Residents benefit from County of Simcoe’s investment in education
June 24, 2014

A group of executives, standing around an oversized cheque

Simcoe County Council presents its final pledge payment in support of its $2-million commitment to Georgian College’s Sadlon Centre for Health, Wellness and Sciences. Georgian College President and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes accepts the cheque from Warden Cal Patterson, alongside Georgian alumnus and County paramedic Garrett Hookey. Council continues to support the college’s John Di Poce South Georgian Bay Campus to increase access to postsecondary education for county residents.

When Georgian College paramedic student Garrett Hookey spoke at the grand opening of the Sadlon Centre for Health, Wellness and Sciences in 2011, he didn’t know his future employer was right behind him.

On that August day, Warden Cal Patterson shared a spot on the platform to represent the County of Simcoe and its $2-million investment in local health and wellness postsecondary education.

Three years later as a Simcoe County paramedic, Hookey had the opportunity to personally thank County Council for investing in healthcare as the Warden presented a $500,000 cheque to Georgian College as part of its pledge.

“Through my program and my job, I’ve built strong roots in this community that allow me to live my passion for paramedicine every day,” says Hookey.

The cheque presentation completes the County’s pledge to the Sadlon Centre for Health, Wellness and Sciences. The County continues to invest in Georgian’s John Di Poce South Georgian Bay Campus, which also opened in 2011.

“It’s inspiring to see our graduates working in careers that they long dreamed about and studied hard to achieve,” says MaryLynn West-Moynes, President and CEO of Georgian College. “It is also gratifying to hear how our graduates are choosing to live, work and play in the County, thanks to community champions like the County of Simcoe and their generous investment in our advanced, high-tech facilities.”

More than 2,000 full-time Health and Wellness students study in the Sadlon Centre for Health, Wellness and Sciences annually and 8,000 patients receive care at one of the six community health clinics. The publicly-accessible clinics include optical, speech and hearing, oral health, esthetic and massage therapy services, in addition to a Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic.

The John Di Poce South Georgian Bay Campus in Collingwood has also experienced substantial growth since opening in 2011, allowing for greater program diversity. Now equipped with video conferencing equipment, multi-campus cohorts run with Georgian’s Barrie and Muskoka campuses, and a seminar for food entrepreneurs in February was so well received a second is being planned.

“Through our partnership with Georgian College, we are committed to educating and training our residents locally so they will be prepared to work in our communities to serve our families and neighbours, and contribute to the overall health of our region,” says Warden Cal Patterson. “We place high importance on serving our residents and well-educated, well-trained and passionate employees help serve to that end.”