Donnie Bodajla was among the group that spearheaded the Delhi Community Health Centre more than a decade ago.
“When you get your fingers in, you're hooked. I still feel very much apart of this building,” said Bodajla.
She was recently named as the honorary chairperson as the board heads into phase three of its expansion plan.
“I consider it quite an honour,” said Bodajla.
Bodajla was chosen for her dedication to the health centre and her reputation within the community.
“I think it gives our project credibility,” said Joe Adam, a member of the fundraising committee and a past board member. “She has been in Delhi a long time. She has been involved as a volunteer in many organizations, not just the medical centre. She is recognized. She certainly is a supporter of the medical centre – she was on the original board of the medical centre. She went through all of those trials and tribulations.”
She will not only provide a face for the project, but will act as a link to the past, when the community originally came together to raise funds for the centre, and to the present as they begin fundraising for the $1.5-million expansion project.
Renovations have already begun on the former pool hall on King Street to retrofit the building to include three medical suites.
The former TD Bank will be demolished in the future to allow for additional parking.
“The need has arisen for growth because the health centre is bursting at the seams,” said Dale Corner, vice-chair of the board.
The clinic serves more than just Delhi and Port Rowan (where there is a satellite office). People travel from across western Norfolk as well as from as far away as Kitchener and Niagara Falls.
The centre is also home to a residency program for medical students.
“It is becoming not only a hub for care of patients but also of teaching students because we believe if you really want to get people back in your community you have to show them what it is like to be here,” said Dr. William Thorogood. “Even if we talk about just the teaching program we are doing, we need more space.”
He noted there are probably thousands of people that walk through the front doors of the health centre each week to utilize the lab, walk-in clinic, hearing clinic, Senior Support Services, Arthritis Society and Pharmasave as well as those seeing their family physicians. If the building expands, there will be the ability to expand those services.
A public meeting will be held at the Delhi Legion on May 28 at 7 p.m.
“We want new people and new ideas,” said Linda VanLondersele, executive director of the health centre.
The public will be updated on the progress thus far as well as be invited to offer ideas for raising money for the expansion.
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