January 12, 2024
The palliative care suite at St. Theresa General Hospital in Fort Vermilion has received a significant makeover thanks in part to support from the Northwest Health Foundation. Photo supplied.
Story by Diana Rinne
FORT VERMILION — Patients receiving end-of-life care and their families now have greater comfort in a newly renovated palliative care suite at St. Theresa General Hospital thanks to the Northwest Health Foundation in collaboration with Alberta Health Services (AHS).
“Palliative care is an important part of healthcare, and having this updated space is very significant for patients and their families,” says Clark McAskile, Chair of the Northwest Health Foundation.
The Northwest Health Foundation provided $50,000 for the project as part of its $250,000 campaign to update palliative care spaces in the region, including suites in AHS facilities in both High Level and La Crete.
Another $115,000 for the Fort Vermilion project flowed from the Government of Alberta’s Infrastructure Maintenance Program.
“The updated palliative suite will help us improve the quality of life for these patients, so families have every opportunity to spend meaningful time together during what can be a very stressful situation,” says Trenten Derksen, Site Manager for St. Theresa General Hospital.
Upgrades to the palliative care suite in Fort Vermilion include new flooring, revamped plumbing to create a larger and fully wheelchair-accessible bathroom as well as added storage and a kitchenette with small appliances in the room.
“It turned out really beautiful,” says Harvey Matthews, manager of AHS Facilities, Maintenance and Engineering, whose team led the renovations. “It’s a 50-year-old room so we did a lot of changes to update things. It was a good collaboration between all of the departments involved.”
The suite officially re-opened with an informal open house on Nov. 30. “We are very grateful to the Northwest Health Foundation and the many donors who supported the campaign to update these palliative care spaces in our facilities,” adds Derksen.
The Northwest Health Foundation is currently working on a new fundraising campaign focused on pediatric care for healthcare facilities the area.