The Winkler and District Health Care Board has announced new plans for expansion.

Last year at this time, the board announced its intentions to build additional space directly north of the existing clinic on the former Co-op gas bar property. When tenders came back on the project much too high to sustain, that plan was put on hold.
The board was then approached last summer by the AL Group of Companies to buy approximately 20,000 square feet of space in the ALG Professional Centre, on top of the 27,000 square feet the clinic already occupies in the building.

Alvin Thiessen with the AL Group of Companies talks about its multi-decade collaboration with the Winkler and District Health Care Board.

"For now, we're going to continue to manage, nothing changes for the tenant, they're going to continue talking to Brenda, just like they were and the Health Care Board can now plan," said Thiessen. "I'm pleased to see that it's now becoming a (Place to) serve the community and I'm happy to have been a part of this journey and to hand it over."

Some of the tenants included in the 20,000 square feet are the dental clinic, hearing centre, chiropractic office, CIBC, and Extend Insurance. The offices of Eden Health Care Services are not included.

"That was a Godsend," exclaimed Health Care Board representative James Friesen. "It helped the board out, and you know, we're invested in the downtown location, and we are acquiring a very stable group of leaseholders and tenants. The neighbourhood is also familiar as we've been here for a while."

Friesen noted the Board's current main priority is recruiting physicians. 

"I remember the days when we as physicians owned our own building and then we made that transition into this place which was run by the Winkler and District Health Care Board," said Dr Cornelius Woelk. "That's really changed our ability to be able to attract people here. Right now we're at a point where we've lost some physicians and we're a little disappointed about that. But we're also working hard at trying to recruit more, and it's the Winkler and District Health Care Board who is really been able to allow us to do that in a more seamless way. And we're really looking forward to our ongoing relationship with the Board." 

Over the past 23 years, the CW Wiebe Medical Centre has grown from 10 physicians in 2000, to now providing the capacity and services for 44 physicians, surgeons and 90 other clinical and support staff.

The CW Wiebe Medical Centre occupies 27,000 square feet of space in the ALG Professional Centre, and this gives them an additional 20,000 square feet for future needs.

" As the area continues to grow, we know that we're going to need more space and that we now have that option, that the Board is able to plan for the future, we were really happy to be a part of that plan, and be able to support it," said Winkler Mayor Henry Siemens.

The Health Care Board receives annual grants from the City of Winkler, and the Municipalities of Rhineland, Roland, and Stanley.