Waterloo Region is giving $157,000 to the Woolwich Community Health Centre so it can hire a rural planner.
The Health Centre, based in St. Jacobs, offers primary health care services to equity-deserving populations, such as rural and Mennonite communities, as well as the broader community.
Some of the services include health education, community outreach programming focused on the social determinants of health, nutritional education for young children and parents, diabetes education and physiotherapy services.
Rosslyn Bentley said needs have increased.
"Because of just general population growth, both the aging population but also movement into the community, new Canadians arriving from overseas, people commuting and coming to the Waterloo region, we are finding there are more and more people that don't have a regular family physician," she said.
Bentley said the plan is to partner with seven other organizations including those in North Dumfries, Wilmot and Wellesley to hire a rural planner.
The role would connect with hard-to-reach communities to make sure their perspectives are reflected in the programming and make changes to ensure accessibility.
"What we want to do is really listen to the communities that are generally not as well represented in the typical methods that we use to find out what the needs of community are with regards to health and social services. So we're talking about the Indigenous community, the low income community, LGBTQ+ community," she said.
She hopes this will help identify gaps in current services and work toward solutions.