Five Counties moves into HHHS Minden

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Five Counties Children’s Centre has a new home base in Haliburton County, with the organization signing a five-year lease to move into the Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHS) site in Minden.

Bill Eekhof, communications coordinator with Five Counties, confirmed the news April 15, noting programming began at the new location this week. The children’s centre will utilize approximately 700 sq. ft. on the second floor of the community health wing, just off the main entrance.

The organization had been without a permanent space in the County since 2020 – when it vacated its previous spot at HHHS Minden at the onset of the COVID19 pandemic. Scott Pepin, Five Counties CEO, said this was a homecoming for his organization and a big win for Highlands families.

“Re-establishing our presence in Minden will save local families the need to drive to Lindsay or Peterborough to access treatment and therapy services,” Pepin said.

Five Counties specializes in speech, occupational, and physical therapy treatments for youth aged 19 and younger in Haliburton County, Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes, and Northumberland County. With the Minden addition, the organization now boasts five locations in its coverage area, Eekhof noted.

Services in Minden will be available by appointment and handled by staff from Five Counties’ Lindsay and Peterborough locations.

Eekhof noted Five Counties is celebrating its 49th anniversary this year, launching in Peterborough in 1975, and has been supporting families in the County since the late 1980s. Last year, it served more than 6,200 youth – including 250 in Haliburton County.

Those local services were provided virtually and through a temporary satellite location established at Archie Stouffer Elementary School (ASES) in 2023. Five Counties also offered some services at the Community Living Trent Highlands building in Haliburton in 2022 and 2023.

“We know that early intervention – especially when it comes to how a child talks or walks – is so important to help kids reach their full potential,” Pepin said. “Parents and caregivers are dealing with so much already if their child has been diagnosed or identified with unique needs that impact their development. That’s why making it easier for families to get the help they need, when they need it, in their own community, is so essential.”

Eekhof said Five Counties would continue to use the space at ASES for physiotherapy services and its school-based rehabilitation program.

Another service

HHHS president and CEO Veronica Nelson said Five Counties is a great addition to the Minden site.

It follows previous enhancements introduced since the ER was shuttered last summer, such as the urgent care clinic operated by the Kawartha North Family Health Team, and the community nursing clinic co-run by HHHS, SE Health, ParaMed Home Health Care, and Home and Community Care Support Services.

Nelson said, “HHHS is delighted to welcome Five Counties back into our building… their dedication to the community through therapy and treatment services to support children with physical, developmental, and communication needs is inspiring.”

Nelson said HHHS still had space to co-locate services in Minden and would entertain potential partnerships on a case-bycase basis.

“Health care in Ontario looks and feels very different than it did in the recent past. Not having access to care is not an option for our community. Thinking about health care in an innovative and collaborative way is critical for optimizing the wellbeing of Haliburton County,” Nelson said.