Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 6, 2006
Health care with a French accent planned
Aging-in-place residence will also offer bilingual health care to the public
By BILL GLEN
"We won't be taking a blood test to see which language you speak."
- Maurice Gaudet
When the old convent site became available, Gaudet said the society "got its ducks in a row" and arranged financing to proceed.
The society has partnered with the Good Samaritan Society to offer health care services and outreach programs to residents and non-residents of all ages.
It will establish an interim health centre at the Good Samaritan's administration building on 75 Street (the former CBC building) later this year before moving over when the centre opens.
"When we first approached Capital Health for grant money, they told us we had no health experience.
"We were to align ourselves with somebody in the health care business," Gaudet said.
"We surveyed four groups and the Good Samaritans were at the top of our list. We signed a five-year contract at which time we should have our own people in place.
"They are helping us out and we are very thankful for that."
More than 60,000 francophones live in Alberta, with almost 30,000 in Edmonton and area.
A hub of nearly 1,100 live in and around Bonnie Doon.
The centre will provide meal service with a dining room on each floor. The professionally trained staff will assist with bathing, personal hygiene, dressing and grooming.
There will be medical, social and recreational services, along with preventive and educational health care services. Occupational and physical therapy will be available.
It will not have its own chapel, but Father Ray Sevigny says there will be a spiritual connection with nearby St. Thomas d'Aquin Parish.
"There is a crying need for francophones to have this health centre," said Sevigny, pastor of St. Thomas d'Aquin.
"As people age, they return to their mother tongue and it's important that they be served in their language. The people who have designed this facility have been very compassionate that, whatever plan they had, it would be affordable."
The society is hoping to raise $2 million through its Brick by Brick campaign.
More than $650,000 has been donated so far.
For more information about the centre, contact Denis Collette at (780) 463-3572 or Greg Beland at (780) 989-3215.
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