Individuals and families will be empowered to live well in their communities, thanks to a new health and wellness hub that will revolutionize seniors’ care and reduce hospital pressures as it serves those in southeast Edmonton and beyond.
“The Covenant family is excited to build this vibrant health and wellness community for our neighbours in southeast Edmonton,” says Ed Stelmach, Covenant family board chair. “At its core, this is about leveraging our culture of innovation to deliver care and services that meet the evolving needs of the community.”
The Covenant family project, supported by the Government of Alberta, will include a community health centre with comprehensive health services, multigenerational housing and an integrated seniors’ care centre. Community engagement is underway to choose a permanent name for the initiative, currently known as the Covenant wellness community, which will be built on the site of Covenant’s Southeast Campus in Mill Woods.
“Increasing health care capacity is a key focus of our government and today is a great step in expanding Grey Nuns, helping seniors, and new ways of delivering care in Edmonton,” says Premier Jason Kenney.
The $250-million wellness community will be built in five phases, with construction of the first phase beginning this summer and completion expected in December 2024. The current Southeast Campus building will be demolished to make way for purpose-built structures, with up to 80 per cent of the original materials to be repurposed.
“When people walk through our doors, they will find a one-stop shop for holistic, person-centred care,” says Patrick Dumelie, Covenant family CEO. “Our wellness community will welcome people from all demographics and walks of life, with a special focus on inclusion and accessibility for all.”
Serving our community
Southeast Edmonton is one of the city’s fastest-growing neighbourhoods, nearly doubling its population between 1996 and 2016. The community is culturally diverse, and health needs have increased along with population growth.
The Grey Nuns Community Hospital is a key service provider in the southeast, serving a catchment area with higher than average birth rates, mental health needs and chronic diseases. Its emergency room is often used as an entry point to the health system, and while it is designed to see 23,000 emergency visits annually, it currently serves more than 74,000.
“Our staff at the Grey Nuns have always provided top-tier care to patients and families, even in the face of rapid population growth,” Patrick says. “Moving some of our outpatient clinics to the wellness community is an opportunity for us to expand our busy emergency department while improving access to appropriate, community-based care.”
Some of the outpatient clinics currently housed in the Grey Nuns hospital will move into the Covenant wellness community as part of the first phase of its development. This will free up space to expand the hospital’s busy emergency department and avoid a $200-million add-on.
Revolutionizing seniors’ care
Along with alleviating hospital pressures, the Covenant wellness community will have a special focus on seniors’ health and wellness. It will offer a range of services to seniors through its multigenerational housing (Phase 2) and integrated seniors’ care centre (Phase 3). Residents can access a wide range of care and service, including long-term care, restorative care, independent living and supportive living. Care will be tailored to meet seniors’ evolving needs, ensuring they can remain at home even as their care requirements change.
“Revolutionary seniors’ care is a key focus for the Covenant wellness community,” says Patrick. “Our integrated seniors’ care centre will be purpose-built to provide innovative, compassionate care that meets seniors’ evolving needs and allows them to age at home. We will use cutting-edge technologies and follow best practices in seniors' care to ensure our residents receive the world-class care they deserve.”
Through a public-private partnership (P3), Covenant is partnering with Rohit Group of Companies to develop the $250-million wellness community without requiring additional government funding. This multisectoral approach will allow Covenant to channel medical retail revenue back into the wellness community, enhancing services for patients, residents and families while keeping operational costs low.
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