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NLRHC expansion includes ten new beds

PHOTO. Supplied. Nathalia Cordeau-Hilliard. Reporter. Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of second floor expansion. L-R: Mayor Don Scott, Murray Crawford, Bruno Francoeur, Verna Murphy, Sheila LaLonde, Cindy Amerongen.

The Northern Lights Regional Health Centre (NLRHC) unveiled the completion of a ten bed expansion thanks to a donation from the Suncor Energy Foundation.

Monday afternoon Alberta Health Services, The Suncor Energy Foundation, the Northern Lights Health Foundation and local dignitaries were on hand for a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Six long-term care rooms, including a bariatric room have been built on the second floor of the hospital to create an addition 10 beds.

The bariatric room, which has double doors and other features, is the first for Fort McMurray. Willow Square will have one bariatric room for every 18 rooms.

Senior Operating Officer of the hospital said it will help long-term patients feel more at home and the impact on the hospital will be immediate.

“It’ll also free up ten beds that are currently being occupied by continuing care people on the Medicine ward, which is almost always at full capacity.”

The increased capacity will also benefit medical staff in Acute Care, Medicine, Surgical, and Long Term and Continuing Care units, as each area will now have additional room to deliver appropriate care.

Regional Operations Executive of Suncor Energy Bruno Francoeur said they’re proud to support the work being done by the hospital to improve patient care.

“The expansion will benefit Wood Buffalo residents and will go a long way in enhancing overall healthcare in our region.”

The new rooms will initially be used by long-term care residents who are awaiting the construction of Willow Square and those who are waiting for a room in the Continuing Care area of the health centre.