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The Hants Shore Health Association was incorporated under the Nova Scotia Societies Act in November 1984. It is a registered charity with Revenue Canada and can therefore issue income tax receipts for donations.


The ShoreThe Hants Shore Community Health Centre exists today because of the vision of Bramber resident Alice Galley along with the effort a determined group of community volunteers. In 1984, Alice founded the Hants Shore Health Association, which has as its members all residents of the Hants Shore from Upper Burlington to Tennecape; the Association owns and operates the Hants Shore Community Health Centre located in Kempt Shore.

Alice did not set out to create a community health centre in1984, she simply wanted to find a new doctor to take over from Dr. Charlie Hines who had served the community well for many years and was ready to retire. Nonetheless, Alice, with husband Harry by her side, soon found herself visiting the North End Community Health Centre in Halifax and attending a course on community health centres at Dalhousie University. This was the way to go for a small rural community! With perseverance and determination, Alice rallied the community, held meetings, formed committees and lobbied politicians.

Alice's efforts began to yield results. The Department of Health and the Municipalities of West Hants and East Hants gave grants towards a community health centre. The community held many fund raising events. Charles Barkhouse donated a piece of land in Kempt Shore. The Association decided to purchase an old trailer which had been used as a clinic in Middle Musqodoboit and to hire a moving company to bring it here.

Hwy 215Community members pitched in to do the necessary work. As Alice tells it: "Harry Galley, Ralph Smith, Lowell Brown, Ted Sandford and Jim Conway went to Musquodoboit, took the building apart and helped load it on the flat bed. Logan Salter, with Harold Sanford helping, had dug a basement and sewage system. Curtis Smith oversaw the building of the basement walls. Walter Ross did trucking jobs and helped with his tractor. After the building was in place, John Phelan dug a well and gave it to us. Ronald McKinley repaired and connected the electrical system. Doug Maxwell did the plumbing. Gary Wile painted the ceilings. The women of the area cleaned the inside. Harry Galley and Bert Walsh brought two half-ton truckloads of furniture from the DOH warehouse in Halifax to the clinic. Altogether the residents of Hants Shore put 14,000 hours of volunteer labour into getting the clinic in place on this shore."

The Hants Shore Community Health Centre opened on September 5, 1985, with Dr. Beth Whittaker and Dr. Charles Hines sharing the positions. Dr. Michael Cussen came to the health centre in January 1986 and has served the community as family physician ever since.

As a member of the Federation of Community Health Centres of Nova Scotia, our health centre shares the vision of offering a variety of health services as well as health promotion and disease prevention programs. In 1991, DOH agreed to annual funding of a Health Program Coordinator to provide administrative support and health promotion programs. Over the years, a vast array of programs have been offered, including Nursery School, Moms and Tots, GED upgrading, Stay in School, Chronic Pain support group, Women's Network and literacy programs. The original building was soon bursting at the seams.

In 1998, grants from NS Economic Development and Tourism, HRDC, The Central Regional Health Board, the Hants Regional Development Authority and West Hants Municipal Council as well as donations of money, time and talents from the community resulted in the renovation and expansion of the old building. Community resident Peter Siemers donated his services as architect to design the handsome and functional building completed in February 1999.

Today, the health centre is a busy place with two family physicians, a pharmacy, blood services, Shared Care Mental Health Program and a Nursery School. A strong partnership with Dr. Arthur Hines Elementary School provides recreation, nutrition and literacy programs for the students. A monthly newsletter keeps residents informed of community events and programs.

In recognition of her achievement, the health centre's board room was designated as the Alice Galley Board Room at a celebration marking the 20th Anniversary of the health centre. Alice Galley had the vision to found the health association and the leadership to rally community to build the health centre. Alice served as President of the Association for 10 years and attended every annual general meeting for many years. Her hard work and determination, followed by over 70 community members who have volunteered as Board members, resulted in the vibrant facility we have today. As Alice says, the health centre "is an achievement of which every resident of the Hants Shore should be very proud."


The Hants Shore runs along the Bay of Fundy in the western part of Hants County. It has about 1,500 households in 14 communities extending from Upper Burlington to Tennecape. The town of Windsor provides the nearest services for most people.

In the centre of this community lies the Hants Shore Community Health Centre. The health centre provides primary health care services to the 3,000 people who live here. It believes that good health care ensures the physical, mental and social well-being of the individual. For this reason, health promotion and disease prevention programs are offered along with physician services, making it more than just a medical centre.

A variety of programs have been offered over the years to address changing needs in areas such as nutrition, literacy, physical fitness, mental health, employment and early childhood education. In these ways, the centre is working to improve the overall health of the community.

Ken Branchard, Photo hay bails and shore
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