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When US Doctors, Jonie and Michael Girouard were looking to establish their first weight management and wellness clinic in New Zealand, the Waimakariri District caught their eye for a number of reasons.
“The business location we chose for The Girouard Centre has easy access, free parking, a low crime rate and a beautiful location at Silverstream,” says Jonie. “The peaceful presence of our location is what many clients comment on when they come here.”
Already living in North Canterbury, Jonie had a feel for the local market and knew there was a potential client base of over 350,000 just up the road in Christchurch. “We see patients from North Canterbury as well as Christchurch. Our clinic is located on a bus route to Christchurch, is just 15 minutes from Christchurch airport and – once the bypass is completed – is likely to be just 10 minutes from Merivale.”
The Girouard Centre - a dedicated medical (non-surgical) weight management centre - opened in Silverstream in 2018 and offers services to assist patients on their journey to attain a healthier weight and better health.
“With over a million combinations of medication, supplements, herbals, fad diets and exercise plans, it can be overwhelming and often confusing for people,” explains Jonie. “Our goal is to partner with our patients and design an individual plan for their unique challenges.”
Despite Dr Michael Girouard already operating seven similar clinics in the USA, where he has treated over 180,000 patients since 1981, establishing the centre at Silverstream still required some support.
Jonie says that the provision of networking opportunities, business coaching, guidance and grant opportunities from the likes of Enterprise North Canterbury and the Waimakariri District Council were a key factor in successfully establishing the business.
“The support of the local businesses and ENC has been one of the best things about choosing the Waimakariri District as our base,” she said.
The Girouard Centre is located at Unit 6, 42 Silverstream Boulevard, Kaiapoi. For more information visit www.girouardcentre.co.nz