McGuinty government investing in better access to services for seniors in Thunder Bay

    New Centre of Excellence for Seniors will create more than 100 new jobs

    THUNDER BAY, ON, Aug. 31 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is establishing
the Centre of Excellence for Integrated Senior's Services (CEISS) in Thunder
Bay to house 336 new long term care beds and 132 new supportive housing units,
Health and Long-Term Care Minister George Smitherman announced today.
    "We need to offer more choices to seniors that will promote their
independence, so they can continue to live with dignity and respect." said
Smitherman. "This project represents a new option for seniors that will better
respond to their needs, so they can remain in the community."
    The Centre of Excellence for Integrated Senior's Services will respond to
the local populations' increasing demand for senior's care services. This
opportunity developed following a decision by the City of Thunder Bay to
return 300 municipally run long-term care beds to the province in January
2009. The estimated $56.6 million project will result in an additional
107 full time jobs. The facility will be built at St. Joseph's Care Group's
Hogarth Riverview Manor site and will accommodate the following:

    -   336 new long term care beds including 64 specialized behavioral beds
        to serve the North West region;
    -   132 new supportive housing units;
    -   Community support services for an additional 150 clients;
    -   Enhanced services for existing supportive housing units.

    Construction is scheduled to begin in fall 2008 and be completed in 2010.
    "As a former city councillor who was involved in this issue, I am
thrilled with the commitment by our government today to provide certainty and
security to our seniors that want to continue to call Thunder Bay home," said
MPP Bill Mauro. "The new supportive housing piece will be a great addition to
our health care community and shows once again, with the creation of over
100 new jobs, how investments in health care and education are also good for
our economy. We are creating a centre of excellence in health care in Thunder
Bay and it is very exciting to be part of this."
    "This is extraordinarily good news for everyone concerned about the
provision and protection of our long term care beds in Thunder Bay," said
Michael Gravelle, MPP for Thunder Bay - Superior North. "The addition of much
needed supportive housing units to this announcement is also extremely
welcome. This has been a long time in the making and we must thank everyone
involved in making this happen, particularly St. Joseph's Care Group, Minister
Smitherman and the C.A.W. for their belief in this exciting and necessary
    "We are delighted by the government's actions to expand LTC care beds in
Thunder Bay," said John Whitfield, Chair of the North West Local Health
Integration Network. "This investment will increase our delivery of senior's
services to allow for better LTC options and an increased opportunity for
people to age at home."
    This is just one more example of how, working together, Ontarians have
achieved results in health care services in Thunder Bay. Other initiatives

    -   Creating the first Northern Ontario School of Medicine in 2004
    -   Providing $636,000 to increase access to emergency services for
        angioplasty patients in Northwestern Ontario
    -   Developing 12 Family Health Teams in the North West LHIN who provide
        care to over 50,000 patients, 4,753 of whom previously did not have a
        family doctor.

    Today's initiative is part of the McGuinty government's plan for
innovation in public health care, building a system that delivers on three
priorities - keeping Ontarians healthy, reducing wait times and providing
better access to doctors and nurses.

    This news release, along with other media materials, such as matte
stories and audio clips, on other subjects, are available on our website at: under the News Media section.
    For more information on achievements in health care, visit:

                           Disponible en français.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Jeff Rohrer, Minister's Office,
 (416) 326-8016; David Jensen, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, (416)
314-6197; Members of the general public: (866) 532-3161

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