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Cold Lake celebrates renovated palliative care rooms

March 10, 2020

Job shadowing 2020

Members of Alberta Health Services, Cold Lake Palliative Care Society and Hearts for Healthcare joined community donors on Feb. 24 to celebrate the unveiling of two newly renovated palliative care rooms at the Cold Lake Healthcare Centre. Cutting the ribbon, in the front row from left, are: Natasha Jovanovic (Cold Lake Palliative Care Society), Catherine Garon (Alberta Health Services), Kari Leiper (Hearts for Healthcare) and Kimberley Coosemans (Hearts for Healthcare).

Generous community support made new spaces possible

Story by Amelia Schofield

COLD LAKE — Two newly renovated palliative care rooms are providing a modernized, comforting space for seriously ill patients and their families at the Cold Lake Healthcare Centre, thanks to support from the local community.

Completed at the end of 2019 and unveiled on Feb. 24, the $30,000 renovations were funded by a $15,000 donation from the Cold Lake Palliative Care Society and a $15,000 donation from Hearts for Healthcare, two organizations that raise funds for local healthcare initiatives.

In addition to the funds, the community provided many other contributions to the project such as supplies, decor and services. These organizations, businesses and individuals include: Alberta Health Services (AHS) Facilities Maintenance & Engineering, Cold Lake Healthcare Centre Auxiliary, Feathered Nest Design, Tracy Lewis, Brandon Born Photography, Budget Blinds Cold Lake, Furniture Galaxy, Jester Paint Supply Ltd., K3 Promotions Inc., Cold Lake Florist, Cold Lake Chamber of Commerce and Bordeleau Custom Cabinets.

Catherine Garon, site manager at Cold Lake Healthcare Centre, says the renovations will help provide patients and families with a comfortable setting during a difficult time in their lives. “These renovations are helping us improve the care we provide to patients and their families, by providing a soothing and comforting space for end-of-life care.”

The goal of palliative care is to prevent and relieve suffering and to improve quality of life for patients facing serious, complex illness. It’s a branch of medical care or treatment with a focus on reducing the severity of disease symptoms; rather than striving to halt, delay or reverse progression of the disease itself – or provide a cure.

The newly refinished palliative care rooms feature updated, homelike furnishings – including a sofa, comfortable chairs and custom-built desks to fit the space. As well, patients and families now have the ability to video-conference loved ones through the ‘smart’ TVs in each room.

Each year, around 40 patients use the centre’s two palliative care beds, which serve Cold Lake and surrounding communities.

According to both the Cold Lake Palliative Care Society and Hearts for Healthcare, their partnership is an opportunity to maximize donor impact on healthcare for individuals and families across the Cold Lake region.

“Cold Lake Palliative Care Society is made up of volunteer healthcare professionals working in the healthcare centre and homecare environment,” says Natasha Jovanovic, chair of the Cold Lake Palliative Care Society. “Our mission is to ensure the provision of palliative care services in our community. We want people to be aware of what palliative care consists of – and how it can improve a person's life who is suffering a life-threatening illness.

“Thanks to partnerships with AHS and Hearts for Healthcare to create an environment of comfort and support, we have stayed true to our mission and commitment.”

Kimberley Coosemans, president of Hearts for Healthcare, adds: “On behalf of Hearts for Healthcare, it is my honour to be a part of this collaboration with the Cold Lake Palliative Care Society – to contribute funds raised by our community partners – to invest in the renovation of the palliative care rooms at the Cold Lake Healthcare Centre.”

“After personally having a loved one pass away in this very room over seven years ago, it is very comforting to know that the improvements made to these rooms will help those patients and their families to find peace and comfort during a very difficult stage in life.”

Cindy Harmata, Senior Operating Officer – Rural Health East (Areas 5-8, Program & Performance Acute, Allied and Seniors), says the success of this project shows how community support can make a difference for patients and families.

“This is a great example of community support and collaboration,” says Harmata. “We are so thankful for this community’s ongoing support of healthcare services in the Lakeland region.”

Learn more about the Cold Lake Palliative Care Society and Hearts for Healthcare.