One of the principle actors in the fight over Saint Pat’s-Alexandra school is leaving Halifax. Jane Maloney, director of the North End Community Health Clinic, is taking a job at the Community Health Centre Ottawa. Her last day at the clinic was Wednesday.
With 140 employees, the Ottawa clinic is a much larger operation that the NECHC. Maloney will be the director of primary care services, one of five director positions at the clinic.
Maloney is a believer in community health centres, and is the chair of the national association of community health centres. The model has seen wide acceptance in Ontario but hasn’t caught on in Nova Scotia beyond the NECHC and a few rural health clinics.
“People in Nova Scotia don’t even know what community health centres are,” says Maloney. “Some fairly high-ranking government employees still don’t get it.”
The difference between NECHC and Capital Health run deep. For example, physicians aren’t paid by procedure, but rather are on salary. “You treat complex problems,” says Maloney. “You can’t do the one visit, 15 minutes in and out, you have to treat the person holistically, and find out what the social determinants for health are doing.
Asked why the province looks at NECHC warily, Maloney says that “it’s a population-based service model. And the population we look after either has political power or it doesn’t.”
Maloney expects that the NECHC board will appoint an interim director, and hire someone full time for the job in the fall. NECHC is one of three organizations hoping to take over the St. Pat’s school site. Maloney says board member Margaret Casey has been fully involved in negotiations over the school site, and will continue in that capacity.