Executive Council
Health and Community Services
Transportation and Works
June 27, 2007

Premier Turns Sod on Happy Valley-Goose Bay Long-term Care Home

The Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, turned the sod today on the new $20 million long-term care home for Happy Valley-Goose Bay. The Premier was joined by the Honourable Ross Wiseman, Minister of Health and Community Services; the Honourable John Hickey, Minister of Transportation and Works and MHA for Lake Melville; Larry Bradley, board chair for Labrador-Grenfell Health; and, His Worship Leo Abbass, Mayor of Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

"We are committed to supporting seniors, to upgrading long-term care homes across the province, and to improving access to health care services for residents in all areas of our province," said Premier Williams. "Early in our mandate we announced that we would construct and renovate long-term care homes across the province. Happy Valley-Goose Bay was identified as an area where there was a demonstrated need for enhanced long-term care services. We are here today to deliver on our commitment to the people of this region."

Through Budget 2007, the Provincial Government will invest $3 million this year to begin construction on the $20-million facility. This investment is in addition to the $1.4 million allocated in the past two years for the planning and design of the new 50-bed facility.

The new home will be attached to the Labrador Health Centre. It will be divided into four neighbourhoods, one exclusively for dementia care, and will have the capacity to expand to 72 beds in the future. The home will have larger rooms to accommodate the appropriate equipment as well as visitors.

"Government is responding to the changing needs of our province�s aging population, one of which is an increased need for long term care homes," said Minister Wiseman. "We are strategically investing to improve capacity by constructing long-term care homes across the province, such as the one we are turning sod for today. Additionally, we continue to respond to the needs of seniors to prepare for an older population across various sectors."

The tender for site work on the new home has been awarded and will be completed in August. A design/build tender will be called June 30, and will close in mid-August. It is anticipated that foundation work will start this fall with the home opening for residents in spring 2010.

In addition to the long-term care home, the Provincial Government has also initiated several other health-related capital projects in Labrador. Budget 2007 will invest $4.5 million to begin site work on a new 28-bed health centre in Labrador West. Budget 2007 also included $2.6 million to construct a new office building to accommodate the increase in staff of Labrador-Grenfell Health. Additionally, work on a new satellite dialysis unit for Happy Valley-Goose Bay is also proceeding on schedule. The unit, expected to be operational in the fall, will house four dialysis machines to accommodate up to 16 dialysis patients.

�Great things are happening in the health care sector in Labrador,� said Minister Hickey. �This government is making unprecedented investments to ensure the people of Labrador have world-class health care facilities and treatment.�

"We are very pleased that our government has recognized the need for an appropriate long-term care facility in Labrador," said Mr. Bradley. "The construction of this new facility will allow us to expand upon the services we currently offer to long-term care clients in our region, and in particular, we are especially pleased with the addition of a protective care unit to provide services to clients with dementia."

Mayor Abbass said: �I am very pleased to see this sod turning take place today, as construction gets underway for the new, long-term health care facility for Happy Valley-Goose Bay and indeed, all of Labrador. This is a facility that was long overdue, but with the great support of the Provincial Government, it will soon be a reality and residents of Labrador can take comfort in the fact that they will not have to leave their home in order to receive the long-term care they may require down the road.�

Photo #1: Premier Turns Sod on Happy Valley-Goose Bay Long-term Care Home

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Media contacts:

Elizabeth Matthews
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960, 351-1227
Tansy Mundon
Director of Communications
Department of Health and Community Services
709-729-1377, 685-1741

David Salter
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 691-3577

Alison Dower
Regional Director of Communications
Labrador-Grenfell Health
709-454-0128, 454-1205

2007 06 27                                                       2:00 p.m.


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