Valley Crossroads Health & Wellness Centre

Valley Crossroads Health & Wellness Centre
Emily Leeson

The Valley Crossword Health and Wellness Centre in New Minas is now just months away from opening its doors. The centre currently under construction is a collaboration between three local doctors, Dr. Craig White, Dr. Mark Johnston, and Dr. Chris King. When its doors open later this spring, the centre will be home to at least two family practices and a host of other health-related businesses. It’s poised to offer a fresh new space for healthcare, and in doing so hopefully encourage other medical professionals to consider calling the Valley home to their practices as well.

“We’ve just had a project timeline update from the contractor,” says Dr. Craig White. “We’re looking at the first family doctors’ offices opening up some time in late May or the first of June, and then everyone else will roll in June and July.”

In addition to the family practices in the building, White says that the space (which is now already almost all accounted for) will soon be home to a physiotherapy clinic, massage therapists, occupational therapists, psychology services, and a respiratory clinic.

The new space, says White, is something the local healthcare community needed.

“What we realize now is that space is very limited now in the Kentville, New Minas area for new physicians coming in — there’s actually not very many offices available,” he explains.

The new space will also make way for the family practices within the centre to follow the collaborative practice approach to healthcare, a model in which family physicians work with other healthcare professionals in a team environment to provide well-rounded care to their patients. White says his own practice just recently made that change.

“It was really out of a need to change the way we practice medicine, to help the complex needs of the patient,” he explains. Working with other professionals — nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, dieticians, etc — has allowed him to better address the different health needs and mental health needs, and address the barriers that influence his patients’ lives.

Medical students will also be part of White’s practice in the new space. He’s hoping that the many draws of working in the modern facility might just entice more physicians towards the area.

Being part of a team, and working in a centre with other physicians, says White, can be a consideration for new physicians deciding where to settle.

“We think it’s a big attraction for new physicians,” he says. “We’re going to have young future doctors coming through the building every year so we’ll always have a potential source of recruitment in the building every year.”

“We’re hoping that if we can have space available, we may be able to more easily recruit right into those offices from some of the medical learners coming through,” he says.

He’s hoping the new space will offer that room to grow. In fact, White says he’s just recently started to talk with some community stakeholders about funding additional clinic space. “We’re wanting to keep 2000 square feet available for family doctors as a recruitment space,” he says.

Helping to build up the availability of health services in the Valley and encourage other physicians to see what’s on offer here, says White, has been a key part of the construction.

“We hope with the new building, in a new location, fresh and new and it’s right off the highway, in the middle of the valley, close to Halifax — these are big selling points,” he says.