A groundbreaking ceremony Thursday afternoon heralded the beginning of construction for Peace Arch Hospital’s newest addition – a 200-bed residential care facility including a 15-bed hospice residence.
The new building, scheduled to open in late 2019, will be located on what has been a vacant parking lot owned by the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation, across the road at 17 Avenue and 156 Street in South Surrey.
In recognition of a $1-million donation from Boston Pizza International owner and local philanthropists George Melville and his wife, Sylvia, the new hospice will be named The George and Sylvia Melville Hospice Home.
The residential-care centre and hospice are part of the hospital’s current $110 million renovation and expansion project, which will also include a new emergency department and five new operating suites.
“While we knew that our community desperately needed a new emergency department, we also recognized the need for extended care and hospice beds for our elderly and most fragile patients,” PAH foundation board chairwoman Siobhan Philips told the crowd gathered at groundbreaking.
The hospice residence will include 15 private rooms opening onto secured gardens. Each room will have a private bathroom and space for extended visits by family members. The home will also include shower and laundry facilities, a shared lounge and dining area with kitchen and a children’s play area.
The residential-care facility will provide a total of 185 ‘complex care’ beds for patients in need of a structured environment and 24-hour medical support.
The main 112-bed residence is designed to provide an easy transition from a home environment to residential care, including large single rooms with private bathrooms and space for personal belongings, furniture and decor.
Also included will be a secure wing, providing 73 beds for patients with geriatric mental health conditions and behavioural issues, as well as beds and equipment specifically designed for care of obese patients.
“I think it’s so important to have the best end-of-life care possible for our community,” George Melville noted in a press release.
“Sylvia and I are passionate about supporting health care, and Peace Arch holds a special place in our hearts.”