A new palliative care inpatient unit will be established at St.Martha’s Regional Hospital in Antigonish.
Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) officials announced, Dec. 19, that renovations required to create the facility will begin in early 2018.
“This unit will fulfill a need and is supported by the community,” St. Martha’s Regional Hospital site lead Martha Cooper said in a press release.
“It embodies NSHA’s philosophy that healthcare is person and family-centred.”
The renovation will create a six-bed, dedicated palliative care unit. Along with necessary staff space requirements, it will also include space for families and volunteers.
The NSHA announcement said the creation of the unit has been made possible through “strong community partnerships and generosity.”
St Martha’s Regional Hospital Foundation has committed up to $600,000 to fund capital costs, while St. Martha’s Regional Hospital Auxiliary will contribute, up to $150,000, for furnishings and equipment.
“Upon request from NSHA, the foundation was unequivocal in its affirmation to fund the palliative care unit from invested dollars contributed by our many generous donors,” foundation chair Joe MacDonald said.
“This is our first capital investment in many years and one that connected well with the positive advocacy of the Antigonish Town and County Palliative Care Society.
“We continue to actively fundraise and encourage all who have not been able to make their pledge to do so,” he added.
Hospital auxiliary president Anne Brunelle said members are “pleased” to be able to provide its contribution.
“The $150,000 required for this purpose will be raised through the efforts of Auxiliary members and other volunteers who operate the Breakaway Café, Gift Corner, Jingle Bell Frolic and Mayfest,” she said.
“We are delighted to support this much-needed unit in this way.”
Palliative care provides physical, emotional and spiritual care with a focus to living fully in comfort and with dignity. Through a caregiving team of family, friends, health care professionals and volunteers, needs and choices are sensitively met. Palliative care can be provided in any care setting – at home, in hospital or in a nursing home.
“It is with a great deal of satisfaction that the Antigonish Town and County Palliative Care Society welcomes the news that St Martha’s is providing a unit dedicated to the needs of palliative care patients,” society board member and former chairperson John MacDougall said.
“Having participated in and advocated for the development of this unit over the years makes this announcement particularly rewarding for the Society members.”
Tate Construction has been awarded the renovation contract.
The new unit is expected to open in 2018.