Five Busy Years
Shoreline was created as a non-profit society in 2015, by a group of Saanich Peninsula residents and physicians who were concerned about the shortage of family doctors in both the community and the Saanich Peninsula Hospital. SPH runs on a “rural” model, which means physicians from the community also provide care in the hospital. A shortage of physicians in the community impacts both family medicine and the operations of the hospital.
A group of doctors with their practice on Bevan Avenue offered their space to the Society, and renovations began to create a new, larger space into which new physicians could be recruited. We are so grateful to them and to the physicians we have recruited who are keen to serve both community and hospital.
It has not always been smooth sailing! CRA charitable status was required before Shoreline could approach the Saanich Peninsula Hospital & Healthcare Foundation for funding, and a shortage of funds for both operations and renovations led to a request to the Town of Sidney for a “bridge” loan. Council was supportive and assisted Shoreline with a $190,000 loan. Charitable status was granted in 2017, with support from the Foundation following soon after. Recruitment of physicians began in earnest, and then we discovered how much time and work it takes to get patients attached to each physician.
In 2018, we were approached by a group of physicians in the Brentwood Bay Area, and a second Shoreline clinic location was found. More renovations followed. Then, in 2020, COVID arrived in our community. We are proud of the work done by our physicians and clinic staff to “turn on a dime” and move to telehealth to continue providing care to our patients. And even with the challenges of COVID, our doctors remain committed to teaching residents and medical students.
We’re proud of our achievements
- Shoreline has grown from 5 original physicians to 25 (11 in the Brentwood Clinic and 14 in Sidney). Our original goal was to attach 10,000 patients to a doctor within 5 years, and we achieved that goal, through a combination of attaching new patients and preventing patients of retiring doctors (six doctors in total) from losing their doctor.
- Our total patient roster is now close to 17,000 people, which represents over 40% of the population of the Saanich Peninsula and more than 26% of the catchment area of the Saanich Peninsula Hospital!
- Once a week Youth Clinic in Sidney providing confidential support to youth age 12-24.
- Integration of other team members, including 2 RNs, 1 LPN, clinical pharmacists and other allied healthcare workers.
There is still much work to do
We are keenly aware that physician retirements are still happening, and many physicians are not choosing family medicine, as they pursue other options with better work-life balance. As a result, the number of people without a family doctor has not dropped much since we started.
Everyone at Shoreline is both concerned and a bit frustrated about the difficulty of solving this problem, but we remain committed to our original goal: that every person on the Saanich Peninsula will have a family physician. As a charity and community-driven group, our goal is to serve everyone who lives here to the best of our ability and funding.
Please know how committed we all are to helping our community get the physician care we all need and deserve.
Wishing you very good health,
Dale Henley and Dr. Andrea Lewis
Co-Chairs, Board of Shoreline Medical Society
What’s Happened to the Walk-in?
Shoreline runs the ONLY walk-in clinic on the peninsula, and with 10,000 residents without a doctor, it’s very busy. Since the start of the pandemic, you MUST phone in, not walk in.
We know this is a challenge, but we also know the importance of this service. We are working to adapt as fast as we can, please be patient, and kind to our staff.