The Town of Wembley’s new medical clinic will officially open to the public on August 4th.
Dr. Angela Luckham and her husband Alexander moved down from Hay River, Northwest Territories after he was offered a position as a medivac pilot in Grande Prairie. Luckham says after receiving the approval to develop and practice from the town on May 8th, the set up has gone as smoothly as possible.
“We have worked hard over the past few months so it’s really exciting to see it all coming together. We’ve had very few hiccups so it’s gone pretty smooth, and I think that once we open it will be a really positive thing for the community,” she says. “Shortly after we moved we realized that Wembley does have most of the basic amenities that you need—a pharmacy, gas station, liquor store, and a grocery store, but it was missing a medical presence, so we thought we could fill that void.”
During construction, the Wembley Firefighters Association spearheaded a fundraising campaign to help contribute to the clinic. Through the campaign, four of the clinic’s examination rooms were sponsored, with contributions of $5,000 per room. The Town of Wembley also granted Luckham $50,000 to help with the facility as well as for the necessary medical equipment.
Canadian Natural Resources Limited also made a surprise donation of $10,000 to the clinic to fund additional medical equipment. Luckham says the contribution was completely out of the blue.
“We have initially partnered with the Firefighters Association to host a fundraising campaign on the clinic’s behalf, we didn’t realize they were doing a lot of behind-the-scenes legwork,” she says. “The firefighters association had approached CNRL and had explained to them what we are trying to accomplish here with the clinic and it goes within CNRL’s mandate to try to support the small towns and communities that their employees live in. We got a call just last week that they had a donation for us so it was very surprising and very exciting.”
With regards to COVID-19 precautions, Luckham says, should the waiting room become busier than what the team feels is safe, patients will be asked to wait for their appointments in their vehicles.