‘Health hub’ gets $1M
Project puts nursing home, hospital on one Mattawa property
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.
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.