October 2017. Located in the Limoges Health Hub building, the Limoges CSCE provides services to the community four days a week.
The Embrun site is moving its offices to 649 Notre-Dame Street. This move will increase our visibility and accessibility within the community of Embrun. Furthermore, the offices are all located on one level, which will facilitate discussions among professionals. Also, the location of our new premises will allow access to more parking.