On a recent weekday morning, the front door of the O’Neill’s physiotherapy practice is lined with whiteboards.
A woman in a purple jumpsuit sits behind a desk, her eyes focused on the whiteboard.
As she speaks, a patient is being treated by a woman in an orange jumpsuit, whose face is obscured by a black cap.
She’s the patient’s primary care provider.
The clinic is just a few doors down from the one where O’Neil and his wife, Kelly, opened their first clinic more than a decade ago.
They hope the clinic will be able to serve as a model for the wider community of O’Neills, which they call a family.
“We’re not a business,” O’Brien said.
“We’re here to help people.”
The clinic operates on a model similar to other rural health clinics in Canada, like the Oceti Sakowin Healing Center in B.C., where they treat patients on a sliding scale, from the severely ill to the elderly.
But while some rural health centres in Canada have opened clinics of their own, O’Briens hope to be a model in Canada for others.
“It’s been a challenge,” he said.
The Oceans Grove community clinic opened on Aug. 11, 2019, with an average wait time of less than two hours.
(Photo: The Oceans grove community)The O’neills, a small family of four, live in O’Connor, a rural community near B.T.C. In the years since they opened their clinic, the Oca and the Ollies have grown, becoming a community that has seen its share of medical and social problems, and a number of other health crises.
The local population of just 6,000 is considered a bit on the small side for the region, but the Ocois have been resilient, Ollie said.
“People don’t want to move away.
They want to stay.
We want to be here,” she said.
For more than five decades, Ocoi Oca has provided physiotherapy services in Ollia Township.
It’s now open to patients of all ages, with a waiting list of more than 30 people.
“Every day we look for people,” Olliewski said.
One of their clients, a 70-year-old man who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, was waiting for two days to be admitted.
Ollisko was the only person who could offer the man a place to stay, and he was unable to get help from the rest of the community.
The man, who did not want to give his name, said the clinic has helped him overcome his disability, which included chronic pain, depression and a weak immune system.
“They have helped me get my life back.
They’ve helped me deal with my problems,” he told CBC News.
A woman in orange jumpsuits waits for a patient to come in to see her at the OCOI Oca Community Clinic in Oca, Ont.
(Matt Kwong/CBC)The man has had to move to a new city and work to make ends meet, Ochitawans and Ocoides say.
“I had to pay more than my income to get a roof over my head, rent, gas, all of that,” he recalled.
“The community has given me a lot of support.”
The Ocoises say the clinic’s success is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the family, which has also been instrumental in making the clinic a success.
“The OCOIs have made it a priority,” Ochito said.
O’Brennan says the clinic is a unique example of how people of all walks of life can work together to help those in need.
“When you have that kind of support in the community, the community is going to be able just as well to do what’s needed,” she added.