GORE BAY—If all goes well, the town of Gore Bay could have a new dentist in town this fall or soon after. At a general meeting of the government committee held last week, the council agreed to pay half the cost of buying refurbished equipment at the facility and to help find accommodation for the dentist and her family.
It comes after the city’s general government committee heard a presentation from an interested dentist. Dr. Mary Cross told the committee, “I grew up in Beamsville and Grimsby, Ontario, in the Niagara region, and graduated from dental school in 2018 from James Cook University, an Australian university whose health programs focus on rural and remote health care. ”
Dr. Cross explained, “I’ve worked in rural Kamsack and Yorkton in Saskatchewan,” Dr. Cross told the committee. She explained that her husband, Dr. Christinus van Buuren, is also a dentist and the couple had their first baby, Laura, in September 2021. The couple enjoy boating, hiking, golf, football and ski.
“My husband worked in Yorktown (with a population of around 20,000) and later I was asked to join the practice in Yorktown as well,” Dr. Cross said. “I visited Gore Bay two weeks ago and walked around the clinic. I indicated that some equipment needed to be upgraded or replaced.
With the help of a former Gore Bay dentist, Dr Bill Studzienny, she had spoken to two companies about the equipment needed, and new equipment would cost just under $300,000, while a good equipment, but used, would cost around $72,000. .
“My recommendation would be to go with used, but still good equipment,” Dr. Cross said. “I think the clinic could be ready by September.”
“Thank you for your interest in our clinic and our town,” said Gore Bay Mayor Dan Osborne. “So you were here a few weeks ago on vacation and fell in love with Gore Bay?”
Dr. Cross, who had previously visited Manitoulin, said that two weeks ago she had never visited Gore Bay and told the committee, “I love the island and Gore Bay. And I love the atmosphere. The last town I worked in had a population of 2,000. There were two red lights in the town where I lived when I was a child. I really like Gore Bay and the big windows in the clinic.
When asked what her husband would do if the couple moved to the island, Dr Cross explained: “There are opportunities for dentists on the island, (but as she had a baby in September last), he will probably also work at the clinic.”
“What would you expect from us as a city, to settle here?” asked Mayor Osborne.
“I would like to rent the clinic space,” said Dr. Cross. “And I hope the city will help get the clinic up and running. So, I guess, money to help set up and help from the city to, for example, paint the clinic, freshen it up and make it look nice. She also explained that she was looking to rent accommodation for a year and settle into the community (noting that her mother also lives with her family), so ideally we would be looking for a three bedroom house or apartment.
Ron Lane chaired the committee meeting and said, “I’m sure you would like a response from the city as soon as possible. Personally, I am delighted that a dentist and a new family are moving to Gore Bay. It’s great that you reached out to us. »
As for Dr. Cross’s proposal, “my first reaction is that it’s great,” said Mayor Osborne.
Dr. Cross “is very excited and wants to start running the dental clinic in just over a month. What if we paid half the equipment costs and she paid half, and the city provided free rental space in the clinic for a year? asked Mr. Lane. He also pointed out that the city could help find the family home and that as a real estate agent he already knows of a place that might be available for the family.
It was suggested that the city could also offer memberships to the city’s fitness centre, curling club and golf course as part of the package.
“It would be crazy if we didn’t put together a package for (Dr Cross) to consider,” Mr Lane said. “Going halfway on equipment cost purchases would be a good place to start.”
Councilor Clark said the town should contact Dr. Cross as soon as possible to let him know that they are very interested in renting space in the clinic for the dentist and that they will put together a package including help finding a lodging.
“This is an opportunity we cannot pass up,” said Mayor Osborne.