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By Brian Lockhart
The walls are up, the roof is on, and the job site at the new Matthews House Hospice Centre of Excellence building on Wellington Street East in Alliston is bustling with activity as workers complete the interior structure.
The new facility, when complete, will be Matthews House new home replacing several locations that that the Hospice currently uses.
It will have ten beds and is designed to be a peaceful place with gardens outside of the rooms.
The Hospice received a major funding boost when it was granted $1.2 million from the Ministry of Long Term Health and Care.
Ann Hoggarth, Member of Provincial Parliament for Barrie, represented the provincial government and visited the Hospice job site to make the announcement on Friday, April 20.
“Back in 2016 our government committed a $75 million investment to improve hospice palliative care bringing the total spending to over $155 million,” Hoggarth said during the announcement. “This year, our budget announced an additional $15 million to invest even more in this very important work. Last year we also announced a new hospice capital program to help support hospices with their fundraising campaigns to help with their construction costs to build new or expanded spaces. This new program will help us achieve our commitment of opening 20 new or expanded hospices by 2019. This advancement in access to compassionate quality care at end of life, is only possible because of the work of the hospice palliative care community. All of you in this room made this possible. ”
Hoggarth announced that Matthews House would be receiving $1.2 million to help fund the cost of the new Centre of Excellence.
“We started building in the spring of 2017. Our construction team has been phenomenal,” explained Margo Cooney, president of Matthews House of the start of the new building. “This is a ten bed facility. We had three locations and we're bringing all three locations to this building.”
The new Hospice will have ten beds in a holistic setting. The residential rooms will have a guest bed, visitor bed, and each room will have a garden outside of the room. In addition there are common spaces in the facility including a great room with fire place, dining room, and kitchen.
While the grant will help finish the new Hospice building, Ms. Cooney said the fundraising work never stops.
“We still have soft costs, we have beds, we have lifts, we are zealously encouraging people to contribute. We have a campaign were $10,000 provides a state-of-the-art bed.”
Matthews House provides palliative care for those nearing end of life as well as support for families.
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