Coughlan Health Centre opens its doors in Pickering

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Published February 23, 2024 at 8:10 pm

The opening of the Jerry Coughlan Health & Wellness Centre in Pickering was called both a “dream day” and “bittersweet” because the man Pickering’s newest health care facility is named for was not there to see it.

“Jerry was a man of vision, but also very practical; he knew that the primal need of housing would only be matched with the primal need for health care for the families that lived in each home,” said his wife Lyn Dunlop-Coughlan at Friday’s grand opening. “Without health we cannot be who we were meant to be. Today, Jerry Coughlan has once again left us better than he found us. It is now our turn to continue in the legacy he started and give to our region’s health-care system.”

Members of the community, staff, local leaders and generous donors were all on hand to celebrate the opening of the four-storey, 67,000 square foot health care facility developed through a partnership between Lakeridge Health and Northwest Healthcare Properties REIT and made possible by the generous support of the Coughlan (1936-2021) and other donors, as well as support from the Ontario government.

“We’re so excited to officially open the Jerry Coughlan Health & Wellness Centre. We believe this new centre will not only increase access to vital community services for Durham Region – one of the fastest growing areas in Ontario – but also nurture a healthier community for generations to come,” said Lakeridge Health Board of Trustees Chair Cordelia Clarke Julien. “The Centre’s new state-of-the-art Surgical Centre, its community-based mental health service offerings, and the numerous clinical education programs will help to increase Lakeridge Health’s footprint as one the broadest and most comprehensive, diverse regional health systems in Ontario.”

The Jerry Coughlan Health & Wellness Centre offers connected health-care services under one roof in Pickering, marking a “significant leap forward” in bringing high-quality, state-of-the-art care closer to home for the rapidly expanding communities in Durham.

Jerry Coughlan

The new Surgical Centre opening this spring features four operating rooms and is projected to complete more than 9,000 surgical cases annually, helping reduce pressures on the health system by shifting day surgeries to this facility and enabling hospital operating rooms to focus on more complex procedures.

Other health-care services being offered in the facility include:

  • Lakeridge Health’s Assertive Community Treatment Team (ACTT): This unique, community-based mental health program provides direct treatment, rehabilitation, and support services to adults with severe and persistent mental illness.
  • Lakeridge Health’s Central East Prehospital Care Program (CEPCP): Also known as the “Base Hospital,” the CEPCP provides continuing medical education to paramedics and other prehospital care providers in Durham Region.
  • Primary Care and Urgent Care: Operated by family physicians from the North Durham Family Health Organization, Durham residents will have access to family medicine services and an Urgent Care Clinic, delivering a comprehensive range of urgent care services that, in time, will exceed the limitations of traditional walk-in clinics.
  • Laboratory Services: The LifeLabs Patient Service Center will significantly enhance healthcare access in Durham, providing a wide array of services including thousands of general diagnostic tests, genetic testing, naturopathic testing and heart monitoring.
  • Diagnostic Imaging: Further demonstrating the Jerry Coughlan Health & Wellness Centre as a health care ‘hub,’ the EXR Medical Imaging Clinic will provide a range of radiology services, including x-ray, ultrasound, fluoroscopy, bone mineral density, and mammography.
  • Specialist Physicians: The facility is also home to skilled and experienced obstetrician/gynaecologists dedicated to women’s health, diagnosing and treating a wide range of conditions, as well as a specialist plastic surgeon.

Coughlan, a local philanthropist and community-builder and founder of Coughlan Homes, donated $10 million to Lakeridge Health through the Ajax Pickering Hospital Foundation and Lakeridge Health Foundation made the Centre possible.

“Philanthropy is so much more than giving money. It’s about unselfishly believing in a better tomorrow for others and giving back in ways that truly transform the health and well-being of the community,” said Ajax Pickering Hospital Foundation Chair Victor Sgro. “Jerry’s generosity will positively impact the health of thousands of people in our community, people he never had the chance to meet and some of whom haven’t even been born yet! What better legacy could one ask for?”

The Ministry of Health and Ontario Health provided critical funding for additional surgical procedures and the City of Pickering funded the purchase of audio-visual equipment for the Base Hospital, hosting the Pickering Mayor’s Gala that funded all the furniture for the ACTT, as well as supporting the Ajax Pickering Hospital Foundation’s Mayors’ Charity Golf Classic that supported the purchase of multiple pieces of equipment.

The innovative partnership between Lakeridge Health and Northwest, a leading manager of health-care real estate in Canada and around the world, enabled the design and development of the building. Northwest will serve as owner and manager, leasing medical space to physicians and health-care providers, including Lakeridge Health as the anchor tenant.

“The grand opening of the Jerry Coughlan Health & Wellness Centre marks a milestone in Northwest’s journey toward redefining health-care infrastructure,” said Northwest managing director (North America) Dave Casimiro. “This building stands as a symbol of the transformative possibilities we can achieve through trusted and collaborative partnerships with health-care leaders like Lakeridge Health.”

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