Dorset Could Use Your HelpPlease share and help out if you can.
"I live in Dorset, Ontario. A little village of about 500 year round residents (but the population swells into the 10,000's during the cottage season).
The location of the village is, at best a 30 minute drive to the nearest hospital. For many of our residents it takes 45 minutes to an hour. That's on a good driving day in the summer (never mind in the winter when there's 3 feet of snow on the ground).
The majority of our population is made up of seniors, who are being forced to move from the village closer to an urban centre because we don't have good access to medical care, prescription pick-ups, home visits etc.
While our area ( which borders Muskoka and Haliburton) has a reputation as a wealthy cottage area, this does not represent the needs or circumstance of many of our permanent residents in the community. The household income level of permanent residents in our community is lower than the provincial average and there is a strong need for accessible health care for individuals in our community.
So, 4 years ago, a small group of volunteers, led by the gentleman you see in the photo, set our minds on getting a Nurse Practitioner Station into the village.
Many said getting a nursing station in Dorset would never happen.
After years of researching, grant writing, fundraising and networking, all on a volunteer basis, the Ontario Government approved our application for funding of the operations of a "Community Health Hub" for an initial three year period!!
This Health Care Hub will provide much needed health services to all of our permanent and seasonal residents in Dorset and two other surrounding communities as well (Dwight and Baysville). It will help our seniors stay in their homes longer. It will increase secure health care access for our children and youth, not to mention peace of mind for parents.
We will have a full time Nurse Practitioner on staff, along with other community/health and social service providers. Plus, we'll have video conferencing capabilities, so patients can correspond with specialists without having to drive 2 and half hours, one way, to Toronto.
We have partnered with the Algonquin Family Health Team and the Township of Lake of Bays for this project.
We have purchased a property and raised a substantial amount of funds to move this project forward. Amazing progress for a community of 500!
It was truly heartwarming to see how excited everyone was when the government announced their support. But, that excitement has suddenly turned to worry. You see, we recently began renovations on the house that we've purchased for the "Community Health Hub" and have since found out that we need to rebuild.
Naturally, going from renovation to complete rebuild is going to be a difficult challenge to overcome, but the Shakespeare quote: "Though she be but little, she be fierce" comes to mind. Our little village of 500 can, and will raise the money to do this rebuild, but we're going to need help.
We're not the type of community to sit back and just take donations though. We work for them. So this is a fundraiser for what we're calling the "Deep Freeze Campout". Myself and a handful of others, will be spending the night in a Quinzee on Feb. 21, 2015*.
Lately our overnight temps have ranged between -20 to -30 degrees, so this fundraiser should speak to how important it is to us to raise money!
Your donation will be going to the Dorset Community Partnership Fund, a registered charity with a five year track record of successfully developing and managing community projects.
On behalf of the Dorset Community Partnership Fund and anyone who will be using the services of our "Community Health Hub", thank you for your generosity." - Sarah Coombs
*Campout date subject to temperatures. If they are too extreme to endure, we will reschedule. You'll be kept apprised of the situation through this site.
Donate online here: http://www.gofundme.com/lp5lv4 #muskoka #dorsetontario #healthcare #healthcareheadlines #algonquinhighlands #myhaliburtonhighlands #nursepractitioner