A multimillion-dollar renovation is just what the doctor ordered for the Charleswood Medical Centre.
As of today, the Charleswood Medical Clinic — which closed down at 3360 Roblin Blvd. in 2016 after more than 35 years of service — is back.
Located on the second floor of the medical centre, a new multi-discipline clinic is up and running to meet the medical needs of the community.
"Whenever I’ve mentioned we’re reopening the facility, there’s a lot of happiness there. It’s comfortable, it’s familiar and it’s nice to have services right next door. There’s a comfort there, especially as you get older. There’s security knowing the clinic is just a stone’s throw away," Dr. Andy Dandekar said.
Dandekar, Dr. Sacha Rehsia and Darren Murphy of Northway Pharmacy are responsible for the reopening, having invested $2 million into renovating the clinic.
While Murphy is a partner on the redevelopment of the building, there’s only an arm’s-length relationship between the pharmacy (located on the first floor) and the clinic.
The clinic features a large reception area lined with windows overlooking Roblin Boulevard. Its waiting area is at least double the size of what you’d likely find in most clinics.
The 8,500-square-foot space has 26 exam rooms, a nursing station, X-ray machine and a modern electronic medical records system designed to cut down on wait times.
As of today, nine doctors are signed on to work out of the space, including three who worked at the Charleswood Medical Clinic before it shut down. Eventually, sports therapy, physiotherapy and psychiatry will be offered at the clinic.
In addition, the pharmacy (which will soon see a $1-million renovation on the first floor), provides home visits and dietary consultations.
"We’ll be doing a complete overhaul on the first floor as well. We’ll double or triple the size of the pharmacy, and do it up to these standards. There will be an absolute state-of-the-art pharmacy facility here to go along with this clinic," Murphy said.
The investors hope that taken together, the two spaces, as well as the other tenants in the building, will form a one-stop shop for the community’s medical needs.
"This was a pretty well-known, well-used, established clinic before it closed. I know the community was pretty choked, from what I heard, when it shut down.
"So, I think the community is going to appreciate having it back, and appreciate what we’ve done with the place," Rehsia said.
Construction on the clinic, which was gutted and rebuilt, began in late December. In the past few weeks, the investors and construction crew have scrambled to prepare for today’s launch.
Michael Stronger, senior vice-president of retail and investment at Shindico Realty, said finding a new tenant willing to invest in the community and commit to reopening the clinic was tougher than he thought it would be. The wait was worth it, however, given that it led to finding the right investors, he said.
"It’s great news for the property. It’s great news for the new clinic owners and, most importantly, it’s great news for Charleswood," Stronger said.
On top of running a family practice and taking on walk-ins, the clinic will be able to meet urgent-care needs. The investors have been in talks to bring other specialists on board, including a urologist and a cardiologist.
They believe it won’t be difficult to attract specialists and physicians, given the clinic’s importance to the community and the top-notch quality of the equipment and space.
"Physicians want to work in a space that’s modern and clean, with motivated owners that want to make an investment. And we’re excited to be making an investment in the lives of Manitobans.
"We want this to be people’s medical home," Dandekar said.
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Ryan Thorpe likes the pace of daily news, the feeling of a broadsheet in his hands and the stress of never-ending deadlines hanging over his head.