‘Health hub’ gets $1M

Project puts nurs­ing home, hos­pi­tal on one Mat­tawa prop­erty

North Bay Nugget - - FRONT PAGE - Gord Young

The re­de­vel­op­ment of the Al­go­nquin Nurs­ing Home in Mat­tawa re­ceived a $1-mil­lion boost from the prov­ince Fri­day.

An­nounced by Nipiss­ing MPP Vic Fedeli, the fund­ing will help pay for new ser­vices at what’s been been dubbed a “ru­ral health hub” for the area, in­clud­ing respite care, a hos­pice suite, Indige­nous heal­ing room and hos­pi­tal­ity suite.

“Very few small com­mu­ni­ties have been able to ac­com­plish what we have,” said Pierre Noel, pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Mat­tawa Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal.

The re­de­vel­op­ment and re­lo­ca­tion of the 73-bed nurs­ing home on the same site as the ex­ist­ing hos­pi­tal has been the foun­da­tion of the health hub project, al­low­ing for a wide range of ser­vices and care to be housed at a sin­gle mod­ern cam­pus.

“We can fo­cus on well­ness and pre­ven­tion , acute and restora­tive care . . . deal­ing with the whole per­son – body, mind, and spirit – from in­fancy thought to the golden years,” said Noel, not­ing the $20-mil­lion project is nearly com­plete.

He said the hos­pi­tal – which took over the li­cence for the nurs­ing home n 2013 and now op­er­ates the fa­cil­ity un­der a not-for-profit model – has tar­geted the open­ing for mid-jan­uary.

The sin­gle cam­pus lo­ca­tion also is ex­pected to cre­ate ef­fi­cien­cies through shared op­er­a­tions such as laun­dry and kitchen fa­cil­i­ties.

Al­though the prov­ince is fund­ing a por­tion of the re­de­vel­op­ment, a com­mu­nity fundrais­ing ini­tia­tive is un­der­way to help pay the lo­cal share and cover the costs of some of the added ser­vices.

Fedeli said the heath hub will help re­tain work­ers, cre­ate new jobs and at­tract pro­fes­sion­als and new res­i­dents to the com­mu­nity.

“We re­ally hope that this will be one of the mod­els for peo­ple to use,” he said, of the hub con­cept.

The project also will mean an ad­di­tional hos­pice bed for the dis­trict, once the Nipiss­ing Seren­ity fa­cil­ity in North Bay, with ca­pac­ity for 10 beds, opens it doors next year.

“It is re­ally a great fa­cil­ity. It is a beau­ti­ful, com­fort­able suite for a fam­ily to join in their loved one’s end of life,” said Fedeli, of the health hub’s hos­pice suite.

Re­de­vel­op­ment of the Mat­tawa nurs­ing home has pro­ceeded faster than the long-planned Cas­sell­holme project or the re­place­ment of the Lady Is­abelle Nurs­ing Home in Trout Creek.

But Fedeli said he is con­tin­u­ing to work to see that both projects pro­ceed.

“We are work­ing very dili­gently to bring Cas­sell­holme to a close and get the shov­els in the ground,” he said, not­ing there are just a few small gl­itches that need to be ironed. “It’s a val­ued project that needs to be done.”

In Trout Cree, Fedeli said he con­tin­ues to lobby not only for the re­place­ment of the 66 beds that were at the Lady Is­abelle fa­cil­ity, but to in­crease that num­ber 96.

“That would make it fi­nan­cially vi­able,” he said, not­ing a 96-bed fa­cil­ity would ben­e­fit from economies of scale.

Gord Young/the Nugget

The re­de­vel­op­ment of the Al­go­nquin Nurs­ing Home in Mat­tawa is nearly com­plete. The new fa­cil­ity, co-lo­cated on the same site as the com­mu­nity's hos­pi­tal, is ex­pected to open in mid-jan­uary.

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