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Nelson Health Campus on track to be complete this fall

The Nelson Health Campus, currently being constructed on the former Mount St. Francis Hospital site, is on schedule to be open by early 2025.  

Once complete, the facility will offer 75 new long-term care beds for residents in the region requiring long-term medical care, and a community services building offering a variety of mental and public health resources.  

The project is being developed by Mount St. Francis Enterprises, a partnership between the Columbia Basin Trust and Golden Life Management. Interior Health is leasing the facility and will be in charge of its operations. 

Interior Health’ Executive Director of Clinical Operations in the Kootenay Boundary  Lannon De Best said they’re expecting to take possession of the facility in the late fall or early winter.  

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Staff will be moved in first, De Best said they’re planning on moving residents into the long-term care beds and start seeing patients in early 2025.  

Interior Health will need to hire about 65 full-time employees to work at the facility. Recruitment hasn’t started yet, but Da Best says IH will be starting the process in the coming months.  

“We haven’t started official recruitment into the positions that we know will be available. It is too early for us to do that but we have a recruitment plan and we’ve been working with the IH recruitment team. We’ve also been working with local educational facilities about increasing seats for positions.” 

He adds that the number one position IH will need at the facility is health care workers for the long-term care portion of the project. He says IH has been working with local institutions to try and increase the number of seats in health care worker programs to prepare for the increased demand.  

The intake process for the 75 long-term care beds will be governed by IH regulations, allocating the beds based on a priority order. De Best said intake will also start in the fall.  

In regards to the community services portion of the project, the services and staff currently located at the Nelson Health Clinic on Victoria Street will be moved over to the new building.  

De Best explained that the new community services clinic could allow IH more potential to expand its public and mental health resources.  

“The space takes into account the services that we are providing today [on Victoria Street] and the staff that we have today. Expansion is always something that we are considering when making a decision.”  

The new health care facility will bring plenty of benefits to the community, De Best said that the 75-long-term care beds allow clients in Nelson and the surrounding area the opportunity to access their required care within their home range.  

“Every opportunity to add additional capacity, healthcare system capacity is a good news story. Adding 75 long-term care beds into the community is great for the residents and families to be able to stay close to home.”  

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