From 'early years to golden years' - how a North Bay school aims to change Ontario's approach to health care

Canadore College in North Bay has opened its doors to The Village, its new wellness clinic.
Canadore College's Village will combine different approaches to health care, and provide a multi-generational setting for students and seniors to interact in. (Canadore College)

Canadore College in North Bay has opened its doors to The Village, its new wellness clinic.

It is a space for a series of student-led clinics, where members of the community can come in and be treated by Canadore students, who will be combining Western, Eastern and Indigenous health care practices.

A second phase of construction will add a residence of approximately 150 units, where students and seniors can live and interact.

But the college's president, George Burton, said the clinic's non-traditional approach shouldn't scare people away.

"What we're going to teach the students is to take the best from the three disciplines and apply them to to their interactions with patients," Burton said. "To address mind, body and spirit."

Embracing different approaches to health care may still be controversial to some, Burton said, but it may be good for people to step out of what has been familiar.

"There's always difference of opinion," he added. "But in my own personal experience, if I have a condition, I don't care where the tradition originated from. I care about two things. That the treatment does me no harm, and it addresses my condition."

"If you think about it, it's based on the premise of keeping people healthier, longer."

Burton said he expects the construction of the residence to begin in 2019, which will provide a space for students and seniors to interact.

"If you look at our approach to dealing with the elderly, traditionally, we've brought people of the same demographic together," Burton said. "Research tells us that's not healthy."

"The multi-generational setting leads to greater cognitive health, greater physical health when you have a chance to interact with multiple generations within a single setting," Burton said.

"In the Village we will have people from the early years to the golden years interacting with clinics, but also on the campus."