Jan. 23, 2009
SAINT JOHN (CNB) - A wellness centre will be set up on the west side of Saint John with financial support from the provincial government.
Health Minister Michael Murphy and Supply and Services Minister Ed Doherty made the announcement today.
The Department of Health is investing $125,000 to support the establishment of the West Side Wellness Centre. With support from outreach programs of Regional Health Authority B, the wellness centre will meet the needs of 60 people who are without a primary care provider.
"Quality health care must be available to all New Brunswickers whenever they need it, wherever they live in our province," Murphy said. "This investment exemplifies our government's commitment to enhance access to health services for every New Brunswick resident."
The funding will cover more than one-third of the cost of renovating the interior of the Carleton Community Centre to create space for the facility. It will consist of a clinic room, a meeting room, a waiting room and a washroom, all of which will be wheelchair-accessible.
Once the centre is open, it will be supported through the outreach efforts of the St. Joseph's Community Health Centre, Regional Health Authority B, Saint John zone, and the community group Westside PACT. A nurse practitioner from the St. Joseph's Centre will see patients at the facility for a half-day each week. Another from the Saint John zone will be on-site two days a week to provide chronic disease management services for people with diabetes.
Westside PACT will provide the centre with a health and wellness liaison for a six-month term. The Saint John zone will carry out specimen collection and aging program clinics as well as provide IV day hospital services.
Fonda Kazi, vice-president, community and primary health services at Regional Health Authority B, congratulated Westside PACT and acknowledged this significant partnership.
"The collaboration to date has been outstanding, and as we continue to work together with our important community partners, such as PACT, we can further meet the needs of our communities through the delivery of unique programs, health promotion and community outreach," Kazi said.
The range of services available at the centre will be expanded as other needs of the community are identified, Murphy said.
"Our government is pleased to be a partner in this initiative for the benefit of Saint John residents," Murphy said. "Partnerships such as this support our efforts to ensure the health-care system will be sustainable and able to meet the needs of all New Brunswickers on the journey to self-sufficiency in 2026 and beyond."
MEDIA CONTACT: Meghan Cumby, communications, Department of Health, 506-457-3522.