Gateway and Healthkick Win National Award!

As the 260 Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDC) across Canada prepare for their annual meeting in Collingwood in May 2009, the Huron Business Development Corporation (HBDC) is pleased to announce that the Gateway Rural Research Institute and Healthkick will be receiving a Community Futures Initiative Award at next year’s conference. Paul Nichol, Economic Development Manager with HBDC, submitted the nomination as a joint effort as Gateway and Healthkick are closely connected in their healthcare goals and vision.

The Initiative Award celebrates programs that solve local problems at a local level. The judges were impressed with the fact that both Healthkick and Gateway could be duplicated by other communities throughout Canada. In HBDC’s awards submission, Paul Nichol listed the following accomplishments of Healthkick and the Gateway Rural Research Institute:

• 1,500 high school students have been exposed to healthcare careers;
• 80 students have participated in the MedQuest Camp held in Huron County;
• 40 healthcare students have been sponsored with local work placements;
• 12 first and second year students are completing a six-week elective program in Huron County;
• 20 new RPNs will be receiving their degrees at a newly-established Georgian College Satellite site;
• 19 local students have begun a Food Service Worker training program;
• 20 community volunteers from five local recruitment teams have been sharing best practices in an ambassador engagement program;
• $500,000 was invested by a private foundation to launch Gateway;
• 16 new physicians have set up practice in the area since 2005 as a direct result of Healthkick;
• 3 medical researchers have been attracted to Gateway;
• 3,700 orphan patients have been rostered as a result of Healthkick.

It is hoped that both initiatives will now gain national recognition, which in turn could bring more funding and partnership opportunities. Healthkick has previously won two provincial awards. For more information on either of these programs visit www.healthkickhuron.ca, and www.gatewayresearch.ca