FEATURE – Rutland Community Clinic


Rutland Community Clinic is a new community health centre (CHC) in the Rutland neighbourhood of Kelowna. The CHC, which is operated by the Okanagan Community Health Society, welcomed its first patients on November 22, 2023. Rutland was chosen to be the home of the CHC due to the historically low number of family physicians in this growing community, the challenges presented by the social determinants of health facing the community, and the diverse populations who lives here. As the primary area for newcomers settling into Kelowna, a rapidly urbanizing environment and high population expansion of young families, the CHC was envisioned to meet the needs of the Rutland neighbourhood and keep in step with the changes as the community evolves.  

Present Day 

The CHC has quickly grown to support a population of nearly 700 patients and a full staff of allied health professionals. With a primary focus on serving Indigenous people and newcomers, the CHC also offers women’s health, sexual health and youth mental health services. Whether accessing medical, nursing, social work, health navigation or kinesiology services, there are health professional and allied staff here to help address a wide range of community needs.  

The team is currently working hard on building relationships with the community members and organizations through engagement and outreach activities. From participating in cultural celebrations, discussion groups, wellness fairs and social justice gatherings, to co-hosting a seminar on Indigenous traditional healing for local healthcare workers, Rutland Community Clinic is there to support the community and build trust between individuals and the health care system. 

The community’s response to the CHC has been wonderful! There are now direct referral pathways between community organizations and the CHC, creating collaboration that allows the most vulnerable individuals to connect with health services, regardless of which resource team they encounter first. This has also proven to be a fantastic way to capture real-time feedback from patients about their experiences at the CHC, to help make the adjustments needed to best meet the community’s priorities. 

Stakeholder Quotes

“The work that is already being done by this clinic in such a short time, is a testament to the dedication of a team who is passionate about serving a community in need”. Medical Director, Dr. Marile van Zyl 

“It has been incredible. This is what health care in Canada should look like. This facility is so much more than a family practice, they have multiple disciplines all working together to treat and prevent issues in both mental and physical health. I hope future clinics use this clinic as a blueprint for how to truly provide healthcare. I can’t rave about it enough.Patient, Kaylyn Martin 

“Throughout my time with the Rutland Community Clinic it has been an amazing experience to witness the collaborative nature of the care provided by the team. The passion for accessible and client-centered care shines bright in every team member and clearly shows in the work that they do. The Rutland Community Clinic is undoubtedly a pillar of the community and it will be exciting to watch the clinic’s impact spread as they continue to grow.” MSW and RCC team member, Clayton Murphy