Barbara Campbell (KVHS), Cyndi McIntosh (KCSS), Linda and Doug Thomson (KVHS), Corinne Scott (KVHS), Bob Greaves (Civeo), Margaret Sanou (KVHS) and Carl Whicher (KVHS) at the newly-erected sign on the site. (Photo Gerry Leibel)

Dementia facility moves another step forward

Civeo Corporation’s donation of 12 acres of land valued at $422,000 is the latest development in the process to getting Kitimat’s dementia care facility off the ground.

Kitimat Valley Housing Society (KVHS) treasurer Corinne Scott said the donation is a critical piece of the project that enables everything else to follow.

“We want very much to acknowledge Jack Oviatt’s invaluable assistance in helping us in our negotiations with Civeo,” said Scott. “Jack has really gone above and beyond in his support for this project.”

She also thanked Civeo director of land management Bob Greaves for facilitating the donation.

Kitimat Valley Housing Society (KVHS) president Doug Thomson said that a business plan has been crafted in concert with Northern Health and Kitimat Community Services Society and will be forwarded to Northern Health’s senior management and board.

“Hopefully we will have a final commitment from Northern Health early in the new year,” said Doug. “Once we receive that commitment we will move into the next phase.”

KVHS secretary Linda Thomson said community support for the project has been overwhelming and that the organizations backing the project have been “extremely generous”.

“It’s not just the really big contributions that make a difference, either,” said Linda.

She said contributions came in many different forms – the sign erected at the facility site last week was also a collaborative effort.

The posts were provided by local hardware store Emporium at a reduced rate, with the digging of holes for the posts done free of charge by local businessman Jason Milne’s Stellar Contracting.

“Jason came out in the rain and snow with machinery to drill holes for our project sign. It was a most generous donation of his time and equipment,” added Linda.

“The dementia home project also enjoys the support of our municipal government and staff, the Haisla Nation, Kitimat Community Services Society, Northern Health and the Kitimat General Hospital Foundation,” said Linda.

While the dementia home is the first project on the society’s land, the board is open to seeing other projects develop on the property with the provisos that they support seniors, contribute to a sense of community, are financially viable and provide a modest revenue stream that can contribute to the dementia home.

“Building community is a core value of the KVHS and the board wants this land to be a focus for age-friendly development, one that constitutes another element in Kitimat’s maturation,” said Doug Thomson.

“We are certainly dedicated to filling a gap in Kitimat’s health care with this dementia home but we would like to see the project expand over the coming years to provide the kind of resources that will allow our residents to age in place with options that suit each person’s needs.”

 

Jason Milne hard at work digging holes for the posts. (Photo Doug Thomson)

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