New Lacombe Community Health Centre set to open its doors

The new Lacombe Community Health Centre at 4580-46 St. Ground broke on the project in September 2018, and the facility will open to the public Dec. 11 and 12. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

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After over a year of waiting, Lacombe’s health services are finally moving under one roof as the Lacombe Community Health Centre prepares to open its doors.

On Friday afternoon, representatives from Alberta Health Services (AHS), Tricon Developments and a number of dignitaries marked the grand opening of the new facility at 4580-46 St. – the first development in the Wolf Creek Crossing subdivision.

“As I said in my speech earlier, this is a very important day for Lacombe,” said City of Lacombe Mayor Grant Creasey. “To have this 17,000 square-foot facility to consolidate health care services for our community and area all under one roof is amazing.”

Up until now, the various health services departments in the community – mental health, public health, and home care services – were split between Parkland Place at 5033 52 St. and the Provincial Building at 5010 51 St. on the other side of the block. For years, the goal has been to bring them together, but it wasn’t until Sept. 4, 2018 that they were able to break ground on the project.

Now, 15 months later, the 17,000 square-foot facility, developed by Tricon, is complete, offering each department its own dedicated space, but with the ability for each area to collaborate with each other and offer a multi-faceted approach to better serve patients’ needs.

(Left to right) AHS Area Manager for Lacombe and Bentley Kimberley Sommerville, Lacombe County Reeve Paula Law, City of Lacombe Mayor Grant Creasey, AHS Director for Lacombe and Red Deer Counties Valerie Thompson, Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr, Site Manager Dale MacDonald, and Tricon Developments’ Jessica Pell and Darcy Stingel cut the ribbon marking the grand opening of the new Lacombe Community Health Centre at 4580-46 St. in Lacombe, Alta. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

AHS Area Manager for Lacombe and Bentley Kimberley Sommerville said that was one of the greatest benefits of the new facility, as well as their ability to grow for the future.

“One of the great things about being able to collaborate under one building is the ability for professionals to discuss and bounce ideas off of each other, for patients and clients to come to once facility to get a multitude of different services as opposed to downtown at two different buildings where parking is tough,” she said. “With this project we were able to plan for that growth with some additional space.

“For instance in home care, we were only able to offer one treatment space because of the physical constraints of our previous building. In this facility, we have two treatment spaces that will be able to accommodate two people now for their care. That is pretty much the same for every department. We’re able to offer more space and the ability to increase the number of people we see and house at a certain time.”

The facility has two floors, with the main floor offering treatment spaces for public health, children’s rehabilitation, as well as a storage space with fridge for vaccines, and conference rooms where health care professionals can meet with each other, as well as Skype with colleagues across the province.

The second floor is geared towards mental health and addiction treatment, with a number of various treatment rooms, a quiet room, and over 60 cubicles equipped with lockers to offer those working in different departments the ability to lock up files or other items, or simply offer more privacy when working over the phone with clients.

Not all cubicles will be used right away, but offer room for growth. Some 80 staff are employed in the various departments, but not all will need their own dedicated offices as they work out in the community.

AHS Area Manager for Lacombe and Bentley Kimberley Sommerville takes dignitaries and AHS representatives on a tour of the new Lacombe Community Health Centre, including one of their new conference rooms, during a grand opening event at 4580-46 St. in Lacombe, Alta. on Dec. 6, 2019. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

All will move into the facility next week. In order to minimize disruption, programs will move in phases to the new facility.

As of Dec. 9, community health programs, including immunization clinics, pre and post-natal support, home care and children’s rehabilitation services will be closed at the Provincial Building while for staff and equipment are moved. Programming will resume Dec. 11 to the new Community Health Centre.

Dec. 10, addiction and mental health services, including addiction services and therapy for both youth and adults, as well as seniors outreach nurses, will close their Parkland Place location and reopen Dec. 12 at the new centre.

Home care services and other services that operate out in the community in homes will not stop, but treatment rooms will not be available that day.

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr was in attendance to tour the facility and gauge future needs in the area, while Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro sent his congratulations via a release.

“Congratulations on this new health facility that will strengthen health services in and around Lacombe,” he said.

“Projects like this ensure patients and families get the best care possible, and focus on community-based prevention and early intervention services. All this helps keep people healthy and improves their quality of life – and also helps reduce demands on the health system. Thanks to Alberta Health Services and the Lacombe Community Health Centre for their dedication and hard work.”

With AHS moving into its own dedicated facility and vacating the space it currently uses in the Provincial Building, it allows the City of Lacombe the opportunity to repurpose the building, however Creasey said he was unable to confirm what that will look like, or when any announcement about it may happen.

“It certainly does provide opportunity with the final tenant moving out of that building. We have been working with some interested groups. Unfortunately, I don’t have anything to announce at this time, but rest assured, city hall is working towards a positive outcome for that space,” he said, noting plans are also in the works for development in the area surrounding the new Community Health Centre.

“It’s a wonderful anchor and I look forward to some more commercial work. I think we’ve got some things in the fire that I’m unfortunately not able to talk about now, but I think that Tricon is positioned well here to increase their presence and add some more services that will both compliment this and add on in a commercial sense as well.”

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AHS Area Manager for Lacombe and Bentley Kimberley Sommerville addresses the crowd gathered for the marking of the grand opening of the Lacombe Community Health Centre on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

The new Lacombe Community Health Centre at 4580-46 St. features two clinic treatment rooms on the main floor for the public health department. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

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