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Health care centre had humble beginnings Medical attention in Whistler during the early years of the resort was rather limited, to say the least. In 1965 there were no permanent medical facilities in the valley and the drive to Vancouver usually took two-and-a-half hours. Anybody requiring assistance contacted their family physician in Vancouver. Two years later Whistler Mountain provided accommodation at the gondola base in Whistler Creek for the Whistler Mountain Medical Association, a group of skiing doctors who provided residents with emergency medical care on weekends only. Thirteen years later, in 1980, doctors Rob Burgess and Christine Rodgers established practices in the valley, initiating what is now considered a major leap in providing health care to Whistler residents and visitors. In 1982 the Whistler Health Planning Society was incorporated to establish a non-profit medical facility at the resort. It's first facility was located near the Fairways Hotel in what is now the Golf Club Pro Shop. Provision of services was limited but the staff, which included the area's first nurse and medical centre administrator, Bev Wylie, worked with what they had. On busy ski season weekends patients lined the walls in the tiny waiting room. Patient privacy was next to nil. Operating costs for the facility from 1981 to 1987 were recouped through donations and fund raisers, including chili cookoffs, hot dog sales and golf tournaments. Staff would even wander through the village offering passersby the opportunity to have their blood pressure taken for a buck. In 1986 the centre moved to the basement of the municipal hall building, which itself had once housed the Keg at the Mountain restaurant. By 1990 the centre was operating with four doctors and 20 staff. A trailer was set up beside municipal hall to house doctors' offices, but it soon became apparent that the additional space just wasn't enough. Through comprehensive fund-raising initiatives and promotions, led by Wylie and other community leaders, the centre was relocated to its current location beside Whistler's Marketplace. The two storey building opened in the fall of 1994. - information culled from Medical Care in Alta Lake/Whistler, Whistler Chamber of Commerce

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