The City of Lacombe is now home to a new Alberta Health Services (AHS) Facility: The Lacombe Community Health Centre.
Located on the south-east side of city off of Hwy. 2A, the health centre will combine homecare, public health, child rehabilitation services and addictions and mental health under one roof, after they were previously forced to be located at two smaller facilities throughout the city.
“One of the great things about being able to collaborate in one building is the ability of professionals to discuss and to bounce ideas off each other while patients get to come to one facility for a multitude of services. Before it was downtown at two different buildings and parking was tough,” Kimberley Sommerville, AHS Lacombe and Bentley Area Manager.
The facility serves the current needs of all it’s users and also has space for future growth — a crucial component of this project that was the result of collaboration between AHS, Tricon Developments, the City of Lacombe and other partners.
“It is about planning and finding the right partnerships to do that. Once you are able to establish those, it is then about trying to figure out what your needs are now and what they may be in the future. With this project we are able to plan for that growth with the additional space,” Sommerville said.
The space will also allow each department to collaborate on site, saving time and energy for both staff and patients. Each department will also have additional service space for their clients.
“Our spaces are larger, for instance in homecare we were only able to offer one treatment space because of the physical constrains of our previous building. In this space we now have to spaces to accommodate people’s care. That is pretty much the same for every department.” Sommerville said.
Despite a fluid Alberta health budget situation, the facility will also continue to serve all of its current clientele in the same manner they were before.
“Nothing is changing because of this building. Services will remain the same as they were. What this building do is allow growth to actually happen,” Sommerville said.
The facility, which will service up to 500 homecare patients alone, will also be able to have a more comfortable experience for clients coming in.
“At the CHC’s current location, parking isn’t that great and when you have children in strollers or people in walkers, it can be hard to get in the building. Here we have a large parking lot with easy access doors and wide entrances. We are able to accommodate people in an easier way,” Sommerville said.
AHS will officially begin moving in on Dec. 9 and 10, with the doors officially opening after that.
Mayor Grant Creasey said the official opening of this 17,000 square foot building is an important day for Lacombe.
“To have this 17,000 square foot facilitate which consolidates the healthcare services of our community all under one roof is amazing,” he said.
Creasey expects the health centre to be an anchor for further commercial development in the area.
“I think we have some other things in the fire that I am unable to talk about now, but Tricon is positioned well to increase their presence and add more services that will compliment this,” he said, adding they are also working with interested parties on the downtown space they were previously renting to AHS.
“Tyler Shandro, Alberta’s Minister of Health, said this building will strengthen health in the Lacombe area.
““Projects like this ensure patients and families get the best care possible, and focus on community-based prevention and early intervention services,” he said in a press release. “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.”
Sommerville added, “The staff are excited to get in here and get things going.”