Interior Health awards contract to inSite for 70 care beds in Williams Lake

Interior Health announced Friday it has awarded the contract to develop 70 residential care beds in Williams Lake to inSite Housing, Hospitality Health Services Inc.

“I am pleased to see this project progressing," said Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett. "It is another step in our ongoing work to enhance medical care and provide appropriate housing for seniors in our area.  Residential care facilities give seniors and their families options that support changing health-care needs, allowing individuals to age in place.”

The new facility will be built at the former Cariboo Lodge site in the 100 block of  Fourth Avenue North, a location Mayor Walt Cobb described as ideal.

"I know we couldn't pick and choose who got the contract, but I am very happy the Cariboo Lodge site is going to be used for what it was intended to be from the very beginning," Cobb said. "It is close to the Seniors Activity Centre, the park, the hospital and everything."

Construction is anticipated to begin in July 2017 with the new facility expected to open the summer of 2018.

Originally inSite expressed interest in the lot where the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin is located.

Cobb said the city is in the process of moving forward with an option for the museum and the historic 153 Mile Store, regardless of whether or not inSite wants the museum property.

"At the end of the day, if we build a new museum, we will just put that property up for sale.

In addition to the 70 publicly-funded beds inSite’s new care home will include two private-pay beds.

inSite president Johann Burger said the company was thrilled to have been selected by Interior Health to build and operate a new residence to provide care and housing for 72 seniors from Williams Lake and the surrounding areas.

"The location, design and service offerings will enhance the quality of life for all residents while providing in excess of 80 regular and casual positions for care and hospitality staff," Burger added.

Interior Health issued a series of Request for Proposals (RFPs) in September 2016 for the design, construction and operation of 243 new residential care beds in communities across Interior Health, including these 70 beds in Williams Lake.

“This is great news for our communities’ seniors,” said Cariboo-North MLA Coralee Oakes. “Appropriate health care and housing for this vulnerable population is absolutely vital. We look forward to seeing the next steps in the process as inSite begins its design process.”

Interior Health said the RFPs called for building environments that are homelike and not institutional-feeling; safe for residents and staff; innovatively designed and flexible in function; operationally efficient; environmentally responsible in design, construction and operations; and include dementia-friendly elements.

“Our population is aging and becoming more medically complex. Conditions such as dementia are on the rise,” said Interior Health Board Chair John O’Fee. “The addition of 243 beds across Interior Health will benefit seniors and others who need around-the-clock care.”

The RFP sought proposals from operators with experience in residential care project development and operation and seniors care, with consideration of First Nations engagement and cultural safety, Interior Health noted.

"Consultation with the local community, including First Nations communities, is required throughout design development and upon completion during operations. The successful proponents must develop a care model that supports the needs of residents, and includes residents and their families in care delivery planning. The care model will also include collaboration with local family physicians."


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