Muskoka Nursing Stations update: Georgian Bay appoints champion, fundraiser for Port Carling station planned

Interim locations being sought for proposed Muskoka nursing stations: Breeson volunteers to head up Port Severn effort, fundraiser for Port Carling station set for June 21

Posted March 26, 3.25pm: The Port Severn Nursing Station project – one of four planned nursing stations in Muskoka – now has a volunteer champion to head up planning efforts. Katherine Breeson of Honey Harbour has been appointed Community Community Chair for the Port Severn Nursing Station Project by the Township of Georgian Bay. Breeson is getting started right away in her volunteer post and will be introduced officially to the Mayor and Council on Tuesday April 15 at the Council’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

Breeson will be the community liaison with the District of Muskoka led initiative to establish a permanent full time Nursing Station in Port Severn. She lives in Port Severn with her husband and 11-year-old son (See Feature Picture). Having enjoyed summers at a family cottage all her life in Victoria Harbour, she moved from Mississauga to Muskoka in 2008 and has never looked back. Her successful career as a sales & marketing professional provided her the freedom to work from a home based office and her husband, Tom, a professional cabinetmaker, set up shop on their property on Musky Bay Road.

Breeson is passionate about contributing to the community in her new role.

“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to champion the Nursing Station project in Port Severn for our community and surrounding areas.” says Breeson. “This project is something I personally believe in and I know will dramatically enhance the lives of both permanent residents and seasonal cottagers and visitors.”

Nursing Stations are an opportunity for localized health care. They are Primary Healthcare clinics that have operated in rural and remote communities for 100 years in Canada. Anyone who needs primary health care can be treated. Permanent residents, seasonal residents, visitors, tourists, cottagers, even visitors from other areas and countries can be accommodated, regardless of whether they have a family doctor or not.

Operational dollars for the proposed Muskoka nursing stations are being considered through a funding application to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

While the funding application for the Port Severn Nursing Station is being considered, there have already been over 125 letters sent to Minister Deb Matthews on behalf of residents in Georgian Bay. Meantime, Georgian Bay Mayor Larry Braid says “interim solutions are already being considered to accommodate a temporary location should the Provincial funding application be successful. Council endorses this project, but community pride and financial support is crucial for us to be successful. We need to share our enthusiasm for a nursing station right here in our community.”

For more information on the Port Severn Nursing Station and to learn how you can help or donate, visit, or click here. To reach Katherine Breeson, email Bresson @ Sympatico dot ca or call her at (705) 817-5633.

Work under way for other nursing stations in Muskoka

The ‘Made in Muskoka’ proposal to see four nursing stations in Muskoka come to fruition is being developed through Donna Kearney, of Rural Health Solutions.

Port Carling Nursing Station, nursing fundraiser, Brock and Willa Wellness Centre, Port Carling, Port Severn Nursing Station, Katherine Breeson, Larry Braid, news about health in Muskoka, Donna Kearney, Rural Healthcare solutions
Willa and Brock Napier (left) discuss June 21 fundraiser with Cassandra Rowswell. Muskoka Melody performs to raise money for nursing station efforts in Port Carling.

Hers is the contracted company hired by the District of Muskoka. The three other communities working toward nursing stations include Port Carling, Severn Bridge and Dorset.

Port Carling fundraiser June 21

In Muskoka Lakes, there are plans for a temporary nursing station to be open in the Port Carling Library until the time the permanent station can be built and opened on the site of the future Brock and Willa Wellness Centre. On June 21, the musical ensemble Muskoka Melody, will hold a fundraising concert in Port Carling to raise money for the Port Carling effort.

“From the beginning, our plan has been to help a local charity,” says Cassandra Rowswell, one of the Muskoka Melody singers and a Lake Joseph resident. “All of our members are volunteering their time and talents and our goal is to raise as much money as we can for the charity from ticket sales and corporate and individual donations. As we considered the many needy groups, it seemed The Brock and Willa Wellness Centre offers so much to our communities, plus it would increase awareness of the great work that they plan to do once construction is completed.”

Philanthropists Brock and Willa Napier donated the land for the health related complex plus they contributed $750,000 to the three entities to be divided equally.

“We are so pleased the Muskoka Melody performers are choosing our organization as the recipient of proceeds raised,” says Brock Napier. “Willa and I are happy to have provided the property which we think will become a hub of health and wellness. The ‘Sounds of the 50s & 60s’ concert will add to the fundraising efforts that are already well underway for the innovative community centre that is intended to house the future Muskoka Lakes Nursing Station, Hospice Muskoka/Andy’s House and the Hub of the Lakes Retirement Residence”

Sounds of the 50s & 60s is planned for June 21 and features the music of Elvis Presley, Bill Hailey, the Mamas and the Papas and many others. Tickets are just $25. To learn more visit

Ryde pledges support for nursing stations

In Ryde, the Ryde Community Co-op has also expressed interest in a nursing station for its community but at a meeting earlier this month, it came to what it calls ‘the reluctant conclusion” that the Co-op and Ryde community isn’t able to provide a space for a proposed station at this time. In a release, the Co-op said “The proposal required the municipality or the community to provide the building space and make any modifications to the location to meet the requirements of the clinic. We were given to understand that the Town would not be providing any funding and that meant the whole cost would have to be borne by the community. Ryde does not have the financial resources to do this.”

The Co-op also looked at acquiring the Ryde Public School but it is also beyond its reach at this time. But the good people of Ryde are still doing their part: The Co-op has written a letter of support for the four other Muskoka Nursing stations proposed. Here is a copy of that letter of support that the Co-op says may serve as a model for others who want to pledge their support:  Nursing Station Letter

Featured Picture: Katherine Breeson and family. Photo by Jody Bressette.

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