The Town is officially recognizing a long-standing partnership with the Society of United Professionals to provide housing for visiting physicians. On Tuesday night, the Committee of the Whole recommended adopting a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Society’s Bruce Local. This document is a framework that commits each party to working together in support of healthcare in the community.
Locums (temporary physicians) coming to Saugeen Shores to work in the local Southampton Hospital and physicians who are being recruited have the opportunity to stay in a condominium thanks to the Society of United Professionals (formerly known as the Society of Energy Professionals of Bruce Power).
The first condo was officially opened on November 29, 2009 in Southampton (Saugeen Shores) when local Vice-President of the Society at the time, Rob Stanley, handed over the keys to Mayor Mike Smith.
“The Society puts funds back into communities,” said Stanley. “We support many community projects, including medical clinics and related aspects, as well as local sports organizations, such as the local Winterhawks and the arts, such as the Chantry Singers in addition to many others. We do what we can to give back to the community.” In 2009, the year that the locum condo opened, the Society had donated more than $850,000 to various organizations and projects.
Prior to the donation of the condominium townhouse, locums stayed in a house across the street from the hospital. Upon inspection in 2009 and discussion by Saugeen Shores Town Council, it was found that the house required extensive upgrading to the point that it was found to be in an almost condemned state and locums were reluctant to stay in it. The building was, therefore, demolished.
The locum condo property, located at Stonegate properties on Morpeth Street in Southampton, is one of 18 townhouse condominium style units that were built by Stonecreek Developments, owned by Mel Walters.
The locum unit is 2600 sq. ft. on three levels. Each level has its own complete bath and was designed to accommodate three locums at the same time.
Photos by Saugeen Times (2009)
The design is spacious with an upper loft office area in addition to an ensuite laundry on the main floor. The kitchen features all stainless steel appliances and in the living room is a fireplace with sliding doors to a patio. The downstairs (basement) level is completely finished with light carpeting and paint finishes to give it a light ambiance.
There is an obvious attention to detail throughout from ceiling medallions around the dining area light fixture to the hardwood floors and wide ceiling mouldings. “I wanted these units to be a place that I would like to live in,” said developer, Walters, at the time of the opening.
The Society has leased two condominium units to the Town for $1 annually to provide temporary housing for residents, the locums, or new physicians so they can settle in quickly and provide immediate care in the hospital and clinics.
Over the years, the condos have housed well over 250 doctors and have also led to the permanent recruitment of some local physicians.
“We are grateful to the Society for their help in recruiting and retaining physicians in Saugeen Shores,” said Mayor Luke Charbonneau. “This memorandum is proof of both the Town and the Society’s commitment to our long-standing partnership to improve the quality of life for our residents.”
“The Society is proud to continue providing these condos to Saugeen Shores,” said Dave Ceksters, today’s Bruce Local Vice President. “This donation is a way for us to help ensure our members and their families continue to have access to quality healthcare for years to come.”
The Committee of the Whole has also recommended a renewed lease agreement for one of the condos and the town assumes the costs of the utilities.