A Brief Medical History of the Rawdon Hills

Community Health Centre


  • In 1968 the local, long-standing doctor, Dr. R.A. MacLellan, passed away, leaving the area without primary health services despite a number of requests.
  • During this time, residents traveled to Elmsdale, Sackville, Windsor and other larger centres outside of the immediate communities, for health care.
  • The East Hants Community Health Board (E.H.C.H.) was initiated and a study into the primary health needs of East Hants was conducted. The results strongly supported the development of a Health Centre in the Rawdon area and both the Department of Health Authority (D.H.A). and the Department of Health (D.O.H.) were also in support.

  • The E.H.C.H. Board held meetings throughout rural East Hants, the largest response coming from Rawdon and surrounding areas. The need for local primary health care and associated services in our area was voiced.

  • The Rawdon Hills Community Health Centre Association was formed and it was incorporated on August 29th, 2000.

  • The Board of Directors for the Centre developed a business plan with a multi-disciplinary, health delivery team approach.

  • A suitable location within our communities was assessed and a temporary site in the basement of the United Church Manse became the first site of the Rawdon Hills Community Health Centre.

  • The practice opened October 16th, 2000 with Dr. Andrew Mai as physician.
  • While the Centre was operating out of the manse basement, James and Elsie Bond donated land near the Upper Rawdon District Firehall for a future site.
  • As planning began on the new building site, business went on as usual at the temporary Rawdon Centre location. The Rawdon Hills Community Health Centre developed a working relationship with two other East Hants Health Centres, those of Noel and Kennetcook. The three communities formed the Hants North Co-operative. 

  • Dr. Andrew Mai and the District Health Authority assisted in developing the Hants North Co-operative Plan.

  • The temporary Rawdon Centre location had a nurse practitioner on site, who was shared by the Hants North Co-operative. In time, the Nurse practitioner position changed to that of Community Health Nurse and presently this position is filled by Barbara Campbell.

  • After being the primary health care physician for the Rawdon site, Dr. Andrew Mai moved to Ottawa.

  • Dr. Michelle MacLean and Dr. Jamie Cox worked at the clinic for a short time before Dr. Barbara O’Neil became the full-time physician.
  • During the Centre operation out of the manse, the Department of Health hired Mary Jane Hampton to do a study re. health service in the Rawdon area. The report supported a health centre in Rawdon and it supported a virtual Hants North Clinic: one Co-operative Centre and three sites in the communities of Rawdon, Kennetcook and Noel.

  • With ongoing plans for a new Centre location, the temporary site continued to grow with Foot Care Services by Cyndy Withrow, R.N. and Mental Health Services with Dr. Elaine Campbell both taking place weekly, and Dalhousie medical students undergoing practicum rotations under Dr. Barbara O’Neil.

  • After time spent in practice at the Centre, Dr. Barbara O’Neil took a leave of absence and Dr. Saduesh Ummat, Dr. Sherry Jain, Dr. Sarban Singh, Dr. Shalini Veeramasamy provided supply services.

  • Our community members fundraised for 8 years under the direction of our Board of Directors fundraising committee in effort to provide permanent health services in a community owned and operated center.

  • Efforts to have a centre in Rawdon to serve the surrounding areas, came to fruition on January 30th, 2008, the day our current building was set on a foundation at 3889 Highway 14 in Upper Rawdon. 

  • On May 12th, 2008 we moved from the United Church manse to the new building and our doors were opened to the public on June 20th, 2008.

  • Sonia Ferguson worked as receptionist and as a blood technician prior to her employment as R.N. at Dykeland Lodge, in  Windsor, N.S.
  • Kathy Blois and Vanda White-Neil were the receptionists of our Centre until 2015.
  • In 2015, due to the changes in the health care system and the onset of collaborative practices, the Department of Health consolidated all medical services in the Hants North area, to the Kennetcook Medical Centre. As a result of  these changes, we were no longer able to keep our centre open. The Board is still active in health promotion and operates as the Rawdon Hills Health Centre Association. We strongly believe in the importance of healthy communities and we continue to promote the determinants of health for the people of Hants North. 



A Brief History of Physicians Since 2000

Dr. Andrew Mai, October 2000 – August 2003

Dr. Michelle MacLean, 2003 – September 2004, working with Dr. Andrew Mai and Dr. Jamie Cox

Dr. Jamie Cox, October 2003 – November 2004

Dr. Barbara O’Neil, November 2004 – December 2006

Dr. Saduesh Ummat, June 2006 – December 2006

Dr. Sherry Jain, Dr. Sarban Singh, Januray 2007- June 2007

Dr. Shalini Veerasamy worked at Clinic filling in prior to June 2007

Dr. Barbara O’Neil – June 2007- August 2010

Dr. Gadir – January 2010 to 2015

Dr. Harding – 2015

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