TROUT CREEK, Ont. — Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli officially announced the province's approval of a new 96-bed long-term care facility — Trout Creek Senior Living — that will fill the void left by the closure of the Lady Isabelle Nursing Home in 2017 and expand on options for area residents to continue living with dignity closer to home.
"This is a great news day for our community," declared Powassan Mayor Peter McIsaac. "This is going to have a huge impact."
"Families in Nipissing have been eagerly awaiting this announcement, replacing the 66-bed facility that was closed a number of years ago," said Fedeli. "Today’s announcement will help ensure we have safe, modern spaces ready for those who will need long-term care."
The group agreed the facility will also bring jobs, replacing Lady Isabelle's lost 80 and likely adding more beyond that due to the new facility's increased capacity.
"I would like to sincerely thank Premier Ford, Minister Fullerton for their continued commitment to providing new long-term care beds for the people of Ontario," said McIsaac. "I especially would like to thank our MPP and friend Minister Victor Fedeli who has worked tirelessly on this file. Minister Fedeli made these long-term care beds a priority and with today’s announcement he has delivered for my community and the entire region."
McIsaac later added the project will "allow seniors to get the care they need and stay in our community with their families."
Fedeli was joined on a Zoom call to share some more details of the project by McIsaac, North Bay Regional Health Centre CEO Paul Heinrich, and Italo Ferrari, representing project developer FAIM International.
Heinrich noted, "It’s no secret our hospital inpatient capacity has been stretched to the limit, even before the pandemic. The wardroom reductions made to keep long-term care residents safe during COVID-19 resulted in our district losing double the provincial average for long-term care bed capacity. Today’s announcement will dramatically improve acute care patient flow and ensure patients waiting in hospital for admission to LTC can access the right care in the right place."
Heinrich later said, "This investment will ease the pressure felt by our hospital's front-line staff."
Fedeli touted a series of announcements made across Ontario, Thursday, as "historic investments in long-term care," totalling $933 million across 80 new projects, and poised to deliver "30,000 much-needed long-term care spaces over 10 years." They are part of Ontario’s Long-Term Care Modernization Plan.
An exact dollar figure for the Trout Creek Senior Living will be announced once the funding is allocated by project, Fedeli indicated.
Ferrari, manager of real estate developments for FAIM International spoke of a Trout Creek project without ward rooms for its residents, promising a state-of-the-art facility in collaboration with community partners. The build is expected to take 18-24 months and Ferrari indicated an eagerness to get started.
"We at Faim International are excited to be a part of this program and look forward to bringing this exciting project, Trout Creek Senior Living to completion."
In addition to modernizing the long-term care sector, these projects will help reduce waitlists and end hallway medicine, Ontario says. Province-wide, these investments also support key government priorities, including eliminating three- and four-bed ward rooms, creating campuses of care and providing new spaces for Indigenous, Francophone and other cultural community residents.
“Our loved ones in long-term care deserve a comfortable, modern place to live, near family and friends, with the support they need when they need it,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. “These new and upgraded spaces, built to modern design standards, will help prevent and contain the transmission of infectious diseases and ensure residents have access to the care they need in a safe and secure environment."
According to Ontario, as of December 2020, more than 40,000 people across the province were on the waitlist to access a long-term care bed. Across the province, the government is moving forward with 80 new long-term care projects, which will lead to an additional 7,510 new and 4,197 upgraded long-term care spaces. The $933 million investment in these projects province-wide is in addition to the $1.75 billion already earmarked for the delivery of 30,000 new spaces over 10 years. With this new allocation, including the 96 in Trout Creek, Ontario reports it now has 20,161 new and 15,918 redevelopment spaces in the development pipeline.