Care home expansion will bring jobs

A residential project that is going to create 40 jobs and open up 66 more care beds was announced at Haven Hill Retirement Centre

Members of the Haven Hill Retirement Centre management team (left to right) Jane Tench

Members of the Haven Hill Retirement Centre management team (left to right) Jane Tench

A residential project that is going to create 40 jobs and open up 66 more care beds was announced at Haven Hill Retirement Centre.

“This pattern of continuous expansion speaks strongly to the growing demands for services to meet the needs of seniors in our community,” said Jane Tench, administrator at Haven Hill Retirement Centre.

Four years ago the facility opened with 82 beds after being rebuilt from the private hospital. Less than a year later it expanded to add 30 beds.

Buron Healthcare was awarded a contract for the 66 permanent, publicly funded beds in September following a request for proposals from Interior Health. Of the 66 beds, 36 will be new and 30 are existing temporary beds that will become permanent. Four new private-pay beds are also being added.

“We’re excited about the over 40 new jobs this project creates and the community benefits of this development,” said Mary McDougall, owner representative of Buron Healthcare. “Buron is committed to buying local wherever it is feasible and we’re operators for the long-term, which means that we will be consumers in and contributing to the City of Penticton for many years ahead.”

Construction of the suites is expected to begin next month and it is estimated the facility will be complete and open by November 2012. The new construction will keep with the current design with a focal point on a home environment for residents rather than a commercial design. Each wing will consist of a pod of 11 to 15 residents, with a food service area, dining room and lounge, all designed to be as home-like as possible.

Norman Embree, Interior Health’s board chair, said the additional residential care beds in the South Okanagan are part of a larger plan across the health region.

“In all, Interior Health is funding more than 500 residential beds in Kamloops, the north, central and south Okanagan, Grand Forks and Invermere. These new facilities support our commitment to provide for the needs of our aging population,” said Embree.