New Aboriginal Focussed Hospital for Sioux Lookout

    Meno Ya Win Health Centre Will Improve Access to Health Care in
    Northwestern Ontario

    THUNDER BAY, ON, March 28 /CNW/ - Ontario has given the official go ahead
to Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre (SLMHC) to move its new hospital
construction project forward. Calls for construction contract bids will soon
get underway.
    The new 140,000 square foot state-of the-art health centre will increase
access to health care for all residents in Sioux Lookout and its surrounding
communities, including 28 First Nations communities. The new building will
replace hospital facilities that are more than 50 years old. The project is a
result of a Four Party Agreement between the First Nations, federal,
provincial and municipal governments.
    Designated by the province as a First Nations' Centre of Health
Excellence, the hospital will continue its leadership role in developing and
delivering culturally sensitive health care in Northwestern Ontario, including
relevant services, such as around-the-clock translation services and a
traditional healing, medicines and foods program.
    Expected to open in 2010, the health centre will house existing hospital,
mental health and addiction, as well as other health services. New services
are expected to include:

    -   a five bed withdrawal management unit
    -   a dedicated palliative care area
    -   an expanded chronic kidney disease program with two additional
        dialysis stations
    -   screening and diagnostic mammography


    "The construction of the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre is an
essential step in the delivery of accessible and culturally appropriate health
care to the First Nations' communities in Northwestern Ontario," said George
Smitherman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.
"Residents of Sioux Lookout and the surrounding communities will benefit from
improved access to quality health care in a state-of-the-art facility."
    "This facility is great news for people in remote communities in
Northwestern Ontario," said Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Michael Bryant.
"The Meno Ya Win Health Centre is proof of the McGuinty government's
commitment to Ontario's First Nations, Inuit, and Metis communities, as well
as the importance of our Northern partners."
    "Much work has been done by many people to secure a facility that can
serve and meet the health needs of people in the Sioux Lookout area," said
Frank Beardy, Co-Chair of the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre Board of
Directors. "The commitment today by the Ontario government is a major
milestone in achieving the dreams and hopes of many people."


    -   There are 28 First Nations communities in the Sioux Lookout zone of
        Northern Ontario, which acts as a centre for health services,
        including hospital care, for most of these First Nations communities.
    -   The majority of these communities are accessibly by air only making
        it difficult for them to obtain access to a wide range of health


    Learn more about the new hospital by visiting SLMHC

                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Laurel Ostfield, Minister's Office, (416)
212-4048; David Jensen, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, (416) 314-6197

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Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

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