First Nations partner with Elliot Lake hospital to create 32 LTC beds

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St. Joseph’s General Hospital Elliot Lake, together with Sagamok and Serpent River First Nations, announced Monday they have received funding to create 32 new LTC beds.

The partnership between the hospital, Sagamok First Nation and Serpent River First Nation will see the construction of a 16-bed LTC care home for each community.

That includes a new building in Massey to serve Indigenous residents as part of a campus of care, the groups said in a news release.

“We recognized the need for additional LTC beds, and are pleased to hear that the government is assisting us in providing a complete continuum of community support services located close enough that they can remain integrated with our people," Sagamok First Nation Chief Alan Ozawanimki said in the release.

Another home will be built in Serpent River and will serve Indigenous residents in a campus of care model.

“We strive to create quality, high level of care for our Elders, and caregivers," Ogimma Brent Bissaillion for Serpent River First Nation said in the release.

"Today's announcement is a commitment to ensure that we are providing the highest level of care and will be able to deliver on that care. Hopefully, this will be a model of reconciliation for all of us, as we move forward together, in creating a stronger quality of life for our elders and grandparents.”

“The development of these long-term care home partnerships is another valuable step towards helping to reduce waitlists while providing our seniors the necessary care they deserve within their communities, close to their families,” added Elliot Lake hospital CEO Jeremy Stevenson.

Ontario now has 31,705 new and 28,648 upgraded beds in development across the province. Of the 365 projects announced to date, 115 projects such as ours have proposed to be part of a “campus of care” model focused on healthy seniors’ living, integrating the long-term care home into the broader health care system.

"I am so excited and grateful for the willingness of the board and the hospital administration to partner with our First Nations to secure the 16 long-term care beds for my community of Serpent River First Nation and 16 Long Term Care beds for Sagamok Anishinabek," hospital board chair Elaine Johnston is quoted as saying in the news release.

"This shows reconciliation in action within health care and can be a model of working together."