Hospital Gala raises thousands for health complex

Brief speeches were given by three speakers. Left-right, are Roxanne Stuckless, director of clinical care of the health complex, Lesser Slave Lake MLA Danielle Larivee, and site manager Olive Sonico.

Richard Froese
South Peace News
Residents from throughout the region and health workers gathered April 1 to celebrate the new High Prairie Health Complex that opens this week.

Many people were thanked and joined the celebration at the High Prairie Community Charity Gala at the Edmo Peyre Hall.

“After many years of petitioning, planning and building, we have finally arrived,” says site manager Olive Sonico.
“It is indeed a joyful time to celebrate this state-of-the-art building.
“I welcome you to the new High Prairie Health Complex.”

Services at the new hospital initially opened April 10 while residents of J.B. Wood Continuing Care Centre moved in April 4-8.

“Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to get this new hospital [and health complex],” says Lesser Slave Lake MLA Danielle Larivee.

When she toured the new $228.3 million complex on March 27, she was overwhelmed.

“I was really struck by the state-of-the-art facility built to help provide people with the very best services,” says Larivee, a registered nurse with more than 17 years experience.
“I would love to work in this building.”

She remains committed to enhance and add services and equipment.

“I will continue to advocate for services and staff and development of the facilities,” Larivee says.

With modern technology, plenty of windows and spacious areas, the facility is described by local health administrators as the most elaborate building in the region.

“If you come as a patient, who won’t want to go home,” says Roxanne Stuckless, director of clinical care of the health complex.
“It’s been a long journey.”

She acknowledged the hard work of many groups and people, and specially noted Diana Oliver and Barry Sharkawi.

Other words of appreciated were expressed.

“For all the people who did all the work, thank you,” MC Lindsay Pratt says.
“It will be life-changing for a lot of people.”

He further thanked the MLA for her service.

“Danielle has stood up for us and she is working for our region,” Pratt says.

Tours of the facility were also given to paid guests during the afternoon.

The event was organized by a group representing Alberta Health Services staff, High Prairie Health Care Auxiliary, High Prairie and District
Palliative Care Society, High Prairie Community Health and Wellness Clinic and other volunteers.

An official grand opening celebration is being planned for May by AHS.

Still under construction, the new High Prairie Community Health and Wellness Clinic is scheduled to open in June.

Several items were up for bids in the silent auction. Left-right, are Gary Harmata, Cindy Harmata, Alberta Health Services senior operating director of rural health, physician Dr. Magda DuToit and Jonathon DuToit, of High Prairie.
Some of the local residents leading the way for the new hospital were recognized. Left-right, are Lesser Slave Lake MLA Danielle Larivee, Diana Oliver, and Barry Sharkawi.

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