Unveiling the new roadside sign along Maiden Lane Monday were, from left, president and CEO of the Huron-Perth Healthcare Alliance Andrew Williams, St. Marys hospital board member Carolyn Wood and Tradition Mutual vice-chair Jim Watt.
By Dan Rankin
Since it was opened back in July 2003, the Wellness Centre has provided a home for the town’s primary health providers, office space for health professionals ranging from social workers to dieticians, and has played a major role in helping the hospital attract and retain physicians. But for all that good work, the centre has had a couple of less-than-ideal opening ceremonies.
Unveiling the large overhead sign Monday were, from left, Tradition Mutual Insurance Company president Harry Bryant, Traiditon Mutual board chair Jill Taylor, St. Marys Memorial Hospital Foundation vice chair Pat Craigmile and Mike Richardson, operations manager at Lift Depot and a hospital foundation board member.
“I don’t think we’ve done things right with the weather gods,” joked Huron-Perth Healthcare Alliance president and CEO Andrew Williams Monday, speaking in the Wellness Centre’s entryway while rain poured down outside. “Those of you who were present for the opening of this building will remember it was one of the hottest days on record and we started to have people sink into the asphalt.”
The purpose of the gathering Monday was to unveil new signage at the Wellness Centre, proclaiming its new name as the “Tradition Mutual Centre for Wellness,” in recognition of the $750,000 donation provided by the Sebringville-based Tradition Mutual Insurance Company to the St. Marys Memorial Hospital Foundation for its Someone I Know capital campaign.
“On behalf of not only the St. Marys Memorial Hospital Foundation but the community as well, we want to say a huge thank you to Tradition Mutual Insurance, our first marquee donor in our $5 million Someone I Know capital campaign,” said hospital foundation vice chair Pat Craigmile.
“When I look at an investment like this, and Tradition Mutual, and what is at the core of their value system, it is absolutely aligned with what we’re trying to accomplish as a healthcare system here in Huron-Perth,” Williams said. “Successful communities have strong leadership and you have exhibited that in spades. Thank you ever so much.”
Tradition Mutual board chair Jill Taylor spoke on behalf of the company, calling their sponsorship a natural fit. “The essence of our company is that we provide piece of mind for our policy holders; we are there when they suffer loss or damage to their property or automobile. Similarly, the hospital foundation is striving to provide piece of mind from a health perspective,” she said. “Our $750,000 commitment to this project reflects the value the community and our policy holders place on the continued excellence of local health care. We at Tradition Mutual are very pleased to be part of this most worthwhile initiative.”
Other speakers included Town of St. Marys Deputy Mayor Carey Pope, speaking on behalf of the town, and Dr. Kim Gilmour of the centre’s Happy Valley Family Health Team.
Dr. Gilmour said that, while the accomplishments made possible by the centre have been impressive, “the time now has come for us to look to the future.”
“We know that over the course of the next five to seven years, we’re going to need more doctors,” she said. “In order to accommodate these future needs, we’re really looking forward to working together with the foundation and hopefully creating a building, and expanding on a building, to create the space that will be required. The Someone I Know campaign has been and will continue to be an integral part to raising funds for the foundation so we can all strive to maintain excellence in primary care.”