The Kitimat Valley Housing Society is pleased to have obtained approval for the funding of a much anticipated Dementia Care home in Kitimat. Health Minister Adrian Dix visited Kitimat on March 25 to make the announcement on behalf of the BC Government, as well as Councillor Terry Marleau, representative of the District of Kitimat on behalf of the Northwest Regional Hospital District. MLA Jennifer Rice, from the North Coast constituency and Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Health, also brought greetings at the event

Haisla Chief Councillor, Crystal Smith provided greetings on behalf of the Haisla as a major partner in the project, and Elder Marilyn Furlan provided an opening prayer. Representing the District of Kitimat as another major partner, Mayor Phil Germuth was also in attendance.

Northern Health representatives were in attendance from Prince Rupert, Terrace and Prince George and as one of her first engagements representing the Kitimat Geneal Hospital and Health Centre (KGH) was newly appointed Health Services Administrator, Kristen Scrivens. Kristen was one of the original members on the Steering Committee in 2018, representing KGH at the inception of the Kitimat Valley Housing Society. 

It took dozens of individuals working diligently over the years to come to this point. Past President of the Kitimat Valley Housing Society (KVHS), Doug Thomson, designed the Dementia Care home which was further developed by Charlie Maddison of Boni-Maddison Architects. Past Vice-President Carl Whicher and Director Margaret Sanou were instrumental in providing research for the latest in innovative care for individuals suffering with dementia. Linda Thomson and Barbara Campbell, past Secretaries of the Society, organized and planned community engagement and fund raising activities, Director Richard Wozney provided his legal expertise and Corinne Scott utilized her experience in registering the Society, working with the municipality, contracts, and financial operations. Of course, everyone involved have contributed more than mentioned already, including the current President Fern Fontes. Under Fern’s expert guidance, KVHS has flourished over the years attracting new members, and bringing the organization to a new level. 

The Kitimat Valley Housing Society, Northern Health, the District of Kitimat and the Haisla Nation are proud to present to the members of our community and the Haisla Nation an innovative, state-of-the-art home which will provide 10 single occupancy ensuite bedrooms and two respite rooms for individuals who suffer with dementia and whom require support and would benefit from 24 hour long-term care services.

The new long term care home is based on what is known as a “quality of life” model. The goal is to support individuals living with dementia to enjoy the best quality of life despite the effects 2 of dementia, through the combined efforts of staff, volunteers and family members who nurture a sense of purpose, belonging and companionship. The residents will find a warm, inviting homelike environment that encourages them to engage in day-to-day activities, reflecting lifelong interests, such as meal preparation, gardening, music and crafts.

Without the contribution of funds and gifts in kind from industry, community groups, and the residents of Kitimat including those that contributed through the Kitimat General Hospital Foundatoin, the Dementia Home would not be coming to fruition. Civeo with the gift of land, LNG Canada as a major contributor, Rio Tinto, Pembina Cedar LNG Partnerships LP and other businesses contributing substantially and the generous contributions of individuals, such as Randy and Darlene Tait and numerous others, too many to list. We acknowledge and thank each and every one for believing in our dream.