Family health

The Cottage Country Family Health Team in Gravenhurst is looking to expand

The Town of Gravenhurst will seek to amend the agreement it has with the Cottage Country Family Health Team (CCFHT), allowing the operation to expand.

The nonprofit currently occupies only the first floor of the two-story building at 5 Pineridge Gate.

The idea is that the second floor would contain diagnostic imaging, a ParaMed nursing clinic and a full-service laboratory. The health team headquarters and spaces for program staff, audiology, physiotherapy and continuous positive pressure services could also occupy the top floor.

The CCFHT signed a joint venture agreement with the city in 2009 when they opened. The health team owns the building, but the city owns the land it sits on.

A separate 99-year ground lease was also signed at the time.

Lorraine Johnston, chief executive of CCFHT, spoke to Gravenhurst council last week asking them to change the agreement, which could be terminated in December 2028. She argued that changing the termination right for another two decades would allow the health team to enter into new leases. to recoup the expenses that will accrue once they begin fitting out the second floor of the building.

Council agreed to ask city staff to review the possibility of amending the agreement.

A lease has already been signed with a new ParaMed nursing clinic.

Johnston explained that the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care gives them funding for human resources and operations, but not for building maintenance. She went on to say that the leases made by CCFHT would help pay for the second floor expansion.

“This community has been saying for a long time that we need more health care here,” Mayor Paul Kelly said. He noted that the building’s second floor has sat unused since it opened more than a decade ago. “Any opportunity to move this forward I think will certainly be appreciated by the community,” he added.