As part of a new clinical development project, the Agassiz Medical Centre will be adding space and taking on a new moniker.
The centre will be developing empty space in the building to hopefully add 10 new physicians, a project that has been in the making for many years.
The clinic will also be changing its name to Menzies Medical Centre once the construction is finished, the Agassiz Medical Centre Community Board announced on November 29.
The name change reflects the legacy of three generations of Menzies in the area, most recently by the late Dr. Robert Menzies, who died in late 2017.
Menzies’ daughters Heather, Meghan and Kate were at the announcement to share a heartfelt letter from their late father, in which he expressed his feelings for the clinic and serving the area.
“It’s very humbling for the family and very honouring,” Heather said. “It’s in the folklore of our family, of my great-grandfather and grandfather being part of the medical community.”
“I think my dad really appreciated the continuity of care within the community and really found a lot of meaning working in the same community as his father and grandfather,” Kate added.
The expansion is vital for the community, Dr. Kevin Convery said. “As our community grows, we need to be able to provide the medical services to have a healthy and vibrant community,” he said. “With our current space we’re getting tight, and we know that we want to recruit physicians and have a big area that they can come and work in. The expansion project is going to allow us to be competitive in recruitment.”
Convery said Dr. Bob Menzies thought the clinic was 10 physicians short around seven years ago. “We wouldn’t have been able to fit 10 physicians into the current space we have,” he said. “As the years have passed on, he’s certainly right and we’re now starting to see that we’re busting at the seams.”
For Convery, the renaming of the clinic is particularly important. “The Menzies family has been synonymous with medical care in Morden for almost 100 years,” he said. “It’s fantastic that we can offer more than a lifetime of Menzies medical care now. I’m really excited to come to work at the Menzies Medical Centre once we reopen the clinic.”
The upgrade will cost around $1.2 million, and the Community Board committed to raising $500,000 toward the project.
The Morden Elks kickstarted that fundraising drive with a $10,000 donation.
“It’s nice when you can raise some money, especially for this cause,” Elks member Henry Penner said. “It just suits because it touches everybody in town and the area. It’s needed. When you walk in here any day, it’s packed.”
Penner said the Elks had raised this money three years ago, and were holding onto the funds until the project could finally be announced and go forward.
The future Menzies Medical Centre will add about 2,500 square feet of developed space to the clinic, bringing their total space to 18,000 square feet.
The clinic sees over 4,000 appointments per month, and over 15,000 people identify the clinic as their primary source of care.
There are around 1,600 people on a waiting list for providers.
The clinic will remain operational throughout the construction process.