Planning is underway for the AHS-owned, Covenant Health-operated facility that will bring new maternity and emergency medical services space to northern Alberta.
Alberta’s government is providing a total of $79 million for the new La Crete Maternity and Community Health Centre, including $46 million in support over three years from Budget 2022.
This centre will replace the current Alberta Health Services facility, which has outgrown its space and will boost access to mental health, primary and allied health care, as well as maternity services in the young, growing community.
Once the new facility is constructed, AHS will contract Covenant Health to operate the facility. Covenant Health will also participate in planning work.
“Through Alberta’s Recovery Plan, we are creating jobs, growing a more diverse economy and building a stronger health system to support families and friends who live in all corners of the province. Rural health care is an essential part of Alberta’s health system, and we’re proud to support thriving rural communities by increasing access to maternity and other health-care services where they are most needed.”Jason Kenney, Premier
“I have heard from countless families eager to see what a new health centre in La Crete will mean for them. Thanks to the absolute commitment of the Premier, I’m so pleased planning on this project has now started to give families in and around La Crete greater access to safe maternal health care and child birth.”
Dan Williams, MLA for Peace River
“Covenant Health is pleased to be a partner in this project that supports health care in La Crete and area. Covenant has an almost 160-year tradition of working in partnership with communities, and we are proud to partner and collaborate to provide the best services possible. We are committed to innovative solutions that transform the health system and this project will provide a great opportunity to both be innovative and meet the needs of the community. We are excited and looking forward to beginning the process with the local communities to ensure the needs of La Crete and area are met.”
Patrick Dumelie, chief executive officer, Covenant Health
The new La Crete Community and Maternity Health Centre will be attached to the existing continuing care facility. Maternity health services will include ultrasounds, prenatal classes, a lactation program and a birthing centre led by midwives, to help mothers with low-risk pregnancies give birth closer to home.
High Level’s hospital, the Northwest Health Centre, which provides emergency and surgical services, will continue to be accessible for high-risk pregnancies and C-sections. Albert’s government, Covenant Health in partnership with Alberta Health Services, and the College of Midwives of Alberta will develop and grow a new care model to support midwives in the new facility when it opens.
The new health centre will also include space for family doctors, mental health services and therapists, physiotherapy and occupational therapy. Additionally, it will include a larger EMS response facility with four ambulance bays and four single residential apartments for visiting clinical staff.
Final dates for construction are being determined, with the aim to complete the project in about five years. Plans for the existing La Crete Community Health Centre have yet to be decided.
Information provided by Alberta Health Services/Government of Alberta