Plans are moving ahead to build a hospice in Prince Albert, Sask.
It was announced on Tuesday the Saskatchewan government has committed $2 million in annual operating funding towards the project.
The Rose Garden Hospice Association (RGHA) was incorporated in 2008, and is attempting to build the facility to provide a palliative care option for patients with a terminal diagnosis.
Marina Mitchell’s mother, Rose, passed away in hospital during her battle with cancer. As the current chairperson for the RGHA, she hopes to use what their family learned from the experience and find a more compassionate way of supporting those nearing death.
“We are very excited to have the financial support of the provincial government behind us. We can now push forward with the major fundraising campaign for the construction and finally see this dream become a reality,” Mitchell said in a press release.
“We hope this generous donation will encourage other individuals, companies, and organizations to pledge funds towards the building fund.”
RGHA said it needs to raise an estimated $4 million to cover the construction costs for the building, parking lot and landscaping.
Malcolm Jenkins, who owns a Canadian Tire store in Prince Albert, has already donated $500,000 to the building fund campaign.
“I came to Canada from the United Kingdom over 50 years ago. Hospices in the U.K. currently provide high quality, end-of-life care to over 25,000 people there,” Jenkins said in a press release.
“In addition to this fine care, hospices free up beds and hospital space, thus reducing wait times for important surgeries.”
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RGHA said licensed medical staff will offer pain and symptom management to ensure patients’ physical suffering is relieved. The non-profit association will work closely with the Saskatchewan Health Authority to determine governance and operational details.
The plans are for a 10-bed facility with a non-denominational chapel within the 10,000-square-foot building.
Ten acres of land to build the hospice on the corner of Marquis Road and 4th Avenue West was donated in 2016.
RGHA said the hospice could be built and become operational, potentially as early as 2020-21.