July 23, 2003
FREDERICTON (CNB) -- Ground was broken today for the new Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation and Chalmers Regional Hospital Expansion Project in Fredericton. Premier Bernard Lord was joined by representatives from River Valley Health for a sod-turning ceremony at the site of the new construction, located on the grounds of the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital.
From left are Keith Ashfield, Minister of Natural Resources; Dr. Ron Harris, Stan Cassidy Rehabilitation Centre; Brad Green, Minister of Justice; Bernard Lord, Premier of New Brunswick; Brian Cassidy, son of Stan Cassidy; Ross Giberson, Chair of River Valley Health and Dr. Rob Leckey, Stan Cassidy Rehabilitation Centre. (Large photo) Video: (WMV) Audio: (WMA) - (more audio/video)
"This groundbreaking marks the next step in our $28 million commitment to provide New Brunswickers dealing with neurological rehabilitation with a state of the art tertiary care facility," Lord said. "In keeping with our vision forrenewing health care, the new Stan Cassidy Centre will ensure that any resident of our province who needs specialized rehabilitation will receive the care they require, at the right time, in the right place."
Premier Bernard Lord and Elsie Cassidy review the design of the new Stan Cassidy Centre. (Large photo)
Founded in 1957, the Stan Cassidy Centre is the only tertiary rehabilitation centre in New Brunswick. The clients who come to it have had their lives dramatically altered by complex strokes, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries or neurological disabilities.
The provincial government allocated $5.6 million in the current budget year for the second year of funding in the four-year program to build a new tertiary rehabilitation centre for New Brunswick. In 2002-2003, the Province invested $575,000 on design and planning documents to enable the new rehabilitation centre to be integrated with the Chalmers Regional Hospital.
Health and Wellness Minister Elvy Robichaud said, "The construction of the new Stan Cassidy Centre is part of our commitment to put patients first. This new facility will enable the dedicated professionals who make the centre one of the leading tertiary care facilities in the country provide an even higher level of care to their clients."
Steen Knorr Architecture Inc. of Saint John and Fellows & Company Ltd. of Fredericton are the architects on the project. The contract for the first phase of construction was awarded to Springhill Construction of Fredericton. Construction site development work is expected to begin in the summer and continue into the fall of 2003.
"With the awarding of this contract, we are on schedule to complete all three phases of construction by December 2005. This is an example of our commitment to build strategic infrastructure to benefit all New Brunswickers," said Supply and Services Minister Dale Graham.
The current Stan Cassidy Centre facility has been widely recognized for its work in tertiary rehabilitation treatment and services. However, the work, which needs to be done for its patients is being constrained by inadequate space and facilities.
Ross Giberson, Board Chair of River Valley Health said, "Many benefits will be realized through this construction project. Patients served by the Stan Cassidy Centre will be treated in a facility that matches the high standard of service delivered by the rehabilitation team. As well, our regional laboratory will be relocated to the new Chalmers expansion. We are also very proud that this new project includes a new teaching theatre for our region, which will be completely funded by the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital Auxiliary."
MEDIA CONTACTS: Chisholm Pothier, Office of the Premier, 506-444-2286; Shelley Fletcher, River Valley Health, 506-452-5668; Carole Payne, Department of Health and Wellness, 506-453-2536.